Clemson vs. LSU: Clemson's Road to the Championship Game

Eric Boynton
Spartanburg Herald-Journal
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Clemson's Travis Etienne runs down the sideline for a 90-yard touchdown Aug. 29 during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech, in Clemson, S.C.

Clemson 52, Georgia Tech 14

Aug. 29, Memorial Stadium

The Tigers run for 411 yards, their most in a season opener since 1957, including a then-career-high 205 and three touchdowns by Travis Etienne with scores of 90, 48 and 14 yards. Clemson forced four turnovers and Tech became the first of 12 consecutive opponents held under 300 yards.

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Sep 7, 2019; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Lyn-J Dixon (23) carries the ball during the second half of the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson 24, Texas A&M 10

Sept. 7, Memorial Stadium

Clemson is held under 400 yards for the first of only two times all season but a 17-point second quarter helps provide a 24-3 lead entering the fourth. Lyn-J Dixon has game-high 79 yards on 11 rushes and TAMU is kept out of the end zone until only six seconds remained.

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) scores a touchdown against Syracuse during the first quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, Saturday, September 14, 2019.

Clemson 41, Syracuse 6

Sept. 14, Syracuse, N.Y.

Clemson sets a new school record with its 18th straight victory in front of host’s first sellout in 21 years. Trevor Lawrence throws for season-high 395 yards with Tee Higgins catching seven for 150 and Amari Rodgers, in just his second game back from an ACL tear, grabbing four for 121 and two touchdowns.

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Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) scores a touchdown on a pass from Trevor Lawrence against Charlotte on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

Clemson 52, Charlotte 10

Sept. 21, Memorial Stadium

Lawrence’s first throw of the game went for a 58-yard touchdown to Higgins, his lone catch as 14 Tigers caught passes and a school-record 111 guys played. The Tigers led 38-3 at halftime and held Charlotte to 216 total yards (63 passing).

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North Carolina's Sam Howell gets stopped on a two-point conversion by Clemson's James Skalski (47) and Xavier Thomas during the fourth quarter.

Clemson 21, North Carolina 20

Sept. 28, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Clemson posted its biggest play of the year, a playoff berth-saving two-point conversion stop with 1:17 left after UNC got within one after a 16-play, 75-yard drive. Sam Howell kept and sprinted wide right but was corralled by Xavier Thomas, James Skalski and Nolan Turner. The Tigers were held to a season-low 331 yards.

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Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) catches a pass for a touchdown against Florida State during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium before the game with Florida State in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, October 12, 2019.

Clemson 45, Florida State 14

Oct. 12, Memorial Stadium

Coming off a bye the Tigers became the first ACC team and 15th in FBS history with 750 wins. Lawrence passed for three touchdowns, two to Justyn Ross in the second quarter as Clemson built a 28-0 halftime lead, and ran for another. Etienne rushed 17 times for 127 yards.

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) passes near running back Travis Etienne (9) during the third quarter at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday, October 19, 2019.

Clemson 45, Louisville 10

Oct. 19, Louisville, Ky.

Lawrence throws two first-quarter interceptions in or near the end zone to stall the offense and hasn’t thrown another since then. Six Tigers score touchdowns and Etienne runs 14 times for 192 yards.

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Clemson wide receiver Diondre Overton (14) his hugged by teammate wide receiver Joseph Ngata (10) in the end zone during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium before the game with Boston College in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, October 26, 2019.

Clemson 59, Boston College 7

Oct. 26, Memorial Stadium

Clemson outgains Louisville 674-177, the largest differential against an ACC foe since the ACC formed in 1953. Diondre Overton tied a school record with three touchdown catches on three total receptions for 119 yards. Etienne also scores three among his 16 carries for 109 yards.

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Clemson running back Travis Etienne (9) runs 47-yards for a touchdown during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Clemson 59, Wofford 14

Nov. 2, Memorial Stadium

Etienne scoots for a career-high 212 rushing yards to pass James Davis’ career record of 47 rushing touchdowns. Lawrence was 12-of-16 for 218 yards and three touchdowns to starters Higgins, Rodgers and Ross. Clemson has back-to-back 600-yard games and four straight with at least 45 points for first time ever.

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) attempts to evade NC State defense during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.

Clemson 55, N.C. State 10

Nov. 9, Raleigh, N.C.

Clemson clinches its fifth-consecutive Atlantic Division. Etienne scores three touchdowns to break C.J. Spiller’s program record of 51 total touchdowns. Lawrence becomes the first in school history to throw three touchdowns in five straight games adding a career-high 59 rushing yards and a touchdown.

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Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) is hoisted in high after a touchdown catch against Wake Forest during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, November 16, 2019.

Clemson 52, Wake Forest 3

Nov. 16, Memorial Stadium

Clemson holds Wake Forest to 105 total yards (41 passing) and only five first-downs while forcing seven three-and-outs. The win was an ACC record sixth straight by at least 30 points. Higgins records the program’s eighth three-touchdown catch performance and Etienne sets a record with his sixth-consecutive game over 100 yards.

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(Photo by Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Clemson 38, South Carolina 3

Nov. 30, Columbia, S.C.

The Tigers extend their win streak in the annual rivalry game to six, just one shy of the record completed in 1940. Higgins catches two touchdowns passes and joins Ross over 100 yards. Etienne becomes the ACC’s all-time leader in rushing and total touchdowns. The 174 yards allowed was Clemson’s lowest versus USC in 20 years.

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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney raises the Atlantic Coast Conference championship trophy after the team's win over Virginia in an NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)

Clemson 62, Virginia 17

Dec. 7, Charlotte, N.C.

The Tigers win a record fifth consecutive ACC Championship scoring two touchdowns in all four quarters with Higgins catching three touchdown passes for the second time in three games and equals the school’s career record of 27. Virginia ends Clemson’s 12-game streak of holding teams under 300 yards but is outgained 619 to 387 with the Tigers 6-of-9 on third-down tries.

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Clemson running back Travis Etienne, celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Trevor Lawrence during the second half of the team's Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football playoff semifinal against Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Clemson 29, Ohio State 23

Dec. 28, Glendale, Ariz.

The Tigers rallied from a 16-0 second quarter deficit, sparked by Lawrence’s career-long 67-yard touchdown run that cut the deficit to two by halftime. Clemson took its first lead in the third quarter and fell behind in the fourth before Etienne’s 34-yard touchdown catch for the final points. OSU drove deep into Clemson territory on its final possession but Nolan Turner’s interception in the end zone with 37 seconds left sealed the deal.

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