Posted by Chip Patterson
CLEMSON WON. Only once in Clemson's storied history had the Tigers battled back from a 18+ point deficit before Saturday. It was a 1992 victory on the road against Virginia, and the Tigers went on to finish the season 5-6. That comeback will never compare to Clemson's 39-point second half against Maryland to stay undefeated and atop the ACC standings. Trailing 35-17 in the third quarter, the Tigers' proved to be more explosive than the scrappy Terps and pulled away late to spoil Homecoming with a 56-45 win.
HOW CLEMSON WON: After playing out of rhythm and out of character in the first half, Tajh Boyd got going after the break and kickstarted the Clemson comeback. Boyd was 14 for 18 passing in the second half of play, adding three touchdowns to his total of four and avoiding another costly turnover. Clemson's defense didn't play outstanding, but they delivered enough stops on third down to give Clemson's surging offense opportunities to climb back into the game.
WHEN CLEMSON WON: After Clemson's electrifying comeback, Maryland finally answered with a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Furstenburg took a third down catch 32 yards for a score to return to the lead to the Terps, who jumped ahead 45-42. On the following kickoff, Nick Ferrara decided to put the ball in the hands of Sammy Watkins. Watkins' 89 yard kickoff return deflated the home crowd and etched his name in Clemson's history forever. The touchdown put the Tigers ahead for good, and solidified Watkins as the most outstanding freshman in college football.
WHAT CLEMSON WON: Throughout the game, the discussion of Clemson "pulling a Clemson" ran rampant. But the Tigers' unlikely comeback may not have just been a one-game occurrence. This could (and I mean could) be a sign of a special year for Clemson football. At 7-0, the Tigers are the only undefeated team left in the ACC. The target will be on their back for the rest of the season, but if they can battle back like they did on Saturday there could be great things in the future for Dabo and this young team of playmakers.
WHAT MARYLAND LOST: An opportunity for a much-needed "signature win." Maryland's dramatic victory over Miami seems like it was a year ago, and this Terps team has shown troubling inconsistencies since that Labor Day win. C.J. Brown will likely be Randy Edsall's first-choice quarterback moving forward, but 2-4 Maryland will need to pull together some big wins to return to a bowl game.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Sammy Watkins' 345 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns were not only electric and a game-changer for the Tigers, it was also the best all-purpose output in school history. It's just his seventh game in college football, and Watkins has already broken a C.J. Spiller-held record.
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QUICK HITS: No. 8 Clemson 56, Maryland 45
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 11:06 pm