His counterpart in the starting 11, Bashaud Breeland, didn't make the trip to Wake Forest because of an abdominal strain.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables was left with one veteran, Xavier Brewer and a hodge-podge group, including Garry Peters, Cortez Davis, former walk-on Dante Stewart and wide receiver Adam Humphries.
"It was good. I was pleased with their effort, their attitude," Venables said. "Their position on the ball was good. They competed and just did what they were supposed to do, so happy with those, their effort."
Clemson's cornerback rotation took another hit in the second half when Peters, who started the game, went down with a hip injury.
Personnel shortages be damned, the Clemson defense turned in a solid performance against Wake Forest.
The Tigers sacked Tanner Price five times and held the Demon Deacons to just to 290 yards of total offense, setting season bests in both categories.
"It's just improving, not thinking about the past," Brewer said. "We didn't play too well in the first half of the season, but this is the second half of the season. For the most part, every game we've played well in the second half of most games.
"We just want to carry that over to the second half of the season. That's just the mindset, just go out and have the offense's back, a team effort."
Boyd's record setting night…
"He was just throwing the ball perfectly, like he did in practice all week. He executed all the plays and played within the system. He just made some great balls to me, Martavis [Bryant], Nuk [Hopkins] and also Charone [Peake]." - Sammy Watkins
"Tajh was just lights out. He got a little sloppy in the third quarter, but set a school record for passing yards." - Swinney
"We were trying to get nine yards, because he's never had a 400-yard game. We had it on first-down but had a drop. Second down, had a batted ball, third-down, he got it. That was his last play, whether he got it or not. It was great to see. He's put a lot of effort in." - Chad Morris
Exorcising the Thursday night Demon Deacons…"The whole Thursday night thing is about the same thing as playing in Atlanta. We're just glad we got those two out of the way and kind of busted that myth. If we go out and play our style of football, it shouldn't matter." - Freeman
"I was joking with coach Swinney on the sideline. We're 2-9 on Thursday night now…it just feels good. We're breaking barriers. People didn't think we could win in Atlanta. We were able to go there and do that. The Thursday night curse, I guess they were 4-0 on Thursday nights." - Brewer
"Good to get a win on Thursday night. Everybody's been reminding me all week that Clemson is 1-9 on Thursday night games. Maybe we can start a new tradition of having a chance to win all those games. I came out and made sure they didn't line the field differently or anything like that. The hash marks were still the same and it was 10 yards to get a first-down, all that." - Swinney