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Clemson 59, Virginia 10

The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd remained unbeaten against teams from his home state in a big way on Saturday, passing for 377 yards and three touchdowns as the eighth-ranked Tigers rolled to a 59-10 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Virginia.

Boyd connected on 22-of-27 passes for 278 yards in the first half as the Tigers bolted to a 35-7 lead, and coasted from there in front of 46,959 fans at Scott Stadium.

Boyd, who also had a one-yard touchdown run, capped his day by lobbing a 96-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins on the Tigers' third play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

That play -- the second-longest from scrimmage in Clemson history -- gave Watkins eight catches for 169 yards. Watkins has 22 catches for 332 yards over his last two games and has five 100-yard games in his last five.

Clemson improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC, while Virginia, which lost its fifth consecutive game, slipped to 2-7, 0-5.

The Tigers, who have a bye before hosting Georgia Tech in a Nov. 14 Thursday night game, won their eighth consecutive road game, the third-longest streak in school history.

Clemson also notched its 16th straight victory by double digits over an unranked team. It is the second-longest such active streak in the nation, trailing on Alabama's 25-game streak.

But Saturday was Boyd's day. The Hampton, Va., native struck quickly, connecting with Watkins for a 33-yard touchdown on the Tigers' fifth play of the game.

Virginia tied the game, 7-7, on a six-yard run by quarterback David Watford, but it was all Clemson from there.

Third-team running back C.J. Davidson scored on a two-yard run to give the Tigers the lead for good, then Clemson scored on each of its final three possessions of the first half to take command.

Roderick McDowell scored on a 10-yard pass from Boyd and ran 25 yards for another touchdown, then Boyd scored on a one-yard keeper for a 35-7 lead.

Boyd played only one series in the second half on a day when he continued a record-breaking senior season.

Boyd broke the ACC record for touchdown responsibility, with his four scores giving him 116 for his career, three more than Philip Rivers had at North Carolina State.

The game also marked Boyd's 36th consecutive start, leaving him one shy of matching the school record set by Charlie Whitehurst from 2002-05.

While Boyd was guiding the Clemson offense, the Tigers' defense surrendered yards and points begrudgingly.

Virginia managed only three points over the game's final 50 minutes and was forced to punt 12 times. The Cavaliers were outgained, 612-277, and turned the ball over three times.

One week after completing a school-record 43 passes against Georgia Tech, Watford was only 16-of-35 for 130 yards and an interception.

Kevin Parks was the lone bright spot for the Virginia offense, with 16 rushes for 82 yards and three receptions for 20 more.

NOTES: Both Clemson and Virginia average at least 83 plays per game. Clemson ranks fifth nationally with 84.3 snaps per game while the Cavaliers are seventh with 83.6 snaps per game. ... A school-record 18 Clemson players have scored a touchdown this season; the previous high was 17 players during the 2006 season. ... Clemson won the first 29 games in the series before Virginia finally broke through in 1990. The Cavaliers are 8-9-1 against the Tigers since. ... Clemson third-team quarterback Chad Kelly, the nephew of former NFL great Jim Kelly, scored his first career touchdown on a 38-yard run with 12:37 left in the game. ... Virginia has only eight seniors on its roster, which is tied for second-fewest in the nation with Central Florida, trailing only South Carolina with five. ... Virginia sophomore quarterback David Watford entered the game leading the ACC and ranking 10th nationally with 23.9 completions per game. ... Virginia safety Anthony Harris is tied for the national lead with six interceptions, two more than the entire Virginia team had in 2012.
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