Home College Football Clemson Tigers Takes Care Of Virginia At Memorial Stadium

Clemson Tigers Takes Care Of Virginia At Memorial Stadium

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Clemson, S.C. — Trevor Lawrence has been very vocal about playing college football this season. The football Gods heard him loud and clear because he his prayers were answered.

Lawrence threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns as Clemson Tigers opened 3-0 for the sixth straight year with a 41-23 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. It was the Cavaliers first game against a top-ranked team in the AP poll since 1999.

“You look to improve against any opponent you play in each exposure that you get, and we had higher expectations. We came to win the game,” said Cavaliers Coach Bronco Mendenhall. “We didn’t come just for benchmarks, and we didn’t come to be better than what we were. However, statistically it was a balanced game. There’s a handful of plays we didn’t make, but to take another jump, to win the ACC or to become an elite program, those plays have to be made.”

 

Virginia (1-1, 1-1) accumulated 417 yards of total offense. Receiver Billy Kemp IV caught 10 passes for 96 yards, and wide receiver Terrell Jana had five receptions for 55 yards and one touchdown.

Cavaliers’ quarterback Brennan Armstrong completed 24 of 43 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns and ran the ball 22 times for 89 yards. Clemson attack defense made Armstrong throw a pair of interceptions that Clemson (3-0, 2-0 ACC) turned into 10 points.

“I think it’s just the little things. Not forcing it when it’s not there. Doing the little things play in and play out. Armstrong said. When asked about reaching the next level in his development. “It kind of gets frustrating sometimes when I don’t do the little things. That’s what we preach all the time. Just being smart with the ball.”

Both teams scored touchdowns in the third quarter, with the Cavaliers looking real dominate on the drive marching 75 yards down the field on nine plays. Armstrong’s three-yard strike to Keytaon Thompson finished off the series and got Virginia within 27-17 with 6:05 to play in the quarter.

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Lawrence hit Etienne for a four-yard touchdown reception to seal the game. It was the 39th game in which Etienne has scored a touchdown, setting a record for major college football.

“The strides we made against Clemson, I really do think we made big strides, really shortened the gap,” said Cavaliers safety Joey Blount. “We’re not as good as them. They’re a superior team, but I think that we’re getting to that type of play.”

Tailback Travis Etienne, a senior, ran for 187 yards from scrimmage, including 114 receiving and one touchdown on five receptions, helping Clemson win their 24th straight home game.

The Tigers have not lost at Memorial Stadium since November 2016.

Virginia gave up touchdowns on three consecutive possessions in the first half. The last two of those came on catches of 27 and nine yards by Amari Rodgers, who is trying to become the featured receiver since the departure of Tee Higgins to the NFL.

 The Cavaliers managed to get on track with a touchdown drive that ended on Armstrong’s 23-yard pass to Jana. Armstrong overcame a series-opening sack to complete passes of 22 and 27 yards immediately before the dart to Jana.

“I guess we’re in a pretty good position when we’re kind of disappointed in an 18-point” win, Lawrencre said. “I’m really glad we got challenged in some new ways. Part of being a great team is making adjustments and getting better.”

Lawrence extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 314, spanning his past nine games.