Travis Etienne rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 4 Clemson ran for 471 yards in a 63-3 rout of Wake Forest on Saturday.
Three Tigers had at least 100 yards rushing, the first time they’ve done that since 2006 during their most productive rushing performance since 1981.
In addition to Etienne — who scored on runs of 59, 3 and 70 yards — Lyn-J Dixon rushed for 163 yards and Adam Choice had 128. Dixon had touchdown runs of 65 and 52 yards, and Choice had a 64-yard TD run.
Trevor Lawrence was 20 of 25 for 175 yards with a 55-yard touchdown pass to Justyn Ross and a 20-yarder to Tee Higgins in about 2 1/2 quarters before leaving with the score out of hand. This was the freshman’s second start, and first on the road.
They helped the Tigers (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) open with six victories for the fourth straight year. In each of the previous three seasons they did it, they won the ACC and reached the College Football Playoff.
And not to be outdone, the defense was just as dominant, making this arguably the Tigers’ most complete performance thus far. When Clemson went up 35-0 just 75 seconds into the third quarter, Wake Forest had minus-2 yards rushing.
Sam Hartman was 7 for 20 for 74 yards with an interception, and Nick Sciba kicked a 25-yard field goal for Wake Forest (3-3, 0-2), which has lost three of four with the lone victory coming against Rice.
Clemson: It’s been a while since the Tigers ran wild like this. Not since James Davis (143 yards), C.J. Spiller (127) and Demerick Chancellor (113) against Louisiana Tech 12 years ago had three Clemson players cracked the 100-yard mark. They entered with three 60-yard plays on the season — then doubled that total against Wake Forest. Not surprisingly, they were never in danger of another scare like Syracuse gave them last week .
Wake Forest: Big plays were once again a big problem, with the Demon Deacons — who had allowed 11 touchdowns of 20 or more yards in the first five games before giving up six more against Clemson. They fell to 0-3 against power-conference opponents, and for the second time in 15 days gave up 56 points against a top-10 team at home. No. 8 Notre Dame routed the Deacons 56-27 on Sept. 22.
Clemson: Has a week off before a critical Atlantic Division matchup with No. 23 North Carolina State on Oct. 20.
Wake Forest: Also is idle next weekend, and will visit Florida State on Oct. 20.