CLEMSON - As Clemson huddled before its next-to-last possession of the first half, quarterback Kyle Parker made a request of star running back C.J. Spiller.
Parker said Spiller could make his life a lot easier by scoring on the first play.
"He's a prophet," Spiller said. "He called his shot."
Or Spiller's, more accurately. Although after six games, Parker was simply playing the odds.
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Spiller dashed up the middle for a 66-yard touchdown, giving him at least one play of 60-plus yards in each game this season.
Wake Forest declined to let him near the ball on kickoff or punt returns, but he kept his streak alive despite a season-low 11 touches.
"He's the best player in college football, to me," coach Dabo Swinney said. "They can talk about those quarterbacks all they want. I can argue with them all day."
Look no further than improved first-down production as the prime reason for Clemson's offensive explosion.
In its consecutive losses, 18 of the team's 32 first-down runs went for 2 yards or fewer, putting it in long down-and-distance situations.
But in building their 31-3 halftime lead, the Tigers tallied 208 yards on 13 first-down plays. Four of the 11 runs gained less than 3 yards, but five went for 7 or longer, including Spiller's 66-yard touchdown.
Clemson passed to set up the run, opening with a series of play-action throws that culminated in Parker going 4-for-5 for 82 yards on first down in the first half.
"We're a young offensive football team that hopefully grew up some today," Swinney said.
The only reason sophomore defensive end Da'Quan Bowers was no named the team's defensive player of the game the past two games was the staff wanted to spread the wealth.
And Swinney said it will be tough not to give it to him again after Saturday's performance.
Bowers headlined a dominant showing by Clemson's defensive front, which harassed Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner and came up with stops on goal-line and short-yardage situations for the second straight game.
The Tigers racked up a season-high five sacks and have 17 this season, surpassing last year's total of 14.
"Our players like pressure," defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. "They're in my ear all the time, 'Let us blitz, let us blitz.' The deal is, we will if they'll get them on the ground."
Sky's the limit
Wake Forest dug itself an immediate hole when Clemson receiver Terrance Ashe fair-caught a short sky kick that barely went 10 yards.
The coverage man in front of Ashe didn't aggressively go after the ball, and Demon Deacons coach Jim Grobe said the kick was supposed to go farther.
"It looked to be a surprise onside, but it surprised all of us," Grobe said.
Reserve safety Kentrell Brown suffered a neck sprain and was released from Oconee Memorial Hospital after tests for further injury came back negative. Brown was immobilized and carted off the field after being hit while covering a second-quarter kickoff. ... Spiller became the 27th player in Football Bowl Subdivision history to eclipse 6,000 all-purpose yards.