The thing was, Clemson made sure that this game was anything but a warm welcome for Syracuse to their new home.
Clemson walked into the Carrier Dome and, powered by their Heisman candidate QB Tajh Boyd, made sure that the Orange understood that life in the ACC would be anything but a cake walk, as the Tigers ran away with this one, 49-14.
Boyd made a serious statement in this one, going 20-for-27 for 455 yards and five touchdowns. The Syracuse secondary couldn’t keep up with the receiving tandem of the electric Sammy Watkins and Adam Humphries throughout most of the game. Watkins finished with four catches for 126 yards and a score–which was 91 yards in length–and Humphries hauled in 3 passes for 118 yards and two trips to the end zone.
Combine that with the balanced rushing attack of Zac Brooks (46 yards, 1TD), Roderick McDowell (41 yards) and C.J. Davidson (41 yards, 1TD), the Tigers were just too much for the Orange to handle and now at least have a more sound idea of where they stand among the elite in their new conference.
As for Syracuse, this was unfortunately one of the worst games for Terrel Hunt since he took over a QB a few weeks ago. The sophomore was just 8-of-24 for 52 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. The Clemson defense had him under complete wraps the entire afternoon, for the most part.
The lone bright spot was the play, once again, of running back Jerome Smith. Smith was able to tally up 125 yards on 18 carries with a score. Other than that, though, head coach Scott Shafer and the Orange have a lot of work to do.
Yes, Clemson was outstanding once again, here in early October. With that being said now, it’s time to turn our eyes to the inevitable:
Clemson vs. Florida State is just two weeks away.
After today’s win, the Tigers will take on Boston College next weekend which, by all rights, should be a repeat performance of something similar of today. Florida State is on a bye week after they completely obliterated and embarrassed Maryland today, 63-0.
Oct. 19 should be one hell of a ride.