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Dec 2, 2012 10:05pm
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CLEMSON, S. Andre Johnson Authentic Jersey .C. —Tajh
Boyd is focusing on what No. 10 Clemson can still accomplish. Hes also becoming
a big Maryland fan, at least for a week. Boyd threw for 261 yards and three
touchdowns as Clemson trounced Maryland 45-10 on Saturday, the Tigers sixth
straight win overall and record 12th in a row at Death Valley. Clemson (9-1, 6-1
Atlantic Coast Conference) kept on track for a second straight double-digit
victory season. Yet its unlikely the defending ACC champs can supplant No. 8
Florida State as Atlantic Division winners and get a chance to win a second
consecutive title. Boyd watched with several teammates last Thursday night when
the Seminoles, who defeated Clemson 49-37 back on Sept. 22, got a last-minute TD
to squeak out a 28-22 win at Virginia Tech. The Tigers lone hope is for these
same Terps (4-6, 2-4) to rise up at home next week and defeat Florida State. “As
a fan, I was like, Oh, man, thats something,” Boyd said of Florida States
comeback. “But we cant worry about anything else other than what we have to do
and thats win all the games we have left.” And theres plenty out there if the
Tigers do that. Theyd achieve their first 11-win season—Clemson plays North
Carolina State and rival South Carolina at home the next two weeks—since
going 12-0 in their national championship season of 1981. Theyd also extend the
programs longest home win streak. “Theyve been playing football here for 116
years and I think its kind of special that this group did it,” offensive
co-ordinator Chad Morris said. Perhaps most of all, a successful finish might
bring the Tigers a second straight bid to the BCS, something theyd desperately
love given last years 70-33 Orange Bowl debacle against West Virginia. All that,
Boyd said, is for another day. “Theres a standard were trying to play to each
time we go out there,” he said. Clemson set the standard early against the
banged-up Terps, who again started linebacker Shawn Petty at quarterback because
of season-ending injuries to their four scholarship passers. The Tigers ended
things early as Boyd threw for a 13-yard touchdown to Adam Humphries and a
28-yard score to DeAndre Hopkins. In between, defensive end Corey Crawford
returned a fumble by Petty 16 yards for a touchdown as part of his teams
21-point first quarter. Clemson star receiver Sammy Watkins left the game in the
second quarter with an ankle injury. He said he couldve returned if the outcome
had been in doubt, but the coaches decided not to take chances. Watkins is
expected to play against the Wolfpack next week. This one was a mismatch from
the start, mostly because Maryland was still counting up its injured players.
Besides the four scholarship quarterbacks lost for the season, Maryland was
without leading tackler Demetrius Hartsfield because of a torn ACL and star
freshman Stefon Diggs due to a bad ankle. “These kids are fighting and battling
and thats what well continue to do,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. It was
little surprise things got out of hand early. The Tigers scored on their second
possession, Humphries stretching out in the end zone to make his first career
touchdown grab. Twelve seconds later, Petty was chased down by Crawford, who
forced a fumble, scooped up the ball and scored. The span between TDs was the
shortest in Clemson history, bettering the 14 seconds it took former star
Derrick Hamilton to score twice against Duke in 2003. And Clemson wasnt done.
Petty fumbled again after he was sacked by Malliciah Goodman and the Tigers
cashed in moments later on Boyds 28-yard scoring pass to Hopkins. A Tigers
mistake—Humphries muffed a punt catch inside his own 20—led to Marylands
lone score as Petty connected with Devonte Campbell. The Terrapins looked like
they had something else going when they forced Boyd to fumble while driving for
touchdown on their own 1 and tailback Brandon Ross followed with a 44-yard run
to midfield. But Petty was sacked for a loss of 15, Maryland punted and Clemson
began a 66-yard drive that ended on Andre Ellingtons 6-yard touchdown run for a
35-7 lead. It was the third straight game the Tigers put up 35 points or more in
the first half, a program first. Clemson outgained Maryland 310 yards to 90 in
the opening half. Petty hung tough, but struggled against Clemsons defence. He
finished 6 of 11 for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also fumbled twice. Edsall
acknowledged Petty is in a difficult spot, adding the coaches have stressed to
him the need to take care of the ball. The Terps were also 1 of 13 on third down
tries. “You just cant do that against a top-ten team in the country,” he said.
Ross gained 100 yards on 16 carries for Maryland, whose 180 yards of offence
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looking dangerous on the patchy grass at San Joses National Stadium.The Edmonton
Eskimos are hoping to have one, if not two new Canadian offensive linemen in the
fold soon. And one of them will be on the sideline when the Esks host the
Calgary Stampeders Friday night. Austin Pasztor, the former University of
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