No. 12 Clemson powers past Ball State 52-27


CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - DeAndre Hopkins caught three touchdown passes, Andre Ellington rushed for two scores and Spencer Benton kicked a 61-yard field goal to set an Atlantic Coast Conference record in No. 12 Clemson's 52-27 victory over Ball State on Saturday.

"We were coming off an emotional game last week. They did a great job setting the tone early with some great drives. We scored the most points in a half of any Clemson team since 1981," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.

Ellington's two short TD runs helped the Tigers (2-0) get off to a fast start, and Tajh Boyd found Hopkins for touchdown passes of 13, 34 and 15 yards in the second period to help increase the lead to 35-10.

"It just felt great to come out and make plays for my team. Coach (Chad) Morris trusts me to put the ball in my hands. I just wanted to come out for my team," said Hopkins.

Benton finished the Tigers' 45-point half with his record-setting kick as time ran out.

"Last week we had an opportunity against Auburn, 55 or 56 yards and I went out there and it was my first attempt at a long field goal, and I hooked it left. I was thinking, 'Man, if I could have another go at it I could make it.' I just asked God to keep me calm and confident and trust my preparation. Great, great up-field blocking by my teammates. Michael Sobeski had a flawless snap. Chandler Catanzaro with the perfect hold. Everything clicked, and it was awesome. I was just glad to see it go through and over. It was just ecstatic from there," said Benton.

Ball State (1-1) had hoped to use its fast-paced attack to keep up. But Keith Wenning threw two interceptions, both which led to Clemson scores.

"I'm proud of our overall performance, but there is still a lot we can improve on.{} It was a good game to grow on.{} We can play to the standard we have set," said Swinney.

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ABC News 4 contributed quotes to this story.