CLEMSON, S.C. – 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.
Clemson held a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, outgaining NC State 164 yards to 31. Both Etienne and Higgins found the endzone for the Tigers during the first 15 minutes, with the former rushing for a three-yard score and the latter hauling in a 46-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence.
Etienne scored the second quarter’s first touchdown with just 46 seconds remaining in the first half, capping a 54-yard drive, set up by a Dexter Lawrence fumble recovery, with a two-yard rushing score. On the second play of NC State’s ensuing drive, K’Von Wallace intercepted a Ryan Finley pass at midfield and returned it 46 yards, setting up a 28-yard Greg Huegel field goal a few plays later, giving the Tigers a 24-0 lead at the break.
The third quarter scoring opened with just under four minutes left in it, when Etienne ran for his third touchdown of the day, a one-yard rush that put the Tigers up 31-0. The Wolfpack got on the board on the first play of the fourth quarter, when a Reggie Gallaspy Jr. nine-yard rush cut the Tigers’ lead to 31-7. Huegel hit his second field goal of the day and 50thof his career, a 27-yarder, a few minutes later. A two-yard rushing touchdown for Lyn-J Dixon with eight minutes left in the game rounded out the scoring, bringing the final score to 41-7.
Clemson travels to Tallahassee, Fla. for a matchup with conference foe Florida State next weekend. Kickoff is set for noon at Doak Campbell Stadium.