College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - It wasn't always pretty, but Clemson
found a way to bounce back from a dismantling by Florida State a week ago that
all but ended its national championship hopes.
The ninth-ranked Tigers overcame three second half turnovers to beat the
depleted Maryland Terrapins, 40-27, in the final meeting as ACC foes on
Saturday from Byrd Stadium.
Tajh Boyd threw for 304 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 28-of-41
passing for Clemson (7-1, 5-1 ACC), which has won seven games in a row on the
road. Roderick McDowell carried 30 times for 161 yards and a pair of fourth
quarter touchdowns and Sammy Watkins had 163 yards on a school-record 14
Last season, Maryland (5-1, 1-3) was decimated with injuries at the
quarterback position. The top four signal callers on the depth chart all
suffered season-ending injuries, leaving true freshman linebacker Shawn
Petty under center against the Tigers. Petty and the Terrapins lost, 45-10.
Maryland was undermanned once again Saturday, as starting quarterback C.J.
Brown, tight end Dave Stinebaugh, running back Brandon Ross, and wide
receivers Deon Long and Stefon Diggs were all out against Clemson. The Terps
were left with backups at every skill position offensively.
Caleb Rowe completed just 19-of-45 passes for 282 yards, three touchdowns and
two interceptions. Levern Jacobs, Nigel King and Amba Etta-Tawo had touchdown
Clemson won the toss, deferred and forced a quick Terrapins' three-and-out.
Boyd marched the offense down to the Maryland 13 but the drive stalled and
the Tigers had to settle for a 31-yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal.
Rowe brought the home crowd to its feet on the third play of Maryland's next
drive when he found Jacobs over the middle for a 71-yard pitch-and-catch to
put the Terrapins on top.
Maryland's defense then forced negative plays on all three downs from inside
the Terps' 6, leading to another short Catanzaro kick and a 7-6 edge late in
the first period.
The Tigers managed two more trips to the red zone before halftime, scoring on
both drives to take a 16-7 lead into intermission.
Catanzaro drilled his third field goal of the contest from 25 yards out to cap
a 13-play, 67-yard march early in the second quarter, and Boyd found Jordan
Leggett for a 5-yard score with nine seconds left in the opening half.
Watkins and McDowell fumbled on back-to-back offensive plays early in the
third quarter, leading to a pair of 41-yard Brad Craddock field goals.
Maryland gained just two yards on the two possessions following the turnovers.
Catanzaro put Clemson on top, 19-13, with a 24-yard field goal at the 6:42
mark of the third.
The Tigers capitalized when Reid coughed up the football early in the fourth
quarter. Boyd eventually scored on a 5-yard QB keeper.
McDowell rushed for fourth quarter touchdowns of three and 45 yards around a
5-touchdown catch by Etta-Tawo.
Rowe's 14-yard scoring strike to King against a soft Clemson defense capped
the scoring with nine seconds remaining.
Clemson now leads the all-time series, 34-26-2 ... The Tigers have won four
straight against Maryland ... Dabo Swinney improved to 13-12 on the road as
Clemson's head coach ... Clemson's seven-game road winning streak is the
longest since it won nine in a row away from home in 1978-79 ... Boyd now has
112 touchdowns via the run or pass in his career, tying him with Phillip
Rivers for most in ACC history ... Maryland has lost three of four after
starting the season with four straight wins ... Clemson ran 98 plays and
outgained Maryland, 551-364.
The Sports Network