Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clemson stakes its claim

RALEIGH, N.C. — Dabo Swinney isn't spending much time thinking of where third-ranked Clemson will be in this week's first College Football Playoff standings.

The coach is pushing Deshaun Watson and that humming-along offense to focus on the first step to get there: winning the division race.

Watson accounted for six touchdowns and the Tigers put up a second straight big score on the road in Saturday's 56-41 win at North Carolina State.

The first playoff standings will be released Tuesday night, then the Tigers host Florida State next weekend to try to clinch the Atlantic Division crown and a trip to the ACC title game.

"We're 8-0," Swinney said. "That's really all that matters for us, that we've got a chance to clinch our division with a win over the team that's been the best team in this conference the last few years."

One thing is sure: the Tigers' offense is rolling.

A week after piling up 567 yards in a 58-0 win at Miami, Clemson finished with 623 yards against a defense ranked third nationally and allowing 251 per outing.

Watson threw for 383 yards and five scores and ran for 54 yards and a touchdown. Wayne Gallman ran for 172 yards and a touchdown for Clemson, which put together a lightning-strike scoring drive right before halftime to go ahead for good.

"We're just executing," Watson said. "We listen to our coaches and what they have planned. We just go out there and play ball and have fun."

The Tigers were never seriously threatened in the final 20 minutes, leading by 20 on their way to an 11th straight victory dating to last season.

UVA 27, GA. TECH 21: The end couldn't come fast enough for Canaan Severin.

"My nerves are shot," the Cavaliers' senior wide receiver said. "My nerves can't take it any more."

Severin caught a go-ahead 30-yard touchdown from Matt Johns, and host Virginia's defense held off a late surge. The victory wasn't secured until Justin Thomas' fourth-and-4 pass was knocked away with just more than a minute left.

VA. TECH 26, BC 10: Michael Brewer threw a first-quarter touchdown and linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka returned a fumble 34 yards for a score early in the second, carrying the visiting Hokies. Joey Slye kicked four field goals for Virginia Tech, which led 20-0 at halftime.

Clemson stakes its claim 10/31/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2015 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …