Trevor Lawrence, No. 1 Clemson Rout No. 7 Miami; Travis Etienne Scores 2 TDs

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 11, 2020

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against LSU during the second half of a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, in New Orleans. Lawrence is on a streak of 314 pass attempts without an interception, a run dating back to last Oct. 19 when he was picked off twice at Louisville in Clemson's 45-10 victory. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

No. 1 Clemson took down No. 7 Miami 42-17 at home in Memorial Stadium on Saturday behind 222 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns from Travis Etienne, who rushed for 149 yards on 17 carries and caught eight Trevor Lawrence passes for 73 more yards.

Clemson led 21-3 late in the first half off a pair of Lawrence touchdown passes to Braden Galloway and a two-yard Etienne touchdown run to cap a 99-yard scoring drive.

However, the Hurricanes gained a new lease on life after Jared Harrison-Hunte blocked Clemson's first half-ending 61-yard field-goal attempt. DJ Ivey picked up the loose ball and scored a touchdown as the half expired.

Clemson regrouped and dominated in the third quarter, though, as Etienne scored on a 72-yard scamper before Lawrence punched one in from three yards out to help give the Tigers a 35-10 lead. The two teams traded touchdowns before the game ended.

Clemson improved to 4-0 on the season. Miami fell to 3-1.

The Tigers will have gone three calendar years since losing a regular-season game when the calendar turns to Tuesday. Clemson fell to Syracuse on Oct. 13, 2017, and has only lost two postseason matchups since, going 39-2 overall.


Notable Performances

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence: 29-of-41, 292 yards, 3 TD; 8 rushes, 34 yards, 1 TD

Clemson RB Travis Etienne: 17 carries, 149 yards, 2 TD; 8 catches, 73 yards

Clemson TE Braden Galloway: 4 catches, 74 yards, 2 TD

Miami QB D'Eriq King: 12-of-28, 121 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 14 rushes, 84 yards, 1 TD


Clemson Makes Quick Work of Miami

Clemson out-gained Miami 550-210, with Etienne out-pacing the Hurricanes by himself with 12 extra yards.

The Tigers possessed the ball for 38:23 compared to Miami's 21:37 time of possession, and they gained 34 first downs to Miami's nine.

Miami committed nearly twice as many penalties (15 to eight) and committed two more turnovers (three to one).

The Hurricanes also didn't score an offensive touchdown until there was just 8:31 left in the game.

The stats don't tell the whole story, however. Clemson scored at will and played dominant defense, but the team seemingly did whatever it wanted with relative ease and perfect execution.

Galloway could have walked into the end zone with this cavalcade of blockers in front of him:

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

TOUCHDOWN TIGERS! Look at the convoy of offensive linemen on this genius play call... Clemson up early, 7-0! #ALLIN 🐅🐾 https://t.co/jVPXy8b7KD

Meanwhile, the defense, led by Baylon Spector, came to play:

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Baylon Spector with 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles on the first series, including a sack on 3rd down to force a punt! Clemson defense holds strong, offense takes over at 11-yd line. 💪💪💪 https://t.co/fdjbbuPQ56

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Clemson Offense: 157 total yards, 11 first downs, 12:31 time of possession Clemson Defense: 10 total yards allowed, 2 sacks #ALLIN 🐅🐾 https://t.co/mcROb4vcK5

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Miami QB D'Eriq King had a 56-yd run in the second quarter. On Miami's other 20 plays in the first half, the Clemson defense held them to just 23 yards. #ALLIN 🐅🐾 https://t.co/NA4ybKOsPo

Credit to Miami for fighting all night in the face of adversity, but Clemson somehow found a way to come out on the right end of impossible situations, like when the Hurricanes clogged up the gaps on a goal-line stand only for Etienne to pivot and charge around the mass of players for a score:

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

How many times have you thought a play was going nowhere and then Travis Etienne somehow turned it into a big play? Watch live on ACCN or here: https://t.co/lu6NuCdXJ2 https://t.co/IqFrKvXB2m

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Travis Etienne scored on this play... https://t.co/jMQIGKs9pO

Any chance Miami had in the second half to make it a game got squandered when Sheridan Jones picked an opportune time for his first-ever interception:

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

TURNOVER! Sheridan Jones with the INT, the first of his career! Watch live on ABC or here: https://t.co/lu6NuCdXJ2 https://t.co/whONRmkqfg

That gave Etienne the opportunity to do more damage, and he responded with a 72-yard scamper around the edge and down the sideline thanks in part to great blocking up front:

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

TOUCHDOWN TIGERS! 72 yards for Travis Etienne! #RunETN Watch live on ABC or here: https://t.co/lu6NuCdXJ2 https://t.co/tcgsEAnuPU

That pretty much put the game to bed.

The score may not reflect it, but Miami is a very good, resilient and tough team. The 'Canes outscored UAB, Florida State and Louisville 130-58 over their first three games. Granted, those teams are not off to good starts, but Miami left no doubt about its dominance on the field.

The problem is this Clemson team might be the best in the Dabo Swinney era, featuring peak performances from future NFL stars like Lawrence, Etienne and others. We might be seeing nights like this from now through the end of the College Football Playoff at this rate, especially given the defense's epic performance.

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Coach Swinney on the defense: “They were relentless. We had a good scheme tonight. We did an awesome job, disrupted them all night. Sacks, turnovers. It was a turnover fest in the second half.” https://t.co/3n0jkb7Zuf

Clemson's biggest test before a presumed postseason berth will be at No. 5 Notre Dame on Nov. 7. Until then, the Tigers will continue their ACC schedule in hopes of completing their second undefeated season in three years and third championship campaign in five.


What's Next?

Clemson will visit Georgia Tech on Oct. 17 at noon ET in Atlanta's Bobby Dodd Stadium. Miami will host Pittsburgh in Hard Rock Stadium on the same day and time.