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No. 3 Clemson wallops No. 23 Virginia to win ACC championship


King Clemson's reign rolls on, as the No. 3 Tigers trampled No. 23 Virginia 62-17 to win their fifth straight ACC Championship Game on Saturday night in Charlotte, N.C.

The Tigers (13-0) extended their winning streak to 28 games and became the first team in the AP Poll era (since 1936) to win eight consecutive games by 30 or more points.

Trevor Lawrence threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, his eighth straight game with at least three TD passes. Tee Higgins had nine catches for a career-high 182 yards and three scores. Travis Etienne tied a school record with his 17th career 100-yard rushing game (114 yards).

The Tigers set ACC title game records for points and total yards (619) against the Cavaliers (9-4), who were making their first appearance in the league championship game.

Bryce Perkins passed for 266 yards, two scores and two interceptions against a Clemson defense that had surrendered only six TD passes in its first 12 games. Hasise Dubois had a career-high 10 catches for 130 yards, and the Cavaliers (387 yards) became the first team to gain more than 300 yards against the Tigers this season.

Virginia went right at Clemson, reaching the red zone in just three plays on the game's opening possession before Perkins' overthrown pass was intercepted in the end zone by Nolan Turner.

Lawrence took advantage of the turnover, driving 80 yards in 94 seconds and putting Clemson up 7-0 with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Higgins.

Perkins tied it with a 20-yard pass to Dubois, just the second first-quarter touchdown scored against the Tigers all season.

Lawrence answered with another quick strike, finding Justyn Ross in stride for a 59-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 with 4:46 left in the first quarter.

The defending national champions dominated the second quarter, building a 31-7 halftime lead with B.J. Potter's 47-yard field goal, Etienne's 26-yard touchdown run and Higgins' 7-yard TD catch.

UVA opened the second-half scoring with Perkins' 8-yard pass to Terrell Jana, but Clemson answered five plays later with Higgins' 11-yard touchdown grab for a 38-14 lead.

Lyn-J Dixon's 23-yard TD rush extended it to 45-14 with a minute left in the third quarter, bringing an end to the night for most of the Tigers' starters.

--Field Level Media

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