CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd threw for a career high 397 yards and DeAndre Hopkins had 173 yards receiving as No. 15 Clemson beat Georgia Tech 47-31 on Saturday.
The shootout expected with two struggling defenses materialized. The Tigers (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) gained 601 yards, while the Yellow Jackets (2-4, 1-3) gained 483 yards.
Boyd threw for two touchdowns, including a 35-yard touchdown to Hopkins that put Clemson up 38-31 with 10-29 left in the game.
Georgia Tech bobbled the kickoff and started its next possession at the 2 yard line. Tigers linebacker Spencer Shuey sniffed out an option pitch two plays later for a safety that crushed the Yellow Jackets' chances. It was the first time either team led by more than a touchdown.
Orin Smith was tackled for a safety. It was his only bad play — he gained 117 yards on seven carries.
Georgia Tech had a chance to get back in the game. Linebacker Daniel Drummond picked off a tipped pass with 8:32 to go. The Yellow Jackets drove to the Tigers 20, but David Scully's 37-yard field goal was blocked by Josh Watson.
Along with completing 26 of 41 passes, Boyd also ran for a touchdown and caught one pass — a 2-point conversion. The ball was snapped to running back Andre Ellington, who pitched to Hopkins, who threw the pass to Boyd. The points were critical, because Clemson would take a nine-point lead after the safety.
The offenses were expected to dominate. Clemson came in allowing 1,087 yards in its past two games, and the Yellow Jackets had allowed 1,119 yards in their last two games.
Both teams chewed up yards. There were only two punts, with one per team. Georgia Tech couldn't even stop Clemson at the end, with Roderick McDowell running a yard for a touchdown with 50 seconds to go. The Tigers ran 93 plays, while Georgia Tech had just 60.
Clemson's offense hummed for the most part. The Tigers only struggled when they got close to the end zone, settling for three field goals and three touchdowns on six trips inside the Georgia Tech 6 yard line.
Hopkins caught seven passes, two of them for touchdowns. Ellington gained 82 yards on 24 carries, while Sammy Watkins, back from missing a game with a virus, caught six passes for 42 yards and ran twice for four yards,
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney improved to 2-4 against the Yellow Jackets.
Tevin Washington ran for 104 yards 16 carries and completed nine of 14 passes for 144 yards for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets' 2-4 start is its worst since they went 1-10 in 1994.