Clemson’s goal is to leave no doubt in each game this season. On Saturday, some of the 81,500 fans were barely in their seats when the Tigers made their statement against Charlotte.
On Clemson’s second play from scrimmage, quarterback Trevor Lawrence found Tee Higgins down the far sideline for a 58-yard touchdown pass and the route was on. The top-ranked Tigers cruised from there, rolling to a 52-10 victory at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.
Lawrence finished the game 7 of 9 for 94 yards. He also threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Cornell Powell on the first play of the second quarter. After that, the sophomore took the rest of the night off.
Chase Brice quarterbacked Clemson for most of the second and third quarters, throwing for 85 yards on 5 of 7 passing. His last pass was a 37-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Ngata with 9:51 to play in the third quarter. The Ngata touchdown gave the Tigers a 45-3 lead at the time.
Ngata finished the game with 3 receptions for 62 yards. In all, 10 different players caught a pass for the Tigers.
The Clemson defense also got into the act, safety K’Von Wallace intercepted Chris Reynolds’ pass on the 49ers’ second possession, got a few blocks down the sideline and then scored the first touchdown of his career. That gave the Tigers a 14-0 with 10:24 to play in the first quarter.
Charlotte (2-2) got most of its 216 total yards in the second half. Clemson’s first-team defense held the 49ers to 115 yards in the first half. They came into the game averaging 522 yards and 47.3 points per game.
The Tigers (4-0, 2-0 ACC) finished the game with 466 yards, using a balanced attack. They rushed for 235 yards and threw for 231 more.
Clemson running back Travis Etienne scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and finished the game with 61 yards on 11 carries. His longest run was 18 yards and he did not play in the second half.
Lyn-J Dixon finished the game with 58 yards on eight carries. Dixon had a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:24 to play in the first half.
Michel Dukes scored his first career touchdown with 6:12 to play in the game when he broke the ball outside, cut through some traffic and raced 24 yards for a touchdown. It was the freshman’s first career touchdown and gave the Tigers a 52-10 lead.
Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC) will hit the road for the second time next week when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to play North Carolina, who lost to App State earlier on Saturday.
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