Both teams chewed up yards. There were only two punts, with one per team. Georgia Tech couldn't even stop Clemson at the end, with Roderick McDowell running a yard for a touchdown with 50 seconds to go.
"If we take a knee right now, I was going to be disappointed," Boyd said of the last drive. "I know it's sportsmanship, but at the same time, we got down there, we've got to go get it. This is a rivalry game for us."
The rivalry has recently been slanted Georgia Tech's way. Even with the win, Swinney is 2-4 against the Yellow Jackets.
Clemson's offense hummed for the most part. The Tigers only struggled when they got close to the end zone, settling for three field goals and three touchdowns on six trips inside the Georgia Tech 6 yard line. Clemson was 13-of-19 on third down, but three they failed to convert were with goal to go.
Sammy Watkins, back from missing a because of a virus, caught six passes for 42 yards and ran twice for four yards.
Georgia Tech's 2-4 start is its worst since they went 1-10 in 1994.
"Right now we've got to play close to perfect," Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson said. "Clearly we have to score more points."
Along with completing 26 of 41 passes, Boyd also ran for a touchdown and caught one pass — a 2-point conversion. The ball was snapped to running back Andre Ellington, who pitched to Hopkins, who threw the pass to Boyd. The points were critical, because Clemson would take a nine-point lead after the safety.
Boyd also set a school record for career touchdown passes with 51, beating Charlie Whitehurst's 49 TD passes.
After the game, Swinney heaped praise on his quarterback, saying he does what every coach wants a player to do — get better with every game.
"That's where he had grown the most as a football player. Last year, when he would struggle at times, he would go out and it was like, I've got to get it all right now. He couldn't go to the next play. He's still ticked off about the last series," Swinney said. "But he's grown beyond that."
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