The Tigers improve to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the ACC while Duke falls to 1-8 overall and 0-6 in conference play.
The Blue Devils claimed a 7-0 lead seven minutes into the game when Thaddeus Lewis found Eron Riley for a seven-yard touchdown pass. The scoring toss – the eighth time Lewis has hooked up with Riley for a TD in 2007 – capped a six-play, 63-yard drive that lasted 2:21. Clemson responded by driving 54 yards on nine snaps for a 39-yard field goal by Mark Buchholz with 4:18 left in the opening quarter.
Clemson used a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cullen Harper to Aaron Kelly at the 8:34 mark of the second quarter to take a 10-7 advantage. The Tigers then scored 16 points in a 39-second span to claim a 26-7 lead at intermission. Harper's three-yard scoring run with 1:10 remaining in the half began the spurt, and the Tiger defense followed with a safety when Cortney Vincent tackled Lewis in the end zone. On the ensuing free kick, Clemson's C.J. Spiller darted 84 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to push the margin to 19 points.
After Michael Hamlin intercepted a Lewis pass to give Clemson possession, James Davis rushed 70 yards for a touchdown to increase the Tiger lead to 33-7 less than five minutes into the third period. With 47 seconds left in the third quarter, Harper found Kelly for a five-yard scoring throw to end an eight-play, 50-yard drive and push Clemson ahead, 40-7.
In the fourth quarter, Lewis engineered a 14-play, 60-yard drive that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by Nick Maggio, trimming the margin to 40-10 with 9:36 remaining in the game. The Tigers' Marcus Gilchrist returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to give them possession at the 14 yard line, and Clemson made the score 47-10 when Brian Linthicum hauled in a two-yard touchdown pass from Tribble Reese with 6:49 on the clock.
With his eight touchdown receptions on the year, Riley matches the sixth-highest single-season performance in Blue Devil history. He also moved into a tie for seventh place on Duke's career chart for touchdown grabs with 13. Lewis finished the game with 15 completions in 26 attempts for 160 yards.
Duke linebacker Michael Tauiliili recorded two quarterback sacks on the afternoon, and moved into a tie for eighth place on the school's all-time chart for tackles for loss with 30.0. Tauiliili paced the Blue Devils with a team-high 11 tackles while Leon Wright was credited with seven tackles and three pass breakups.
Clemson was led by Harper, who hit on 17-of-26 throws for 184 yards while Davis finished with 118 yards on eight rushing attempts.
Next Saturday, Duke will celebrate Senior Day by hosting Georgia Tech. Kickoff at Wallace Wade Stadium is set for 1 p.m. The Yellow Jackets stand at 5-4 overall and 2-4 in league play following their 27-3 home loss to Virginia Tech this past Thursday night.
After entertaining the Yellow Jackets, Duke will close the season with consecutive road tilts at Notre Dame (Nov. 17; 2:30 p.m.; NBC) and North Carolina (Nov. 24; Time & TV TBA).