Clemson running back leads way in another blowout win over Miami
When Clemson’s offense is in a rut, the Tigers just give the ball to No. 9.
Number nine of course is running back Travis Etienne, who again made big plays with his legs and his hands Saturday, as top-ranked Clemson hammered No. 7 Miami once again. Etienne rushed for 149 yards and caught a career-high eight passes for 73 while scoring two touchdowns in a 42-17 victory at Death Valley.
Clemson has now defeated the Hurricanes three straight times by a score of 138-20. The Tigers beat Miami 58-0 in 2015 and 38-3 in 2017.
With Clemson holding on to a 21-10 lead, the Tigers gave the football to Etienne with 8:08 to play in the third quarter.
Etienne darted through a couple of would-be-tacklers and then outran the Miami defense 72 yards down the near sideline for a touchdown. He later had a 21-yard run where he hurdled a defender and threw another one to the ground. That set up a 3-yard Trevor Lawrence touchdown to make the score 35-10.
He also scored on 2-yard run in the second quarter, thanks to a screen pass on third-and-14 he took 22 yards to the two. He and Lawrence also teamed up for a 12-yard completion earlier in the drive on third down.
Etienne’s performance, to go along with his spectacular plays, definitely introduced the Clemson running back officially to the Heisman voters.
While Etienne was the story of the game, Lawrence was not too shabby either. Already a serious Heisman candidate, the Clemson quarterback threw for 292 yards, while completing 29-of-41 passes. He threw touchdown passes of 24 and 11 yards to tight end Braden Galloway and a 22-yard touchdown to the other tight end Davis Allen in the fourth quarter.
As Etienne and Lawrence were doing their thing on the offensive side, Brent Venables threw a scheme at the Hurricanes that they did not see coming. Until the fourth quarter when its first-team offense finally got something going against Clemson’s second-team defense.
Miami (3-1, 2-1 ACC) came into the game leading the ACC in scoring and total offense. However, the Hurricanes had just 79 total yards at halftime and just 132 after three quarters.
Quarterback D’Eriq King was never an issue as the Tigers (4-0, 3-0 ACC) picked him off twice and held him to 12-of-28 passing for 121 yards. King did run for a 7-yard touchdown with 8:31 to play, but the game was all but decided by then. He finished the game with 84 rushing yards.
Sheridan Jones and Derion Kendrick intercepted King, both in the third quarter, while Kane Patterson picked off backup quarterback N’Kosi Perry in the fourth quarter.
Miami finished the game with 210 total yards.
Next week, the Tigers head to Atlanta where they will play Georgia Tech at noon. Tech is coming off a win over Louisville on Friday.