Ranking Dabo's wins: 15

Thanks to a primetime performances by Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd, No. 8 Clemson escaped from College Park unscathed in 2011.

15.) Oct. 15, 2011


Clemson 56 Maryland 45

What happened
Touchdowns. A whole bunch of them.

Tajh Boyd threw four scoring passes while Watkins scored three times as the Tigers rallied from an 18-point deficit to remain undefeated on the 2011 campaign.

Clemson trailed 28-10 late in the first half and 35-17 in the third quarter before clawing their way back.

Boyd completed 26 for 38 passes for 270 yards. Watkins' 345 all-purpose yards set a school record.

Andre Ellington rushed for a career-high 212 yards and two touchdowns.

As a whole, the Tigers racked up 576 yards.


Dabo Swinney lost while on his first trip to Maryland as Clemson's head coach.
They gave up plenty, too.

Maryland totaled 468 yards. In his first college start, sophomore quarterback C.J. Brown rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown and threw for three more.

The Terps led 28-17 at halftime.

After Brown threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Furstenburg to put Maryland up 45-42, Watkins scored on an 89-yard kickoff return that gave Clemson a 49-45 lead with 7:24 left in the game.

Ellington sealed the deal with a 44-yard scoring run.

The Clemson offense may have stolen the show, but it was an interception from Bashaud Breeland that helped push things in the right direction.

As Clemson trailed 35-17 with 12:06 left in the third quarter, the Tigers' redshirt freshman returned a interception to the Maryland 15, setting up a touchdown pass.

Boyd's 13-yard strike to Watkins started a 39-10 Clemson run, to close the game.

The stakes
College Park had been a regular house of horrors for Clemson. The Tigers lost 24-21 on the previous trip to a team that won just one other game all season.

The 2011 Maryland team also won just two games all season.

If Clemson lost, the Tigers' push towards the top spot in the BCS rankings would have been derailed by a much lesser opponent. A potential at-large BCS berth would have been nearly impossible to attain with a loss to Maryland.

Before and After
Clemson ran out to a 6-0 record [3-0 ACC] before the trip to Maryland.

The Tigers won the following week's date with North Carolina then dropped the game No. 8 to Georgia Tech.

Dabo Swinney led Clemson to a 10-4 record and the school's first ACC Championship in over 20 years.


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