Clemson’s defense sets the tone

Clemson’s defense sets the tone

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Clemson’s defense sets the tone

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By the Numbers: No. 3 Clemson 52, Wake Forest 3

Clemson’s defense set the tone in Saturday’s 52-3 victory over Wake Forest.

The third-ranked Tigers, ranked No. 2 in the country in scoring, passing and total defense, forced a three-and-out to start the game and then intercepted Demon Deacons’ quarterback Jamie Newman on the first play of their second series.

Clemson’s offense took full advantage and scored touchdowns on both ensuing possessions, while jumping out to a 14-0 lead with 9:55 to go in the first quarter. They never looked back from there.

“Wake Forest’s offense was averaging around 500 yards of offense entering the game and only had 41 yards passing today,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “Of course, it was a big loss for them to not have their top two receivers, but they still have a great quarterback and offensive life and a unique offensive scheme.”

The Tigers (11-0, 8-0 ACC) held Wake to 105 total yards and five first downs. They were just 2-13 on third down and were intercepted two times. Clemson also had three sacks and 8 tackles for loss.

Wake’s 105 yards represented the 11th straight game in which Clemson held its opposition under 300 yards of total offense. That is the first time that has happened in college football since 1996.

“Our guys were locked in all week. I can’t say enough about our preparation,” Swinney said. “The turnovers were huge for us. We’re playing well on offense. We had a lot of great contributions on special teams, as well. It was a complete game.”

Here are some more numbers to take away from Saturday’s win over Wake Forest.

3: According to ESPN Stats & Info, Clemson joined 1944 Army and 1972 Nebraska as the only three teams in the AP Poll era to win four consecutive games by 45 or more points.

6: Clemson won a sixth straight game by 30 or more points to break a tie with 2013 Florida State for the longest such streak in conference history.

9: Clemson held a ninth consecutive opponent below 200 passing yards for the first time since games 3-11 of the 2008 season.

14: Clemson has now held 14 consecutive opponents to 20 or fewer points for the first time since the 1949-51 seasons under Head Coach Frank Howard.

41: Clemson held Wake Forest to 105 total yards, including only 41 passing yards. Wake Forest entered the game averaging 487.3 total yards per game, including a conference-best 314.1 passing yards per game.

50: Clemson held a sixth consecutive opponent to a completion percentage of 50.0 percent or worse, Clemson’s first such streak since a seven-game span including the 1999 season finale and first six games of 2000.

52: Clemson’s 52 points marked a fourth straight game the Tigers’ scored 50 or more points for the first time in program history.

100: Running back Travis Etienne posted his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game on Saturday, moving him into a tie for the eighth-longest streak in ACC history. It is also the most ever by a Clemson player,

115: Including a 63-3 victory against Wake Forest last year, Clemson has outscored Wake Forest, 115-6, across the last two seasons.

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