Players of the Game: No. 5 Clemson 55, NC State 10
RALEIGH, N.C. – Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne were a terrific tandem in the fifth-ranked Tigers’ 55-10 rout of NC State on Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Lawrence completed 20 of his 27 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns, adding a career-high 59 yards rushing and a touchdown run, and Etienne ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries while catching three passes for 31 yards and another score.
The dynamic duo helped Clemson (10-0, 7-0 ACC) find the end zone on each of its first four possessions in the game.
The scoring onslaught began early in the first quarter when Lawrence used his legs to put the Tigers on the board with a 7-yard rush at the 10:56 mark. On Clemson’s ensuing possession, he hooked up with Tee Higgins for a 33-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown that made the score 14-0 exactly 10 minutes into the game.
Etienne then found paydirt to cap the next two drives, first with a 4-yard reception on a shovel pass from Lawrence and then on a 19-yard run that extended Clemson’s lead to 28-0 with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tigers took a 42-0 lead into the locker room at halftime after Lawrence connected with Ross for a 33-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left in the second quarter. The sophomore signal-caller slipped at the beginning of the play but regained his footing before firing a dime to Ross in the end zone.
Clemson continued to pour it on in the third quarter, when Etienne ran for an 8-yard score that put the Tigers up 49-7 with 6:21 to go in the frame. It was the 50th rushing touchdown of his career, making him just the third player in ACC history to run for 50-plus touchdowns, behind James Conner’s 52 and Lamar Jackson’s 50.
Etienne now has a school-record 54 total touchdowns in his career, surpassing the 51 that C.J. Spiller had from 2006-09. Etienne also passed Spiller for third place on Clemson’s all-time rushing list, while the junior running back became the third player in school history with five straight 100-yard rushing games, joining Kenny Flowers in 1985 and Raymond Priester in 1996.
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