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Watson, Clemson shake off Orange

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — DeShaun Watson made sure Clemson stayed on track for a shot at the national championship.

The sophomore also kept his name in the Heisman Trophy conversation, accumulating 461 total yards and accounting for three touchdowns to help the top-ranked Tigers hold off Syracuse 37-27 on Saturday.

"We didn't think we were going to come up here and just walk through and pick up a big win," said Watson, who threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 101 yards and a score. "We had to earn it. They came out and were pushing us and played 'til the end. Glad to have this one and move on to the next."

The Tigers reached 10 victories for the fifth straight season and are 10-0 for the first time since they won their only national championship in 1981. With 13 straight wins, the Tigers also have their longest winning streak in 34 years.

Watson completed 34 of 47 passes against a team that has lost seven straight. Syracuse put up a good fight for embattled coach Scott Shafer but fell to 1-10 against No. 1 teams.

"There are a bunch of fighters in that room," Shafer said. "We stay true to who we are, and that's a team that will continue to play until the last whistle. Disappointed in the loss, but proud of the fact that the kids played extremely hard."

Syracuse made a game of it from the start, forcing two early fumbles and repeatedly finding gaping holes in the Clemson defensive line with walk-on Zack Mahoney at quarterback in his second career start. The Orange rushed for 242 yards and scored its three touchdowns on the ground against a team that had allowed nine rushing scores.

NO. 6 N. DAME 28, WAKE 7: Josh Adams scored on a 98-yard run, the longest scoring play from scrimmage in Fighting Irish history, and defensive end Andrew Trumbetti scored on a 28-yard interception as host Notre Dame overcame a struggling offense. Adams started and ran for 141 yards with Irish leading rusher C.J. Prosise sidelined while recovering from a concussion.

PITT 31, DUKE 13: Nate Peterman tied a career high with three touchdown passes for the visiting Panthers. Qadree Ollison had 111 yards rushing and a late 1-yard TD to help Pitt snap a two-game losing streak and keep its slim Coastal Division hopes alive.

LOUISVILLE 38, UVA 31: Brandon Radcliff rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns for the host Cardinals, who broke open a 24-24 game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Watson, Clemson shake off Orange 11/14/15 [Last modified: Saturday, November 14, 2015 9:33pm]
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