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Clemson 45, Maryland 10

The SportsXchange

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd continues to pack a lot of punch in a little bit of playing time.

Playing considerably less than three quarters for a third consecutive game, Boyd completed 18-of-26 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, sparking the Tigers to a 45-10 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Maryland on Saturday.

The victory not only gave the No. 13 Tigers (9-1, 6-1 in the ACC) a school-record 12th consecutive home victory, it kept alive Clemson's slim hopes for a third Atlantic Division title and ACC Championship Game appearance in four years.

Clemson must beat N.C. State next week and hope that division-leading Florida State, which beat Clemson, 49-37, on Sept. 22, stumbles next Saturday at Maryland.

The Tigers were coming off a 718-yard performance at Duke, but couldn't post similar numbers against a Maryland defense that entered the game ranked 11th nationally in total defense.

Yet Clemson was in control from the outset.

Sophomore Adam Humphries caught the first touchdown pass of his Clemson career from Boyd with 7:19 left in the first quarter and the rout was on.

Defensive end Corey Crawford scooped up a fumble by Maryland quarterback Shawn Petty on the Terrapins' next play from scrimmage and ran 16 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

Less than three minutes later, Clemson defensive end Malliciah Goodman forced another fumble by Petty and Boyd drove the Tigers 53 yards in seven plays, finding DeAndre Hopkins for a 28-yard touchdown pass and a 21-0 lead with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

Boyd has 13 touchdown passes and has a passing efficiency rating of 212.3 in the Tigers' last three games, which they have won by a combined margin of 143-43.

The lopsided defeat was the latest in a series of setbacks for Maryland (4-6, 2-4), which began the season 4-2 but has been beset by serious injuries.

The Terrapins have lost four quarterbacks and eight players total to season-ending injuries.

Petty, a freshman linebacker-turned-quarterback, completed only 6-of-12 passes for 41 yards and was sacked twice. The Terrapins' anemic offense, which came into the game ranked 119th out of 120 FBS teams, managed only 180 total yards.

Freshman running back Brandon Ross accounted for most of those by rushing for 100 yards, the first 100-yard game of his career.

Clemson's offense totaled 436 yards, its third-lowest total of the season, but was in command all day.

After Boyd's scoring pass to Hopkins gave Clemson a 21-0 lead, Boyd threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Ford to extend the lead to 28-0.

Maryland responded with a 17-yard scoring pass from Petty to Devonte Campbell, but the Tigers' Andre Ellington scored from six yards out to give Clemson a 35-7 halftime lead.

NOTES: Clemson did not commit its first penalty until 4:58 remained in the game. It marked the first time this season that the Tigers had been whistled less than twice in a game. ... DeAndre Hopkins extended his school record with his 14th touchdown reception of the season. ... Maryland linebacker L.A. Goree led the Terrapins with 10 tackles, including nine unassisted stops and two tackles for losses.
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