Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Tigers prevail before FSU battle

CLEMSON, S.C. — It's time for No. 3 Clemson's second showdown this season. This one is even bigger than the first.

Six weeks after defeating then fifth-ranked Georgia to start the season, the Tigers and Tajh Boyd put together a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Boston College 24-14 Saturday, keeping them on course for next week's Atlantic Coast Conference contest with No. 6 Florida State.

"I'll definitely be watching," Boston College receiver Alex Amidon said.

Amidon and the Eagles nearly spoiled the party, keeping the Tigers out of synch offensively and using big plays to carry a 14-10 lead into the final quarter. But the Tigers fought back, Boyd's 6-yard TD run with 13:44 left putting them ahead for good.

National sack leader Vic Beasley sealed things a few moments later when he scooped Chase Rettig's fumble and took it 13 yards for a touchdown. The BC quarterback coughed up the ball after a big hit by linebacker Tony Steward.

Clemson held on to start 6-0 for the second time in three years.

"If you want to be a good team, you have to win games like this," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "We kept fighting and overcame mistakes."

The Tigers likely won't wriggle of the hook should they repeat the errors against the well-rested Seminoles, who had Saturday free and come off a 63-0 victory over Maryland in their last game.

Boyd also had a touchdown pass and finished with 334 passing yards to become the school's career leader with 9,814, surpassing Charlie Whitehurst. Boyd chose to focus on Clemson handling adversity and succeeding instead of a near defeat.

"I've been in that situation plenty of times," he said. "You've got to go back, reflect on it and you've got to lead."

NO. 24 VA. TECH 19, PITT 9: Logan Thomas and the Hokies are still searching for an offensive rhythm. With the way they're playing defense, what little the offense has managed to muster has been plenty.

Thomas threw an early touchdown, Cody Journell kicked four field goals and Virginia Tech sacked Pittsburgh's Tom Savage eight times to send the Hokies into their off week on a six-game winning streak.

The Hokies even got an assist from their state rival, Virginia, in their game plan, putting defensive lineman Dadi Nicolas in as a linebacker with one goal: get after the quarterback.

"(Virginia) did something similar with one of their guys and I guess they had a bunch of sacks," linebacker Jack Tyler said, speaking of Cavaliers linebacker Max Valles, who had two of Virginia's seven sacks against the Panthers.

The Hokies decided on a similar approach, and it worked. Nicolas had three sacks, defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins had two and four others had at least a share of one.

MARYLAND 27, UVA 26: Caleb Rowe threw for 332 yards and hit tight end Dave Stinebaugh for the go-ahead score with 5:14 left, and the host Terrapins escaped. Rowe's 12-yard touchdown pass made it 27-26. The Cavaliers moved to the Maryland 24 in the closing seconds before Alec Vozenilek's 42-yard field goal sailed wide right with 10 seconds left.

SYRACUSE 24, N.C. STATE 10: Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown for the Orange in its first ACC road game. Smith had 140 yards and ran for a 1-yard score in the first quarter, and Gulley ran for 132 yards and the 18-yard go-ahead score with 6:13 left, helping Syracuse pull away late.

DUKE 35, NAVY 7: Anthony Boone threw three touchdowns in his first game back from injury for the host Blue Devils. Boone, who missed three games with a broken collarbone, was 31-of-38 for a career-high 295 yards.

BYU 38, GA. TECH 20: Taysom Hill passed for 244 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 65 yards and another score to lead the host Cougars. Jamaal Williams added 86 yards and a touchdown as BYU beat the Yellow Jackets for the second straight season. The Cougars had 433 yards of total offense, 345 before halftime.

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