The No. 3/3 Clemson football team emerged victorious in the battle of unbeatens at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, defeating the No. 16/15 NC State Wolfpack by a score of 41-7. With the win, Clemson remained undefeated at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the ACC, while NC State moved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Offensively, Clemson was powered by Travis Etienne, who rushed for three touchdowns for the third straight game, a school first. Trevor Lawrence was 26-39 for 308 yards and one touchdown, and his favorite target was Tee Higgins, who amassed 119 yards and that touchdown on eight receptions. The Tiger defense, led by Isaiah Simmons’ eight solo tackles, held a Wolfpack offense that had been averaging 33 points per game coming into today’s contest to just the seven points.
Photos by Carl Ackerman, David Platt, Dawson Powers, and Madison Williams.
Facts & Figures from today’s 41-7 victory over No. 16 NC State
Good guys win.#ALLIN 🐅🐾 #Clemson pic.twitter.com/uusY5zRBVi— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 20, 2018
Good guys win.#ALLIN 🐅🐾 #Clemson pic.twitter.com/uusY5zRBVi
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 20, 2018
#WeWinWeDance pic.twitter.com/NbaLfJhIEV— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 21, 2018
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 21, 2018
3️⃣TD + 3️⃣TD + 3️⃣TD = a historic run for No. 9️⃣ #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/M3hwiOQASl— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 20, 2018
3️⃣TD + 3️⃣TD + 3️⃣TD = a historic run for No. 9️⃣ #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/M3hwiOQASl
That's what you call a successful homecoming #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/2GGRzz4hXJ— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 20, 2018
That's what you call a successful homecoming #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/2GGRzz4hXJ
K'Von Wallace ended last year's game at NC State with an interception of Ryan Finley. Today, he just picked another one off and returned it 46 yards to set up a Clemson field goal.Should you throw towards K'Von Wallace? pic.twitter.com/tHep0b3DLE— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 20, 2018
K'Von Wallace ended last year's game at NC State with an interception of Ryan Finley. Today, he just picked another one off and returned it 46 yards to set up a Clemson field goal.
Should you throw towards K'Von Wallace? pic.twitter.com/tHep0b3DLE
👋 #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/Y1j201JCpD— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 20, 2018
👋 #ALLIN 🐅 pic.twitter.com/Y1j201JCpD
Clemson reached 450 yards of offense (481) in a fifth straight game for the first time since a 12-game streak spanning the final 11 games of 2015 and the opener in 2016.
Including three-touchdown performances in Clemson’s two most recent games against Syracuse and Wake Forest, Etienne became the first player in school history to rush for three touchdowns in three consecutive games.
Etienne now has 14 total touchdowns this season, tied with Cliff Austin (1982) and Wayne Gallman (2015) for 10th-most in a season in school history.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 308 yards on 26-39 passing with one touchdown. It was Lawrence’s first career 200-yard passing day and the first 300-yard passing game of the year by Clemson.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins finished the night with a career-high eight catches for 119 yards, averaging almost 15 yards per catch. The 100-yard receiving game was Higgins’ second of the season and third of his career. It was his first 100-yard game since a 123-yard effort in the second game of the season at Texas A&M.
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow extended his streak of consecutive games played with a reception to 35.
Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence recorded his first fumble recovery of the season — the third of his career — in the second quarter. With Lawrence’s fumble recovery, Clemson forced a takeaway in its 15th consecutive contest, the program’s longest streak since a 15-game stretch across the 2012-13 seasons.
With 11 points on the afternoon, kicker Greg Huegel (327) is just two points shy of Aaron Hunt (329 from 2000-03) for second on the program’s all-time career scoring list.
Safety K’Von Wallace recorded his first interception of the season — the third of his career — in the second quarter. All three of his career interceptions have come against NC State, including one of each of Clemson’s three meetings with NC State from 2016-18.
Linebacker Jalen Williams notched the second interception of his career, his first of the season, in the third quarter. It was his first since Sept. 10, 2016, vs. Troy.
Tackle Mitch Hyatt made his 49th career start to tie Landon Walker’s school record for career starts by an offensive tackle (49). Walker also shared the mark for most starts by an offensive lineman with center Dalton Freeman. Hyatt tied Walker and Freeman (49 each) for second-most career starts at any position in Clemson history.
Clemson has now opened a season 7-0 for the seventh time in program history and the third time in the last four years (1948, 1981, 2000, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2018). Clemson earned conference titles in five of the previous six seasons in which it opened 7-0.