It was the opening Atlantic Coast Conference game for both teams.
Clemson (3-0) owned only a 10-7 lead midway through the third quarter when North Carolina State receiver Bryan Underwood took a reverse around right end and appeared to run 83 yards for a touchdown that put the Wolfpack (2-1) in front.
Officials ruled, however, that Underwood stepped out of bounds at the Clemson 47. The play went unchallenged even though replays indicated Underwood had stayed in bounds.
Three plays later North Carolina State quarterback Pete Thomas was sacked and fumbled the ball away. Boyd quickly led Clemson to a touchdown which came on a 30-yard throw to Martavis Bryant and the Tigers were not threatened from there.
Bryant caught another scoring pass of 15 yards in the fourth quarter to give Clemson a 26-7 lead. The first touchdown throw from Boyd came in the second period and went 11 yards to Sam Cooper.
Boyd completed 24-of-37 passes for 244 yards without an interception and added 38 yards on 13 carries. Thomas went 20-of-36 for 216 yards and was picked off once.