Clemson became the first football program in ACC history to win 750 games, and it did it with an historic victory over Florida State.
The second-ranked Tigers ripped the Seminoles apart in route to a 45-14 victory at Memorial Stadium Saturday. The win was Clemson’s fifth straight in the series, the first ACC team to beat the ‘Noles five consecutive years.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence led the way with four total touchdowns, including three through the air, while running back Travis Etienee rushed for 127 yards and scored on a 3-yard touchdown pass.
Lawrence, who threw for 170 yards on 17 of 25 passing and ran for another 40 yards, also threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Justyn Ross of 10 and 8 yards.
On the defensive side, the Tigers forced four turnovers, including a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown by Derion Kendrick in the third quarter, which gave the Tigers a 42-0 lead with 9:39 to play in the quarter.
The defense held the Seminoles (3-3, 2-2 ACC) to 253 yards, including 2 of 13 on third down. The Tigers forced seven three-and-outs. FSU had just 10 first downs in the game.
Clemson, who has now won 21 straight games, finished the afternoon with 552 total yards and have now outscored the Seminoles 104-24 the last two seasons. The Tigers had 320 rushing and 232 passing yards.
After two weeks of criticism from the media and some fans, the Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) came out with a point to prove and they did it at FSU’s expense.
On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Lawrence completed a 40-yard pass to Tee Higgins down the far sideline. On the very next play, Etienne threw a halfback pass to Ross for 23 yards that quickly moved the football to the FSU 12.
Four plays later, on fourth-and-one from the three, Lawrence found Etienne crossing behind center with a shovel pass and the running back ran into the end zone for a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
From there, the tone was set.
Lawrence ran in from 8 yards with 4:41 to go in the quarter for a 14-0 lead, before hitting Ross with two touchdowns in the second quarter to build a 28-0 lead at halftime.
Clemson rolled up 367 yards in the first half, while the Seminoles had just 63 total yards. FSU had just 10 rushing yards in the first half.
Amari Rodgers ran around the right side before cutting it down the seam for a 29-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ first drive of the second half. That gave them a 35-0 lead with 11:49 to play in the third.
Only a few things went wrong Saturday. One was a poor throw by Lawrence along the sideline with Clemson already up 28-0 in the second quarter that was intercepted. Later on, Xavier Thomas was stopped short of the end zone on a third-and-goal play from the 2-yard line in Clemson’s “Fridge” package.
B.T. Potter then missed a 24-yard field goal with 21 seconds to play in the half.
The Seminoles got a 64-yard touchdown pass from Alex Hornibrook to Tomorrion Terry with 2:02 to go in the third quarter. They later added a 40-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to end the scoring.
Clemson will get back on the road next Saturday when it travels to Louisville to play the Cardinals. Kickoff is set for noon and will be televised by ABC.
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The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.