Tajh Boyd threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns in No. 10 Clemson's 45-10 victory over Maryland on Saturday, the Tigers' sixth straight and record 12th in a row at Death Valley.
Clemson (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had little trouble with the banged-up Terps (4-6, 2-4), who again started linebacker Shawn Petty at quarterback because of season-ending injuries to their four scholarship passers.
The Tigers ended things early as Boyd passed for a 13-yard touchdown to Adam Humphries and a 28-yard score to DeAndre Hopkins. In between, Clemson defensive end Corey Crawford brought a Petty fumble 16 yards for a touchdown as part of his team's 21-point first quarter.
Clemson star receiver Sammy Watkins left the game in the second quarter with a lower leg injury.
Watkins was hurt after a second-quarter catch and was kept out of the second half, although he did return to the sidelines in sweat pants.
The Tigers set the mark for most consecutive wins at Death Valley, surpassing the 11 straight won from 1937-42 and matched from 1989-91.
This one was a mismatch from the start, mostly because Maryland was still counting up its injured players. Besides the four scholarship quarterbacks lost for the season, Maryland was without leading tackler Demetrius Hartsfield because of a torn ACL and star freshman Stefon Diggs due to a bad ankle.
So it was little surprise things got out of hand early. The Tigers scored on their second possession, Humphries stretching out in the end zone to make his first career touchdown grab.
Twelve seconds later, Petty was chased down by defensive end Corey Crawford, who forced a fumble, scooped the ball up and went 16 yards for another score.
The span between TDs was the shortest in Clemson history, bettering the 14 seconds it took former star Derrick Hamilton to score twice against Duke in 2003.
And Clemson wasn't done. Petty fumbled again after he was sacked by Malliciah Goodman and the Tigers cashed in moments later on Boyd's 28-yard scoring pass to DeAndre Hopkins.
A Tigers mistake — Humphries muffed a punt catch inside his team's 20 — led to Maryland's lone score as Petty connected with Devonte Campbell. The Terrapins looked like they had something else going when they forced Boyd to fumble while driving for touchdown on their own 1 and tailback Brandon Ross followed with a 44-yard run to midfield.
However, Petty was sacked for a loss of 15, Maryland punted and Clemson began a 66-yard drive that ended on Andre Ellington's 6-yard touchdown run for a 35-7 lead.
It was the third straight game the Tigers put up 35 points or more in the half, a program first.
Clemson outgained Maryland 310 yards to 90 in the opening half.
Petty hung tough, but struggled against Clemson's defense. He finished 6 of 11 for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also fumbled twice.
Ross gained 100 yards on 16 carries for Maryland, whose 180 yards of offense were a season low.
The Tigers, defending ACC champions, need a miracle to return to the league's title games as Atlantic Division champions. No. 8 Florida State has to lose its remaining league contest — and it's against these same Terps — for Clemson to advance. If the Tigers can win out in the regular season — they have homes games left with North Carolina State and rival South Carolina the next two weeks — they'd likely receive consideration for a second-straight BCS slot.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.