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Sport No. 3 Clemson crushes Virginia 62-17 for ACC title

06:40  08 december  2019
06:40  08 december  2019 Source:   ap.org

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CHARLOTTE, NC – Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is happy his players can finally make the case for themselves that they are a championship-caliber team. The third-ranked Tigers (12-0; No . 3 CFP) take on No. 22 Virginia (9-3; No. 23 CFP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes, three to Tee Higgins, and No. 3 Clemson won its fifth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title with a 62-17 victory over No. 22 Virginia on Saturday night.

The defending national champion Tigers (13-0; No. 3 CFP) have won 28 games in a row and head to the College Football Playoff with chance for a third crown in four years.

BOX SCORE: CLEMSON 62, VIRGINIA 17

And while Virginia (9-4; No. 23 CFP) and quarterback Bryce Perkins put forth a game plan that caused the Tigers to sweat early on, there was no stopping Clemson's dazzling set of experienced playmakers led by Lawrence and Higgins on the way to ACC championship game records for points and yards (621),

Lawrence set an ACC title-game record with his four touchdown throws and had 302 yards passing, his second best total this season, and completed 16 of 22 passes before coming out in the third quarter.

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No . 3 Clemson , No. 23 Virginia battle for ACC title . No . 3 Clemson will be seeking its fifth consecutive conference crown when it faces No. 23 Virginia on Saturday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is happy his players can finally make the case for themselves that they are a championship-caliber team. The third-ranked Tigers (12-0; No . 3 CFP) take on No. 22 Virginia (9-3; No. 23 CFP) for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship on Saturday night

Higgins finished with 182 yards receiving yards and the three TDs, both bests in ACC Championship game play.

Travis Etienne had 114 yards, his eighth game over 100 yards this season.

Virginia and Perkins appeared to have a game plan to compete with the Tigers, even without leading receiver Joe Reed out due to injury.

Perkins threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Hasise Dubois to tie it 7, just the second TD pass allowed by Clemson in its past seven games.

Virginia's defense sacked Lawrence twice in the opening half (Clemson had allowed only 11 sacks in the regular season) and Perkins accounted for 177 yards the first 30 minutes -- nearly as many as the 194 yards the Tigers allowed in a 38-3 win last week over South Carolina.

But it was impossible to contain Clemson's offense.

Higgins had scoring catches of 19 and 7 yards, Justyn Ross went 59-yards for another touchdown (the second longest in ACC Championship game history) and Etienne broke free for a 26-yard touchdown run as Clemson opened a 31-7 lead by halftime.

Ohio State stays No. 1, while Utah leads Oklahoma in College Football Playoff rankings

  Ohio State stays No. 1, while Utah leads Oklahoma in College Football Playoff rankings Ohio State continued is hold on the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff ahead of LSU. Utah leads Oklahoma for the critical No. 5 position.There was change below the top four, however. Utah moves up one place to fifth with Alabama's loss to Auburn. The Utes are followed closely by Oklahoma and Baylor. Wisconsin, Florida and Penn State round out the top 10.

No. 22 Virginia (9-3, 6 - 2 ACC ) vs. No . 3 Clemson (12-0, 8-0; No . 3 CFP), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST (ABC). Line: Clemson by 28. KEY MATCHUP. Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins against Clemson ’s back seven. The Tigers defense has held all 12 opponents to under 300 yards this season

Beat Virginia and Clemson becomes the first in any league with five straight championship game wins. “We all know we’ve got playoff opportunities and all that stuff,” Swinney said. But Virginia is led by quarterback Bryce Perkins, the ACC leader in total offense (303 yards per game) who’s gaining more

Perkins, the ACC's leader in total offense, had 324 of the Cavaliers' 387 yards, which were a season high allowed by Clemson's defense this season.

The Cavaliers played without leading receiver and the ACC's top kick returner in Joe Reed due to injury.

THE TAKEAWAY

Virginia: The Cavaliers showed creativity and ability in devising and executing a game plan designed to make Clemson sweat. But the gap between Virginia and the Tigers -- as it is for most everyone else in the ACC -- was too wide to overcome without perfection on nearly every snap.

Clemson: The Tigers showed once more they had no equals this season in the ACC. The challenge now grows more difficult with Clemson likely facing off against LSU or Ohio State in the national semifinals.

UP NEXT

Virginia awaits its bowl assignment, most likely the Orange Bowl.

Clemson will head to the College Football Playoff with its matchup announced Sunday.

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Related slideshow: Best of college football conference championship weekend (provided by imagn)

LSU Tigers running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) moves the ball against Georgia Bulldogs defensive back J.R. Reed (20) in the third quarter in the 2019 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 7, 2019.

Clemson football expected to score big during Early Signing Period that opens Wednesday .
Clemson has received commitments from six 5-star players, twice as many as any other program. Early Signing Day is the new National Signing Day. According to 247Sports, 65 percent of high school prospects signed early two years ago; last year that number increased to 77 percent and is expected to top 80 percent this week.Players who don’t sign by Friday evening must wait until the first Wednesday in February – the traditional signing day – to formalize their commitments.Clemson is expected to bring in one of the top groups of high school athletes once again despite having limited recruiting time of late.

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