Clemson, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Cole Stoudt threw for 209 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions to help the 21st-ranked Clemson Tigers to a 16-6 win over the Syracuse Orange in a sloppy game from Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Tigers committed four turnovers, while Syracuse gave it away three times. Kickers Ammon Lakip and Cole Murphy accounted for five made field goals in just the third meeting between the two schools.
Wayne Gallman had 101 yards on 28 carries for Clemson (6-2, 5-1 ACC), which has won five straight since a 23-17 overtime loss to Florida State.
"It's not often that you're minus in the turnover margin and still win," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "As long as we have one more point than the opponent, that's all that matters. We got it done."
AJ Long struggled to just 82 yards on 12-of-27 passing with two interceptions for the Orange (3-5, 1-3), who have dropped five of their last six since opening the season 2-0.
"We're gonna continue to get better, but I love our kids and the way they fight. We just came up a bit short," Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said.
Following an interception of Stoudt by Brandon Reddish late in the first, Syracuse moved the ball to the Clemson 25, where Murphy nailed a 43-yard field goal to give the Orange an early 3-0 lead.
That margin would hold until the second quarter, as Lakip tied the game with a 38-yard boot with 4:37 remaining until half.
Then the game got out of hand.
Robert Smith made an outstanding diving catch to intercept Long, but the Tigers would give it right back. On 1st-and-goal from the 10, C.J. Davidson took a pitch around the right end and fumbled after he couldn't come down with the toss from Stoudt.
Clemson's defense forced a punt before Stoudt was stripped by Dyshawn Davis for yet another change of possession.
Although Syracuse went backward on the possession, Murphy closed the first half with a 50-yard field goal that gave the visitors a 6-3 lead at the break.
The Tigers' offense couldn't get anything going to open the third, and both teams continued to make careless mistakes.
Prince-Tyson Gully fumbled on the Orange's first touch of the third, but a high snap on third down pushed the ball back to midfield and the Tigers were forced to punt.
Stoudt was intercepted by Darius Kelly on the next series, then Long gave it right back with an interception to Stephone Anthony.
Neither team took advantage of the opportunities, and that was evident after the interception by Anthony.
Stoudt led his team down the field and rushed for seven yards on 3rd-and-4 from the Syracuse 9. However, Gallman was stopped for a loss of four on the following play and the Tigers had to settle for an 18-yard field goal from Lakip.
Clemson grabbed the lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third when Lakip converted a 41-yard field goal.
The Orange punted on their next possession after another uneventful series, then the Tigers scored the game's first touchdown when Stanton Seckinger hauled in a 19-yard TD pass from Stoudt early in the fourth.
Murphy missed a 42-yard field goal wide right with 8:17 left in the quarter, and Clemson didn't allow its opponent to get the ball back, running out the remaining eight-plus minutes on a 15-play march.
Clemson defeated Syracuse, 49-14, last season to even the all-time series at one game apiece ... Mike Williams led all receivers with 72 yards on seven receptions in the win ... The Tigers have allowed 36 points in their last four games ... Clemson outgained the Orange, 375-170.