(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Tajh Boyd completed 24 of 37 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 3 Clemson Tigers past North Carolina State, 26-14, Thursday night.
NC State (2-1) made it a ballgame in the first half. After falling behind 6-0 on two Chandler Catanzaro field goals, the Wolfpack drove the ball 92 yards on their first drive of the second quarter, which ended with Shadrach Thornton rushing for a 21-yard touchdown. Nicklas Sade made the extra point and NC State went up 7-6.
Clemson (3-0) would answer on its final drive of the half when Boyd threw an 11-yard touchdown to Sam Cooper, as the Tigers went into the half with a 13-7 lead.
Clemson played strong in the second half, as Boyd threw two more touchdowns, both to junior receiver Martavis Bryant.
NC State quarterback Pete Thomas rushed for a four-yard touchdown with 3:50 left in the game, closing the margin to 12 points. The Wolfpack proceeded to attempt an onside kick, but Clemson recovered, pretty much ending any chance of a NC State comeback.
“Defensively we played great the entire game,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get that last stop. (In the second half) We played smarter, we executed better, we got the running game going and Tajh Boyd got going. Made some big plays in the passing game. Some plays that were there in the first half that we didn’t make we converted on them in the second half. That was the difference in the game.”
Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins had 10 catches for 96 yards in the win.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire