Clemson scored three touchdowns on three straight drives of 86 or more yards in the second quarter as the second-ranked Tigers rolled to a 30-0 halftime lead over Syracuse.
Watson, who left the field early to have his shoulder looked at, guided the Tigers on drives of 95 and 89 yards and started an 86-yard scoring drive before going down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. Nick Schuessler came in a completed the drive with a 5-yard scoring pass to Artavis Scott with 1:27 left in the first half.
Before leaving the game, Watson for three touchdowns on 13 of 16 passing for 169 yards, while rushing for 39 yards. He had a one-yard touchdown run that gave Clemson a 10-0 lead with 3:47 to play in the first quarter. He then followed that with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Deon Cain and a 14-yard scoring pass to Mike Williams.
Clemson outgained the Orange 330 yards to 35 in the second quarter. The Tigers had 396 total yards in the first half.
Watson was not the only quarterback to leave the game early. Syracuse’s Eric Dungey left the game midway through the first quarter with what looked like a concussion after being hit by Ben Boulware and Dorian O’Daniel.
The Tigers forced two turnovers in the first half and had two sacks, while limiting the Orange to 111 total yards.
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