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Clemson routs Wake Forest thanks to explosive run game

The Clemson Tigers eviscerated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Saturday afternoon to the score of 63-3. 
Looking at the score, it might be strange to hear that Clemson had trouble getting a feel for the offense at the beginning of the game. They did though, as Trevor Lawrence fumbled the football on the Tigers’ opening drive. As he went back to throw, the ball seemed to slide right out of his hands, putting Wake Forest in decent field position. 
The defense, on the other hand, had no trouble getting into the feel of the game. Due to a combination of penalties and stifling defensive pressure, the Demon Deacons had -44 total yards of offense in their first two drives. Linebacker Tre Llamar continued to blossom with 5 total tackles including a sack in the first quarter alone, finishing the game with 8 total tackles including two sacks. 
After the defense forced a 3-and-out, Trevor Lawrence took the field and gave Clemson fans another injury scare just a week removed from an early exit due to what was later diagnosed as a neck strain. Lawrence was taken into the medical tent after being hit in the leg on a scramble to the sideline, but returned to the game on Clemson’s next offensive possession.
After an Xavier Thomas stuff, an illegal formation penalty against the Wake Forest offense and a dropped interception by Mark Fields, the Clemson offense once again took the field. 
Travis Etienne put Clemson on the board after a showcase of patience and explosive acceleration propelled him to a 59-yard touchdown. 
By the end of the first quarter, the Clemson defense had allowed 0 rushing yards thanks to standout efforts by defensive end Clelin Ferrell and the aforementioned Tre Llamar. Trevor Lawrence had yet to make an impact, with just 41 passing yards (though he was 9-11 on his throws). 
At the start of the second quarter, Clemson linebacker Tanner Muse intercepted opposing quarterback Sam Hartman, giving Clemson excellent field position. Travis Etienne capitalized on this with a 22-yard run, followed by a 3 yard-touchdown run to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead.
Thanks to another defensive stop that gave Clemson the ball back, Trevor Lawrence made his presence felt in the game with a 55-yard touchdown pass to receiver Justyn Ross. Deacon safety Cameron Glenn had been ejected earlier in the game due to a targeting call, which left the already vulnerable Wake Forest secondary looking even more depleted and Lawrence took advantage. 
Receiver Tee Higgins benefitted from Lawrence’s throwing prowess as well, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass to end the 1st half. 
The second half was marked with more excellent play on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the ground game was breathtaking. It was huge play after huge play as Travis Etienne began the second half with a 70-yard touchdown run. Adam Choice made an impact of his own at the end of the 3rd quarter with a 64-yard touchdown run. On the next Clemson drive, Lyn-J Dixon introduced himself to the Clemson faithful with a 65-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter and a 52-yard touchdown run at the end of the 4th quarter. By the end of the game, the Tigers had accumulated 471 yards on the ground. 
Backup quarterback Chase Brice, the savior of the Syracuse game, also got some playing time and made the most of his time with a late touchdown pass to Diondre Overton. 
Defensively, the Tigers were immovable. In total, the defense allowed less than 200 yards, with much of those coming late in the game after the defensive starters were resting on the sideline. Wake Forest’s only points came in the form of a field goal halfway through the 3rd quarter.
After such a dominating win on the road against a solid Wake Forest team, the Tigers have to feel like they are building steam heading into their bye week. 
Clemson will host the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday, October 20th. 

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