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Clemson wins ACC championship over North Carolina with help from controversial call

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball as North Carolina's Shakeel Rashad (42) reaches for the tackle during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Bob Leverone

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Heisman Trophy hopeful Deshaun Watson threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores, and No. 1 Clemson captured the ACC championship by holding off eighth-ranked North Carolina 45-37 on Saturday night.

Watson’s 420 total yards and five total touchdowns set ACC championship game records and assures the Tigers (13-0) a spot in the College Football Playoff.

It didn’t come without some suspense.

North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer hauled in his second TD catch of the game with 1:13 left to cut Clemson’s lead to eight and give the Tigers a scare.

The Tar Heels appeared to recover the onside kick, but were called for being offside — although replays didn’t show any player in a blue jersey being offside — and had to kick again. The Tar Heels attempted another onside kick and this time Clemson recovered and ran out the clock.

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