ARLINGTON, Texas – Freshman Trevor Lawrence completed 27-of-39 pass for 327 yards and three touchdowns in No. 2 Clemson’s 30-3 win over third-ranked Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
In doing so Lawrence earned his 10th victory as a starter, which broke Kyle Parker’s school record by a freshman (first-year or redshirt) and made Lawrence the first Clemson freshman quarterback to win double-digit games as a starter.
The Tigers (14-0) advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to face Alabama on January 7thin Santa Clara, Calif. It’s their third trip in four seasons to the championship each against the same opponent.
The win marked several bests for the Clemson program, here are some notes from the big win in the CFP Semifinal.
- Clemson entered the game at 13-0 and Notre Dame entered at 12-0, making the game the first between undefeated teams in College Football Playoff history.
- During the contest, Clemson became only the second team in ACC history to score 600 points in a single season (723, Florida State in 2013).Clemson now has 620 points this season.
- Clemson gained 538 yards of offense. With the performance, Clemson reached the 7,000-yard mark on offense this season, marking only the third 7,000-yard season in school history (2015 and 2016).
- Clemson rushed for 236 yards and now has 3,613 rushing yards this season, breaking the school record for rushing yards in a single season, held previously by the 1978 Tigers (3,469).
- The victory was Clemson’s 12th of 20 points or more this season, tying the 2013 Florida State Seminoles for the most by an ACC team since 2000.
- Clemson outscored Notre Dame, 20-0, in the second quarter. Clemson has now outscored opponents, 211-38, in the second quarter this season. Clemson’s 211 points in the second quarter are the most by any team in any quarter since 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
- Clemson recorded six sacks, tying its school-record for sacks in a bowl (six sacks in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl against LSU).
- On its fourth sack of the game, Clemson (52) broke the school record for sacks in a season (49 in 2016). It represents the first 50-sack season in school history.
- Clemson allowed only three points, the fewest ever scored by Notre Dame in a bowl game. The 27-point defeat tied for the fourth-largest margin of defeat in Notre Dame’s bowl history.
- Lawrence completed 19-26 passes for 264 yards with three touchdowns in the first half alone. His 264 yards were his most in a first half this season, surpassing his 217-yard first half against South Carolina. The total also set a first-half Cotton Bowl record, surpassing the 249 posted by Baylor’s Bryce Petty in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic.
- Lawrence became only the second player to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns in a College Football Playoff game, joining former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who accomplished the feat twice in Playoff competition.
- Lawrence has now thrown 137 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. His most recent interception prior to the game came on his final pass attempt at Boston College on Nov. 10. The streak now breaks his previous career-long streak of consecutive passes without an interception is 136, and he is now in striking distance of Cullen Harper’s single-season school record of 143 in 2007.
- Ross’ 24.7-yard receiving average set a Clemson bowl record, surpassing the mark of 24.5, set by Brian Wofford against Mississippi State in the 1999 Peach Bowl.
- Running back Travis Etienne rushed for 109 yards with a touchdown on 14 carries.
- On a 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Etienne broke Wayne Gallman’s school record for rushing yards in a season (1,527 in 2015). Etienne now has 1,572 rushing yards this season.
- On the touchdown, Etienne pushed his season point total to 138, breaking teammate Greg Huegel’s school record for points in a season (137 in 2015).
- With Lawrence, Etienneand Ross, Clemson produced a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in a bowl game for only the second time in school history (Tajh Boyd passing and rushing and Sammy Watkins receiving vs. Ohio State in Orange Bowl following 2013 season).
- Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and tight end Cannon Smith played in their 58th career games, breaking fullback Chad Diehl’s school record of 57 career games played from 2007-11.
- Ferrell added a sack in the second quarter, the 27th sack of his career to tie William Perry (27.0 from 1981-84) for fourth-most in Clemson history.