EditorsNote: Corrects Watkins’ TD total in 6th graf; other minor edits
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes and No. 3 Clemson rolled past visiting Wake Forest 52-3 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Clemson, which already had clinched a fifth consecutive Atlantic Division title and berth in the ACC Championship Game, improved to 11-0 overall and 8-0 in league play, capping its second straight unbeaten season in the ACC.
The Tigers have won 26 consecutive games and haven’t lost to an ACC opponent since a 27-24 loss at Syracuse on Oct. 13, 2017.
Wake Forest fell to 7-3, 3-3.
Lawrence completed 21 of 27 passes for 272 yards and has thrown for at least three touchdown passes in each of Clemson’s last six games. During that span he’s completed 74.1 percent of his passes for 1,444 yards and 19 touchdowns with three interceptions.
Three of Lawrence’s touchdowns found the hands of junior wide receiver Tee Higgins, who had four receptions for 64 yards en route to the first three-touchdown game of his career. His touchdowns gave him eight this season and 22 for his career, which ranks third on Clemson’s all-time leaders list behind only current NFL players DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, who had 27 and 28, respectively.
Junior running back Travis Etienne added 121 yards and a touchdown, marking his sixth straight game with at least 100 yards rushing and pushing his season total to 1,335.
Clemson, which will conclude its regular season at in-state rival South Carolina on Nov. 30, had 516 yards while limiting Wake Forest to 105 yards.
The Tigers buried the Demon Deacons early, building a 31-3 halftime lead. Amari Rodgers set up Clemson’s first score with a 53-yard punt return and three plays later Higgins snagged a 14-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence with 11:40 left in the first quarter.
Senior safety Tanner Muse intercepted Jamie Newman on the first play of Wake Forest’s second possession and Etienne dashed in four plays later from 14 yards out for a 14-0 lead.
Wake Forest got a 30-yard field goal from Nick Sciba with 1:29 left in the first quarter, but Clemson scored 17 points in the second quarter. B.T. Potter kicked a 35-yard field goal and Lawrence and Higgins hooked up for two more scores covering 14 and 30 yards in the final 42 seconds of the half. The final touchdown was set up by A.J. Terrell’s interception.
Clemson has held each of its 11 opponents this season to less than 300 yards.
Newman, who entered the game as the ACC passing leader at 287.1 yards per game, was 6 of 14 for 41 yards and two interceptions.
—Field Level Media