No. 4 Clemson routs Wofford 59-14 for 24th straight victory

Sports

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) hands the ball off to running back Travis Etienne (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wofford, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence accounted for four touchdowns, Travis Etienne ran for 212 yards and two TDs and No. 4 Clemson won its 24th consecutive game, rolling over FCS opponent Wofford 59-14 on Saturday.

Etienne, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, helped the Tigers (9-0) put the game away early with scoring runs of 47 and 86 yards in the game’s first 15:12. Clemson improved to 34-0 against FCS programs. It was the Tigers’ sixth straight win over Wofford (5-3), which fell to 1-21 against FBS schools.

Etienne became Clemson’s first rusher with three 200-yard games in his career. He also surpassed James Davis for Clemson’s career record for rushing TDs with 48.

Lawrence had three TD passes and a 2-yard scoring run, set up by linebacker Isaiah Simmons’ first interception of the year. Lawrence completed 12 of 16 passes for 218 yards before coming out of the game early in the third quarter.

“Just super proud of our staff and those players for what they’ve been able to accomplish,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “At the end of the day we’re 9-0, where we hoped to be.”

The Tigers held Wofford to 75 yards in the opening half. The Terriers broke up the shutout with a 65-yard scoring drive that ended on Ryan Lovelace’s 20-yard run. Wofford became the only team this year to score two TDs in one quarter against Clemson’s defense, which came into the game ranked sixth nationally in points allowed at just 11 per game.

The highlights, though, were scarce for Wofford, which has lost its last 16 games to Power Five opponents.

“Our guys didn’t blink,” Wofford coach Josh Conklin said. “Our guys played four quarters as hard as they could. Sometimes the execution wasn’t exactly where it needed to be. But that kind of goes hand in hand with a team like this.”

Clemson has opened with nine straight wins for the fourth time in five seasons. It finished with a season-best 702 yards, the fourth time gaining 600 yards or more this year — a first in school history.

THE TAKEAWAY

Wofford: The Terriers never had a chance against the highest-ranked FBS opponent they’ve ever played. Still, Wofford had won five straight on the season and is competing for a third consecutive Southern Conference title and fourth straight NCAA playoff appearance. The $360,000 the school received from Clemson will also help its athletic department bottom line.

Clemson: The Tigers have not been pressed the past month, winning their last four games by a combined score of 208-45. Lawrence and Etienne have powered the offense in that stretch after Clemson’s early-season scare — a 21-20 victory at North Carolina on Sept. 28. And while the Tigers’ scheduled has taken some hits from critics, there’s little doubt the defending national champions will be among the top four team when the first College Football Playoff rankings are released Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Wofford returns to FCS competition at Mercer on Saturday.

Clemson plays at North Carolina State on Saturday night.

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