Third-ranked Clemson defeated Virginia Tech 45-10 Saturday at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., after pulling away with 35 unanswered points.
The Tigers struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first half, but willed their way to victory and secured a sixth straight berth in the ACC Championship Game and a rematch with No. 2 Notre Dame.
Each week The Clemson Insider gives out helmet stickers to players who contributed to the Tigers’ success with outstanding individual performances.
The junior quarterback struggled to find his mojo in the passing game at times on Saturday, but found a way to get in the end zone. Lawrence finished the game 12-for-22 passing for 195 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass to Cornell Powell. He also ran seven times for 42 yards and two touchdowns.
Lawrence became Clemson’s all time leader in victories as he improved to 33-1 as a starter, he passed Rodney Williams, Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson who each had 32 wins. He also became only the fifth quarterback in ACC history to account for 100 touchdowns scored or thrown, he now has 101 in his Clemson career.
After spending some time in the “love shack,” the junior cornerback showed up in Blacksburg. Kendrick finished the game with two tackles but also recovered a Hendon Hooker fumble and returned it 66 yards for the second defensive touchdown of his Clemson career.
Powell has emerged as a premier target at wide receiver over the past several weeks and continued the trend against the Hokies. The junior finished the game with four catches for 90 yards and a 65-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence. Powell has now caught a touchdown pass in each of the last three games.
Clemson faced adversity at linebacker once again when James Skalski left the game during the first series as a precaution and Jake Venables broke his arm. But Bentley stepped up and made plays when his team needed it.
Bentley finished the game with four tackles and 1.5 sacks for 10 yards. The redshirt freshman joined Xavier Thomas, Baylon Spector and Myles Murphy for the team lead in sacks, each has 3.5 on the year.
This past week Disney announced Rencher as the recipient of the Disney Spirit Award for the nation’s most inspiring college football player. The redshirt senior carried the ball once against the Hokies and made this most of it with a career-long 50-yard touchdown on his only touch.
Clemson benefits from an open date on Saturday before it returns to action on Dec. 19 in the ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame.