No. 1 Clemson leaves no doubt with 73-point outburst in win over Georgia Tech

©The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws a touchdown pass against Louisville on October 19, 2019, at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. - Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/TNS

ATLANTA — Clemson started Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech with some sloppy play and found itself tied with the Yellow Jackets midway through the first quarter.

The No. 1 Tigers ended Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech with 66 consecutive points, 671 yards of offense and its most lopsided victory ever in the ACC.

Clemson pounded Georgia Tech 73-7 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, avoiding any letdown a week after a Top 10 win over Miami — and while playing on the road at noon at a place where they have historically struggled.

“Good teams show up ready. Great teams get better,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “I thought we grew up last week and I thought we got better this week. That was the objective.”

The Tigers scored 70 points against an ACC opponent for the first time since 2018 against Louisville and only the third time ever. The 66-point victory surpasses the previous high of 61 points, which came in that 77-16 victory over Louisville in 2018.

Clemson also scored its most points in a half against an ACC team in school history on Saturday with 52 in the opening two quarters.

Georgia Tech is allowing a maximum of 11,000 fans at home games this season and had a capacity crowd Saturday. The only tickets Clemson received went to family members, but plenty of Tigers fans purchased seats on the secondary market.

“Huge, huge win for us,” Swinney said. “A big win on the road. Appreciate our fans who were here.”

Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who entered the game as the Heisman favorite, passed for 391 yards and five touchdowns in the first half alone. He finished the day 24-of-32 passing for a career high 404 yards and the five scores before exiting the game after one series in the second half.

Lawrence’s favorite target on the day was senior receiver Amari Rodgers, who caught six passes for 161 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lawrence also tossed touchdown passes to Cornell Powell, Davis Allen and Frank Ladson.

The Tigers had four players attempt passes, including punter Will Spiers.

“I challenged our guys at halftime because that’s where we really need to grow the most is the depth of our team, continuing to play well,” Swinney said. “They’re in the same meetings. They’re in the same practices. The standard doesn’t change.”

Ten different Tigers had rushing attempts, including defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney, who scored on a 1-yard run from the jumbo package in the second quarter. And 17 different Clemson players caught passes.

The Tigers did make a couple of mistakes. In addition to Lawrence’s first interception of the year, Travis Etienne fumbled for the first time in 2020. But it didn’t matter as Clemson rolled.

Defensively the Tigers had 12 tackles for loss with Mike Jones Jr. and Tyler Davis leading the way with two each. Nolan Turner added an interception.

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NEXT GAME

Who: Clemson vs. Syracuse

Where: Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina

When: Noon EDT Oct. 24

TV: ESPN or ACC Network (TBD)

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©2020 The State (Columbia, S.C.)