CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd tied a school record with five touchdown passes as No. 8 Clemson improved to 8-0 for the first time in 11 years with a 59-38 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.
Boyd matched Cullen Harper's 2007 mark on a day the Tigers celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1981 national championship.
Clemson led only 17-10 in the second quarter and had struggled to move the ball when defensive end Kourtnei Brown intercepted Bryn Renner's swing pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.
Later, Brown scooped up Renner's fumble and took it 26 yards for a touchdown to cap Clemson's 35-point third quarter. That matched a record set by the 1981 team's second-quarter output in an 82-24 beatdown of Wake Forest in that 12-0 season.
"They were talking to us about how our team is a lot like the '81 team," Clemson right tackle Landon Walker said. "And that's special … any time you can resemble a national championship team. There's a lot of excitement in the air about that."
Just as there was in 2000, the last time Clemson reached 8-0. But a week later, the Tigers were beaten by Georgia Tech and began a 1-3 slide to the finish. Clemson's next opponent? Georgia Tech.
Said coach Dabo Swinney: "We have to empty the tank this week in practice and then leave it all on the field at Georgia Tech."
No. 16 Va. Tech 30, BC 14: Logan Thomas threw for a touchdown and ran for one to help the host Hokies pull away in the second half. Up 7-6, David Wilson scored on a 42-yard run on Virginia Tech's first second-half possession. On its next two possessions, Thomas hit Marcus Davis for a 20-yard score and ran for a 1-yard score. Said Wilson of the first half: "I felt like we were getting away from what we do."
Wake 24, Duke 23: Receiver Chris Givens turned a short pass from Tanner Price into a 66-yard touchdown with 6:52 left to lift the visiting Demon Deacons to their 12th consecutive win in the series. It came one play after Will Snyderwine's third field goal of the game put Duke up 23-17. "I got upfield and saw I had some opportunities to make the play," Given said. "And I just wanted to get in the end zone."
N.C. State 28, Virginia 14: Mike Glennon threw three touchdowns for the visiting Wolfpack. Starting their fourth defensive line combination in six games because of injuries, the Wolfpack held Virginia to 124 yards rushing a week after it had 274 in an upset of Georgia Tech. "I think the difference was we stayed in our gaps," N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien said. "A lot of their stuff last week came at the perimeter, and that was one thing we weren't going to let them do."