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Not Georgia's night

The Tigers celebrate during Saturday night's game against Georgia, which Clemson won, 38-35.

The Tigers celebrate during Saturday night's game against Georgia, which Clemson won, 38-35.

Tajh Boyd accounted for five touchdowns and Sammy Watkins racked up 127 receiving yards and a score as the Tigers defeated the visiting Bulldogs in a season-opening showdown between teams with BCS aspirations, 38-35.

In a matchup of Heisman Trophy hopefuls, Boyd got the best of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the biggest game of college football's opening weekend. Boyd finished 18-of-30 for 270 yards and three touchdowns - and ran for two scores - while Murray was 20-of-29 for 323 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

While the quarterbacks served as the pregame headliners, the running backs proved to be no slouch. Sophomore sensation Todd Gurley fueled Georgia's offense with 154 yards on only 12 carries, and Roderick McDowell sparked Clemson with 132 yards on 22 attempts.

The teams went back and forth in a thrilling first quarter, with Boyd throwing a pair of TD passes and Georgia answering each time with a rushing score. The premier sequence came when Gurley ran for a 75-yard touchdown and Watkins answered with a 77-yard catch-and-run TD on the next play from scrimmage.

The game was tied 21-21 at halftime before Boyd threw two TDs in the second half, including a 9-yard strike to Stanton Seckinger with 7:40 remaining to put the Tigers ahead by 10. Murray's 1-yard TD plunge made it 38-35 with 1:19 to play, but Clemson recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Georgia had a chance to tie the game at 31-31 in the final seconds of the third quarter, but the snap was high and the Bulldogs were unable to attempt the short field goal. ... Georgia actually outgained Clemson, 545-467, and held the ball for more than 32 minutes. ... This was only the second time in his last 23 games that Murray did not throw at least one touchdown pass.