Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins shine vs. Virginia


Clemson's pass-catch combination of senior quarterback Tajh Boyd and junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins sure had a fun time Saturday against Virginia in a 59-10 rout.

Both played less than three quarters, yet still put up huge numbers. Boyd was 24 of 29 for 377 yards, three touchdowns and a pick; he also rushed for a score late in the first half that gave Clemson a 35-7 halftime lead.

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Watkins had eight catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns; his second score was a 96-yard catch-and-run early in the third quarter that gave the Tigers a 42-7 lead. That score culminated a stretch in which Clemson scored TDs on four consecutive possessions.

Boyd (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) has 20 TDs and six interceptions this season, along with seven rushing touchdowns. Saturday's outing was his fifth 300-yard game of the season and the 16th of his career.

Boyd was criticized during the week by coach Dabo Swinney for sometimes overlooking the little things, but there were no such issues Saturday. He completed his first nine passes, for 135 yards and a score, and the rout was on. His fourth completion was a 33-yard score to Watkins, who had his way with Virginia true freshman cornerback Tim Harris for much of the day. Virginia was without its usual starting cornerbacks, junior Demetrious Nicholson and sophomore Maurice Canady, because of injuries.

Last week, Swinney said he thought Watkins would turn pro after the season, and Saturday's game was an indication of why NFL scouts love Watkins. He has 66 receptions for 982 yards and seven TDs this season; he finished last season with 57 catches for 708 yards and three TDs.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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