No. 12 Clemson powers past Ball State 52-27 - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

No. 12 Clemson powers past Ball State 52-27

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By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer

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.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

ABC News 4 contributed quotes to this story.

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