Trevor Lawrence passed for a career-high 308 yards, and Travis Etienne had three short touchdown runs as No. 3 Clemson continued its mastery of No. 16 NC State on Saturday with a 41-7 victory at Clemson, S.C.
Clemson has won seven consecutive games against NC State and 14 of the last 15 in the series.
The Tigers were dominant in what was a battle between undefeated Atlantic Coast Conference teams, giving Clemson the inside track to a fourth consecutive Atlantic Division title and ACC Championship Game berth.
The Tigers, who have won 15 of their last 17 games against ranked opponents, improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the ACC, while NC State fell to 5-1, 2-1.
Etienne’s streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games came to an end at four, but the sophomore running back still had a memorable day despite being held to a season-low 39 yards. Etienne’s three touchdowns, which came on runs of 3, 2 and 1 yard, made him the first player in program history to rush for three touchdowns in three consecutive games. He has 14 rushing touchdowns this season, just five shy of breaking the school’s single-season record.
Lawrence, a freshman, completed 26 of 39 passes — both career highs — including a 46-yard touchdown strike to Tee Higgins. Higgins, a sophomore wide receiver, caught a career-high eight passes for 119 yards.
Lawrence outdueled ACC passing leader Ryan Finley of NC State. Finley, who had several passes dropped by receivers, completed only 21 of 34 attempts for 156 yards and was intercepted twice.
Clemson took control from the outset in ending NC State’s seven-game winning streak, scoring on its first possession when Etienne strolled in from 3 yards out to cap a nine-play, 57-yard drive. Two possessions later, Lawrence tossed his scoring pass to Higgins for a 14-0 lead. Etienne added a 2-yard touchdown and Greg Huegel a 28-yard field goal for a 24-0 halftime lead.
Clemson’s defense took over from there, holding the Wolfpack to 297 total yards and amassing 10 tackles for loss. NC State’s lone score came on a 9-yard touchdown run by Reggie Gallaspy II on the first play of the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media