SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame got one first-place vote in the coaches' poll last week — coach Brian Kelly's. Saturday against Wake Forest, his team reinforced his faith in it.
Everett Golson threw three touchdowns and Cierre Wood scored on a 68-yard run as the No. 3 Irish routed Wake Forest 38-0 to keep their national title hopes alive.
"I voted them No. 1 for a reason; because I think they're the best team in the country," Kelly said. "I think they played like that."
Kelly, who saw his 12-0 Cincinnati team left out of the BCS title game in 2009, said he has no doubt his 11-0 team deserves to play for the title if it wins the season finale at USC. That's all he wants his players focused on.
"They cannot do anything else but beat USC," Kelly said. "The rest is up to other people to decide."
Wake coach Jim Grobe believes the Irish have as much right as anybody to be there.
"No question about it. But maybe a couple of others should be, too. That's kind of the deal right now," Grobe said. "I can't imagine anybody from what I saw playing any better than Notre Dame. They impressed me. I think they're as good as any team in the country."
Boyd leads Clemson's huge offensive day
CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd threw for five touchdowns and ran for three as No. 11 Clemson beat N.C. State 62-48.
The Tigers gained 754 yards, 2 off the school record, and the 110 points were seven off the ACC record set last week by Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
Down 24-13 early in the second quarter, Clemson scored 42 straight. Boyd was responsible for every touchdown. The junior was 30-for-44 for 426 yards and ran for 105 yards. The combined 531 yards set another school record.
"Any time you see smiles throughout the game, it's fun," he said.
"Overall, it was a fun game."
Ga. Tech 42, Duke 24: Tevin Washington threw for three touchdowns and ran for one for the host Yellow Jackets, who kept alive hopes of reaching the ACC title game. Miami must lose to Duke on Saturday. Tech led 28-24 when it went on an 18-play drive that lasted 8:31. The only pass was Washington's 8-yard touchdown to Robert Godhigh 4:43 into the fourth. Georgia Tech has won three in a row since starting 3-5. Said coach Paul Johnson: "After the way the season started and everybody kind of wrote it off, I'm proud of these guys for hanging in there and fighting."
Va. Tech 30, BC 23 OT: Logan Thomas threw two touchdowns, including a 7-yarder to Randall Dunn in overtime, and ran for one for the visiting Hokies. Tech, which trailed 13-3 at halftime and 23-20 late, drove 62 yards in 10 plays, Cody Journell's 41-yard field goal tying it with 1:05 left. Dunn's touchdown was his only catch of the day. "It's a play we run in practice every Thursday in late-game situations and two-point conversion situations," he said. "I gave the move I'd normally give a scout-team guy, and the defender bit on it."