Oct. 27, 2007
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — James Davis backed up his guarantee of a Clemson victory, running for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tigers past Maryland 30-17 Saturday.
Clemson (6-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 20-3 at halftime and coasted. Cullen Harper threw two touchdown passes to tie the single-season school record of 21, set by Woodrow Dantzler in 2001 and matched by Charlie Whitehurst in 2003.
Maryland (4-4, 1-3) scored on its first drive, but lost the ball twice and committed several costly penalties as the Tigers built their lead in the first half. The Terrapins scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after Clemson went up 30-3.
Early in the week, Davis declared, “We’re going to win, guaranteed.” The junior tailback said he was merely responding to a comment by Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who said he “expects to win” despite fielding a team decimated by injuries.
Davis, who had 29 carries, led a running game that amassed 249 yards. C.J. Spiller gained 106 yards, and Harper went 20-for-26 for 179 yards.
Clemson is 31-1 under coach Tommy Bowden when rushing for at least 200 yards.
The previous three games in the series were decided by 4 points or fewer. This one, however, was far more lopsided than the final score would indicate.
The Tigers snapped a 3-3 tie midway through the second quarter after the Terrapins failed to convert a fourth-and-1 from the Clemson 48. Two rushes by Davis netted 19 yards, and Spiller ran for 5 yards before Harper threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Kelly.
On their next possession, the Tigers made it 17-3 on a 1-yard run by Davis.
The touchdown came after Maryland’s Adrian Moten jumped offside on a third-and-goal play from the 3. Harper had thrown an incomplete pass, but the Tigers cashed in on their second chance.
Minutes later, Clemson’s Crezdon Butler intercepted a pass and took it 17 yards to the Maryland 34. The Tigers had no timeouts left when Harper was sacked late in the half. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Maryland’s Christian Varner, though, provided Clemson with enough time for Mark Buchholtz to kick a 34-yard field goal.
Buchholtz added a 20-yarder in the third quarter, and Harper threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Michael Palmer with 12:02 left to make it 30-3.
The Terrapins didn’t cross midfield in the second half until the fourth quarter, when a 44-yard pass from Chris Turner to Adrian Cannon set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Lance Ball with 10:40 to go.
Keon Lattimore scored from the 1 with 1:23 left.
Davis ran for 40 yards on Clemson’s opening possession, but the Tigers came away empty when Buchholtz missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Following a field goal by Maryland’s Obi Egekeze, Harper fumbled at the Clemson 40. Turner subsequently gave it back with a fumble inside the 30, and Buchholtz kicked a field goal two plays after Maryland’s J.J. Justice dropped an interception in the end zone.
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