CLEMSON, S.C. — With a little "Thunder" and "Lightning," Clemson showed who's tops in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Behind James "Thunder" Davis, C.J. "Lightning" Spiller and a defense that held Georgia Tech star Calvin Johnson without a catch for the first time in his career, the 12th-ranked Tigers got a surprisingly easy 31-7 victory over the 13th-ranked Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
The powerful Davis rushed for a career high 216 yards and two touchdowns. The quick, elusive Spiller had a 50-yard touchdown run and a 50-yard touchdown catch. And the Tigers defense made sure they didn't hear Johnson's name very much in the game after hearing it all week long at practice.
"If I had a nickel for every time they said, 'Calvin Johnson,' I'd have a lot of money in my pocket," Clemson linebacker Antonio Clay said.
Davis and Spiller proved that some of the league's best offensive stars belong to Clemson, which improved to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
Davis, the ACC's leading rusher, got the Tigers scoring started with a two-yard touchdown run and finished with his seventh career 100-yard rushing game. Spiller had a 50-yard scoring run in the third quarter and answered the only touchdown by the Yellow Jackets (5-2, 3-1) with a 50-yard catch and run to help Clemson to its sixth straight win.
Davis is an Atlanta native who talked quite a bit this week about having a big game against his hometown school. "I wanted this one a lot," he said. "I thought about it all the time."
He gained 66 of Clemson's 71 yards on its first touchdown drive, ending it with a two-yard scoring run. In the second half, with Clemson ahead, 10-0, Davis opened the series with a 22-yard run and Spiller finished it a play later with the first of his two 50-yard scores.
"It's a pretty good feeling to have running backs like James Davis and C.J. Spiller," Clemson offensive lineman Barry Richardson said. "When you have two backs making plays like they did tonight, it makes us tough to beat."