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Champs cannot corral Clemson

Sammy Watkins evades Auburn defensive back T’Sharvan Bell after a catch for some of Clemson’s 624 yards of offense.

Associated Press

Sammy Watkins evades Auburn defensive back T’Sharvan Bell after a catch for some of Clemson’s 624 yards of offense.

CLEMSON, S.C. — Auburn certainly misses quarterback Cam Newton. It might miss defensive tackle Nick Fairley more.

Clemson piled up 624 yards in beating No. 21 Auburn 38-24 and ending the defending national champ's winning streak at 17. "It's been a long time since we lost," said safety Demetruce McNeal, whose team lost last season's top stars to the NFL. "I guess it's a new feeling for us all."

And a new one for Clemson, 3-0 for the first time since 2007 behind Tajh Boyd (30-of-42 for 386 yards and four touchdowns).

Auburn led 14-0 in the first quarter. But Clemson recovered and converted 10 consecutive third downs at one point — "That killed our spirit," Auburn defensive back Ryan White said — and scored on five of six possessions.

"It took (Boyd) a couple of series to calm down," Clemson center Dalton Freeman said. "That was the biggest stage he's ever played on. Once he got calmed down, he was lights out."

Trailing 38-24 in the fourth, Auburn moved to the Clemson 8-yard line. But Barrett Trotter was intercepted by Coty Sensabaugh, and Clemson ran out the final 9:34.

"I couldn't think of a better place to end the streak than Death Valley, South Carolina, baby," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, part of Alabama's 1992 national title team. "It's only fitting that an Alabama grad would be in charge of the team that ended the winning streak."

No. 13 Va. Tech 26, Ark. St. 7: Logan Thomas threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns for the host Hokies, who are 3-0 for the first time since 2006. Down 7-0 in the first quarter, Virginia Tech forced an intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety. D.J. Coles then turned a swing pass into a 49-yard score.

UNC 28, Virginia 17: Ryan Houston ran for two touchdowns as the host Tar Heels won an ACC opener for the first time since 2000. His 1-yarder put North Carolina up 14-3 in the second. His 2-yarder made it 28-10 with 4:45 left in the third.

Duke 20, BC 19: Nate Freese missed a 23-yard field-goal attempt with 43 seconds left to seal visiting Duke's win. Sean Renfree tied a school record with 40 completions and scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 9:57 left. He threw 52 times for 359 yards and two touchdowns.

Ga. Tech 66, Kansas 24: The host Yellow Jackets had 604 rushing yards and 768 overall. Tech, which ran 50 times and threw seven, had three one-play scoring drives, including its first snap of each half. Orwin Smith ran five times for 157 yards, one for a 95-yard score, and caught two passes for 108 yards, including for a 67-yard touchdown.

N.C. State 35, South Ala. 13: Mike Glennon threw a career-high four touchdown passes for the host Wolfpack. Shortly after the Jaguars missed a 44-yard field-goal attempt, Curtis Underwood turned a short pass into a 67-yard touchdown that made it 28-10 with 1:14 left in the third.

Wake 48, Gardner-Webb 5: Tanner Price threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score for the host Deacons. The I-AA Bulldogs had five first downs.

Clemson 38

No. 21 Aub. 24

Champs cannot corral Clemson 09/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:56pm]

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