Tigers Pound Hapless Owls

CHARLOTTE – The three main objectives heading into the expected blowout against Temple were achieved by the Clemson football team. The Tigers won, played a lot of young players and escaped without a single injury.

While the second two goals weren't fully achieved until the game was officially over, the outcome was determined by the end of the first quarter.

In its biggest blowout of the season, and that's saying something, No. 12 Clemson easily won 63-9 Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium, in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

"Our young guys got valuable playing time," Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said. "Our second team offensive line was in there in the first quarter. …

"When you've had as many injuries as we've had, that's a big thing not having any."

With the win, the Tigers (6-1, 2-1 ACC) become bowl eligible, not that it was ever a concern heading into the season.

"That's our objective," Bowden said. "That's one goal we can scratch off."

The game was as easy for the Tigers as the score suggested. In fact, it may have been easier.

Tailback James Davis had only nine carries and had 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns. All of that came in the first half.

His night was capped off by a 64-yard touchdown run for a touchdown with 3:57 left in the first half. The 64-yard run tied the longest run of his short career.

"I'd have to say that no games have been this easy," Davis said. "I was always looking forward to this game to have a big game. I just wanted to get a couple of stats and get couple of reads."

Demerick Chancellor had 114 yard rushing and a touchdown, while C.J. Spiller added 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

As a team, Clemson ran for 337 yards on just 45 carries.

"This was the type of game we wanted it to be," offensive guard Nathan Bennett said. "Our running backs did exactly what we expected them to do. To score early and often like that really gives the offense confidence. We felt like we could score almost every time we got the ball."

Well, as a matter of fact, the Tigers nearly did as they reached the end zone on their first eight possessions.

Quarterback Will Proctor was 8-of-9 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns. All of that, too, came in the first half.

Defensively, the Owls (0-7) had just 84 yards of total offense at halftime. They increased that number to 221 by the end of the game, but nearly all of that came against the third and fourth teamers.

Oddly enough, it was Temple that struck first when Jake Brownell booted a 27-yard field goal with 13:03 left in the first quarter. It was just the second time all season it has held a lead.

The Owls had gotten into that position on two plays – a 53-yard kickoff return and a 30-yard reverse. The success of the plays prompted some of those in the stands to boo.

But Clemson scored the next 63 points, 21 of which came in the first quarter and 49 of which came by halftime.

"This is the best Clemson team that I've faced," said Temple head coach Al Golden, who joined Temple this season after being an assistant at Virginia. "They are running the ball with power and authority right now, and that's the difference. … It was a completely different look than the last time (Virginia) played them in 2004. James Davis is an elite player. He's an All-American in my mind."

Up next for the Tigers is No. 13 Georgia Tech, which has beaten Clemson each of the last two years.

"We haven't played a game like this with a lot on the line at Clemson in a long time," Bowden said. "Neither team will have to get motivated very much."

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