Quoteboard: Clemson 52 Ball State 27

CLEMSON - The recipe to beat Ball State was quite simple, really. Jump out to an early lead and don't look back.

"That's kind of what we wanted to emphasize throughout the game just being consistent with what type of team we were," said Tajh Boyd, who completed 19 of 23 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

The Tigers wanted to keep momentum moving in the right direction, especially after last weekend's win in Atlanta.

"Coach challenged us throughout the week, how we would respond from a win like Auburn," Boyd said. "I think we responded just as well as we could. We scored a touchdown on five out of the first six drives."

Clemson jumped out to a 13-0 lead, thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns by Andre Ellington.

After Spencer Benton's 61-yard field goal sailed through the uprights, Clemson closed the first half with a commanding 45-10 lead.

Just what the head coach ordered.

"You're coming off an emotional win. A lot of people talking about [we're] going to have a let down, this and that," Dabo Swinney said. "Playing a team that's, obviously, excited to come here and play...our guys came to play.

"We talked about setting the tone early, and they did that. They set the tone early. The opening two drives were just outstanding in every regard. Defensively, we got a couple of big turnovers. Those turnovers led to 14 points.

"That's the way it ought to be. At halftime, we were really in control of the football game. I think it's the most points in a half here since 1981, so that's setting the tone. That's playing to a standard, not anything else."

Ball State's ground game...


"It's frustrating. We've got to play better." - Brent Venables

"We're still learning some stuff. We've got a lot of young guys in there playing significant snaps for the first time. Sometimes, we don't fit things exactly right. We're not quite where we need to be, from a gap standpoint." - Swinney

"I just through they ran with way too much consistency for my liking. It all starts in the run game. It's about toughness. It's about being physical. It's who you are as a defensive coach.

"It wasn't a trick play. They were running the zone. We've got to get them better. Teach them about fundamentals and technique. It starts with us. It's a long season, so hopefully we make improvement that way. We need to." - Venables

Record field goal by Benton...


"It went through, it was just kind of surreal. I've always dreamed of something like that. To see it happen, I'm humbled by the experience. It's awesome." - Benton

"Spencer, you're not going to find too many guys with a stronger leg than him. He's not always accurate. You've never got to worry about him getting it there." - Swinney

"Last week we had the opportunity against Auburn, 56 or 55 -- somewhere in there. And I went out there, it was my first attempt at a long field goal and hooked it left.

"I was like, 'Man, if I could have another go at it, I'd make it.' I just asked God to keep me calm and confident just trusted my preparation. Great up front blocking going on. Michael Sobeski had a flawless snap. Chandler Catanzaro with the perfect hold, everything clicked. It was awesome." - Benton

Two scores for 23...


"That was big for him. He didn't have a touchdown last week. For him to come out and get two right off the bat, it felt like it couldn't have started any better." - Boyd

"He was going to get in the end zone, I was going to make sure of that. Of course, we're calling plays and making sure he's there. But I was proud of Andre [Ellington] tonight, I really was -- in a limited role." - Morris

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