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(Saturday, September 8th)
Final Score: (12) Clemson 52, Ball State 27
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Tajh Boyd threw three touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins in 12th-ranked Clemson's 52-27 thumping of Ball State on Saturday.
Boyd completed 19-of-23 passes for 229 yards, while Hopkins, who had 13 receptions for 119 yards and a score last week, hauled in six balls for 105 yards for the reigning ACC-champion Tigers (2-0), who have won eight straight home games.
"He has been continuing to mature as a player," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "During the spring and summer he was able to look at himself as a player, and has learned to operate within the system. He has come in with the mindset to be a great quarterback this season."
Spencer Benton nailed a school-record, 61-yard field goal to cap a 45-point Clemson first half.
"They're fast," Ball State head coach Pete Lembo. "They were fast on film, they were fast today, and they'll be fast tomorrow."
Horactio Banks carried the ball seven times for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Cardinals (1-1), who defeated Eastern Michigan in their season opener last week.
Keith Wenning threw for 128 yards and two interceptions on 16-of-29 efficiency.
Andre Ellington ran for a pair of scores on each of Clemson's first two drives, four and two yards, respectively, which helped the Tigers jump out to a 13-0 lead. Chandler Catanzara missed the extra point on the Tigers' initial touchdown.
A Banks 54-yard TD scamper and 45-yard Steven Schott field goal, sandwiched around a Hopkins 13-yard TD reception and successful two-point conversion, made it 21-10 in favor of Clemson early in the second quarter.
Clemson then seized control after scoring the final 24 points of the opening half.
Hopkins caught TD passes of 34 and 15 yards, respectively, before a Roderick McDowell 27-yard rushing score and Benton's 61-yard field goal gave Clemson a 45-10 advantage heading into the locker room.
Banks ran it in from 21 yards out on Ball State's opening series of the second half and Schott's 33-yard field goal later in the frame cut the deficit to 45-20.
In the final stanza, Clemson backup quarterback Cole Stoudt found Martavis Bryant for a 22-yard score, while Toney Williams plunged in from two yards to conclude the scoring.
McDowell finished with 59 yards on eight carries, while Ellington ran the ball 13 times for 41 yards ... Clemson had 526 yards of offense, racking up over 500 for the second straight week ... Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins is set to return next Saturday against Furman after missing the first two games due to a drug arrest.
09/08 18:36:35 ET