The future of the program

The future of the program

Football

The future of the program

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By Will Vandervort

Mike Williams scored more than 30 touchdowns in his high school career, so he is used to getting into the end zone. But in No. 3 Clemson’s 56-7 over Wake Forest Saturday, the freshman wide receiver liked the feeling of scoring his first touchdown in a Clemson uniform. And he is hoping it becomes the norm.

Williams caught his first career touchdown just before halftime when he hauled in quarterback Tajh Boyd’s 14-yard pass with 29 seconds left in the second quarter, which gave the Tigers a 35-7 lead at the time.

“That first Clemson touchdown was great,” he said.

That first Clemson touchdown almost did not happen. Two plays earlier, Williams ran the same route and was wide open, but Boyd missed him. So when he went over to the sideline he told Morris how open he was so Morris called the same play again, and this time Williams got his touchdown.

Williams was one of three young players to score his first career touchdown as Tigers on Saturday. Tight end Jordan Leggett hauled in an 18-yard pass from Cole Stoudt in the third quarter, while running back C.J. Davidson also scored. He scored twice on one-yard runs.

“We don’t want one guy to go out there and score all the touchdowns,” Boyd said. “We try to make sure everybody eats a piece of the pie. It was great for those guys. These guys are the future of the program and this will help them build that confidence.

“It is great to see those guys go out there and perform.”

Quarterback controversy? Boyd may have set the all-time record for total touchdowns and total offense, but he has nothing on backup quarterback Cole Stoudt.

In Stoudt’s last two games, he has completed 29 of 31 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns. He has more touchdown passes than incompletions during this stretch.

Stoudt was 10 of 11 for 90 yards and one touchdown—Leggett’s 18-yard score—in Saturday’s win over Wake Forest.

Dominance. Clemson is now 61-17-1 all-time against Wake Forest, including a 31-5 record at Memorial Stadium. The Tigers have now won five straight games in the series overall and seven straight at Clemson.

Dominance II. In four career games against Wake Forest, Boyd has recorded 1,255 yards of total offense. That is the Clemson record for total offense against the same opponent in a career. The previous record was 1,127 yards by Woodrow Dantzler against NC State from 1998-2001.

Homecoming victims. Clemson is 67-20-3 all-time on Homecoming, including a 37-4-2 mark since 1971.

Perfect. The Tigers are now 66-0-1 all-time when recording at least 500 yards of total offense. Clemson also had 512 yards of total offense in their last home game against South Carolina State.

Clemson was also 6-for-6 in the red zone in today’s game. The Tigers are now 16-for-16 on the season in red zone opportunities.

A lot of points. Clemson’s 56 points in today’s game are the second most ever scored by the Tigers against Wake Forest. The most scored by Clemson against the Demon Deacons came in 1981 when the Tigers scored 82 points, which is the Clemson record for points against an ACC opponent.

Total offense record. Boyd threw for 311 yards and rushed for 69 to give him 9,971 career yards of total offense in today’s game. With that, he became Clemson’s all-time leader in total offense. He also passed former Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner to move into fourth place in ACC history in career total offense.

Boyd’s 311 passing yards in today’s game gave him 9,047 for his career. He is just the second Clemson quarterback and 11th quarterback in ACC history to throw for at least 9,000 yards.

Boyd also threw three touchdown passes in the game to give him 82 for his career. That moved him into sole possession of second place in ACC history for passing touchdowns in a career. He trails only Philips Rivers for the ACC record, who threw 95 touchdown passes in his career at NC State.

He also rushed for a touchdown to give him 102 total touchdown responsibilities for his career. He is just the second player in ACC history to be responsible for at least 100 touchdowns. He also trails Philip Rivers for the ACC record in that category, who accounted for 112 touchdowns in his career.

Boyd’s rushing touchdown gives him 20 rushing touchdowns for his career. He is the third Clemson quarterback and ninth quarterback in ACC history to rush for at least 20 touchdowns.

Boyd broke the Clemson record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception. He has attempted 166 straight passes without an interception. The previous record was 165 by Cullen Harper in 2007.

Second place. With the win, Boyd ties Charlie Whitehurst for second place in Clemson history for wins by a starting quarterback with 25. This comes on the day that Boyd passed Whitehurst to become Clemson’s all-time leader in total offense.

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