Lawrence and Etienne Shine as Clemson Defeats Wake Forest, 37-13 to Open Season

Lawrence and Etienne Shine as Clemson Defeats Wake Forest, 37-13 to Open Season
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is untouched as he scores in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Walt Unks/Winston-Salem Journal) (Source: Walt Unks)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A stellar outing by quarterback Trevor Lawrence and a Clemson-record 18th career 100-yard rushing performance by running back Travis Etienne led the No. 1 Clemson Tigers (1-0, 1-0 ACC) to a 37-13 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-1, 0-1 ACC) at Truist Field on Saturday. The win marked Clemson’s sixth consecutive 1-0 start to a season and improved Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s week one record to 11-1.

Lawrence finished the game 22-of-28 for 351 yards and a touchdown to go along with two touchdown runs. Wide receiver Amari Rodgers led the way with 90 yards on five receptions. Etienne totaled 102 yards rushing on 17 attempts, including a two-yard touchdown run to go along with his three receptions for 47 yards. With his 18th career 100-yard rushing game, Etienne passed Wayne Gallman (17 from 2014-16) for Clemson’s career 100-yard rushing mark.

On the defensive side of the ball, Winston-Salem native K.J. Henry recorded the first of Clemson’s six sacks on the night. Bryan Bresee recorded a half sack, becoming the first true freshman Tiger to record at least a half sack in a season opener since Dexter Lawrence and Tre Lamar in 2016, a feat also accomplished by fellow true freshman Myles Murphy later in the contest. The defense surrendered its first touchdown with just 2:34 left to play.

Lawrence scored the first touchdown of Clemson’s season for the second straight year on a two-yard rush early in the first quarter, capping a nine-play, 92-yard drive. Rodgers hauled in three passes for 55 yards on the drive. Lawrence would rush for another touchdown, this time for one yard, to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead. This was the junior’s first career game with multiple rushing touchdowns.

Lawrence’s first passing touchdown of the season was a 12-yard strike to tight end J.C. Chalk, the first touchdown reception of Chalk’s career. A 52-yard B.T. Potter field goal as the first half expired sent Clemson into halftime with a 27-0 lead. Potter was a perfect 4/4 on extra points and 3/3 on field goals.

The second half saw freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei make his Clemson debut en route to a 2-3 performance for 16 yards. Tight end Braden Galloway also raked in a career-high five receptions for a career-high-tying 60 yards

Clemson returns to Death Valley for its home opener next Saturday when it hosts The Citadel at 4 p.m. on ACC Network.