Travis Etienne rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns and 350-pound defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence add a 2-yard TD burst as No. 2 Clemson buried Louisville 77-16 on Saturday.
The Tigers (6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 2 CFP) improved to 9-0 for the third time in four seasons and can wrap up their fourth ACC Atlantic Division title next week at Boston College.
Trevor Lawrence threw a pair of early touchdowns for Clemson. Etienne went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark and scored his ACC-leading 15th touchdown. Tavien Feaster added 101 yards rushing for the Tigers.
Freshman Lyn-J Dixon ran for 116 yards, the second time this season Clemson has had three runners with 100 or more yards. They finished with a season high 492 yards rushing.
Etienne and Feaster put Clemson up 14-0 less than three minutes into the game and the Tigers never let up on Louisville (2-7, 0-6).
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons had a pick-six, the Tigers collected five sacks, coach Dabo Swinney’s eldest son Will caught a TD pass and even “Big Dex,” a junior defensive tackle projected as a can’t-miss, NFL first rounder got in on the fun in the Tigers’ “Fridge Package.”
A week ago, Dexter Lawrence led the way for fellow lineman Christian Wilkins to score as a tailback. This time, Trevor Lawrence handed off to Dexter Lawrence as the upback who then bulled his way across the goal.
Clemson’s players erupted with joy with Wilkins hoisting the massive Lawrence into the air.
Etienne got the Tigers off to a fast start with a 10-yard scoring run just 75 seconds in and Feaster followed with a 70-yard TD run on the first play of Clemson’s next series.
Louisville never had a chance after that. It lost its sixth straight game, its longest losing streak since dropping 10 in a row between the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
Clemson is on a major roll the past month, outscoring its past four opponents 240-36. The wins included turning an undefeated showdown with North Carolina State into a 41-7 rout two weeks ago before scoring the most points ever by an opponent at Florida State’s Doak S. Campbell Stadium in a 59-10 win.
Louisville: The Cardinals look like they’re playing out the string under coach Bobby Petrino and have a difficult finishing stretch with games at Syracuse, and home contests with North Carolina State and Kentucky left.
Clemson: The Tigers should finally face their first real test since rallying past Syracuse 27-23 back in September when they play at Boston College. A difficult road game could certainly challenge the poise of a young quarterback like Trevor Lawrence.
Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt set a program record in the second quarter when he played his 3,362 snap for the Tigers. He surpassed former Clemson center Dalton Freeman, who played 3,361 snaps from 2009-12.
Louisville wraps up its away schedule at Syracuse next Saturday night.
Clemson plays its final regular-season road game at Boston College on Saturday.
Source: The Associated Press