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Clemson Syracuse Football

Clemson running back Travis Etienne runs for a first down against Syracuse's Cooper Lutz during the NCAA college football game Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In front of the third largest home crowd in the history of Syracuse football, 50,248, the No. 1 ranked Clemson Tigers (3-0, 2-0 ACC) continued their run of dominance, as they knocked off the Orange (1-2, 0-1 ACC) by a final score of 41-6 at the Dome.

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"Super proud of our guys," head coach Dabo Swinney said. "Anytime you go on the road in the kind of environment and get a division win...I am so proud."

"Lots of positives, lots of good things...but still a lot that we can get better on."

After both teams exchanged punts to start the game, the Tigers broke the stalemate on their next possession.

After both teams exchanged punts to start the game, the Tigers broke the stalemate on their next possession.

CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Not repeat of 2017 setback

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (22-39 for 395 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions) picked apart the Orange defense, as he completed four of five passes for 55 yards—including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Amari Rodger that capped off a seven-play, 79-yard drive that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

After the Orange's second punt of the game, the Tigers went to work.

After a 4-yard rush by Travis Etienne, Lawrence found Tee Higgins for a 35-yard gain. A personal foul roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Syracuse 23-yard line, and the Tigers needed only five plays to double their lead, as Lawrence's 1-yard touchdown run extended the lead to 14-0.

CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Tigers prepare for The Dome

Inline

Lawrence walks into the end zone for a first quarter touchdown

The Orange broke the shutout on the first drive of the second quarter, as a 29-yard field goal capped a 10-play, 48-yard drive that cut the Tigers' lead to 14-3.

After both teams exchanged four punts, the Tigers got back on the board. Lawrence found Higgins for a 13-yard reception, followed by a 53-yard reception that moved the ball to the Orange 8-yard line. But a 15-yard face mask penalty on Higgins backed the Tigers up to their own 23.

The Tigers settled for a 40-yard field goal from B.T. Potter that extended the lead to 17-3.

The Orange had their best drive of the first half on their ensuing possession, as they drove the ball to the Tigers' 5-yard line after a 50-yard pass by Tommy Devito and a 17-yard completion. But the Orange were unable to find the end zone, as they settled for a second field goal of the night that cut the lead to 17-6.

After back-to-back interceptions by Lawrence and Devito, the Tigers took over at their own 4-yard line and after back-to-back runs for Lawrence and Etienne the Tigers finally hit on a big play, as Amari Rodgers took a screen pass and scrambled down the sideline for an 87-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 24-6.

"We had some explosive plays, we just need to be more consistent and that starts with me," Lawrence said. "Proud of the team for getting a big road win."

The Tigers were not finished in the third quarter. Following Lawrence's second interception of the night, the Orange failed on four attempts to score from the 3-yard line. The Tigers' needed only two plays, after getting the ball back on downs, to move the ball to the Syracuse 25-yard line, where Potter connected on his second field goal of the night and extended the lead to 27-6.

"Shoutout to the defense, because they were lights out all night," Swinney said. "We had a couple of goal line stands and they had an opportunity to get some momentum, but we shut them down."

The Tigers put a final nail in the Orange's coffin in the fourth quarter, as Lawrence and company marched down the field and capped off a seven-play, 70-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Frank Ladson Jr.

The Tigers got the ball back with only 1:30 to play in the game, and were simply looking to run out the clock when true freshman Chez Mellusi broke free from the Orange for a 58-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 41-6.

Tiger tracks

  • Clemson won its 18th consecutive game, dating to the start of the 2018 season. It would represent Clemson's all-time longest winning streak, surpassing a 17-game streak across the final three games of the 2014 season and the first 14 games in 2015.
  • Clemson attempting won its eighth straight true road game and avenge its most recent road loss (2017 at Syracuse). It would be Clemson's fourth road winning streak of eight games or more all-time, joining eight-game streaks from 1947-48 and 1978-79 as well as the school-record 12-game streak from 2015-17.
  • Clemson captured their 33rd victory in its last 36 games away from home.
  • Clemson won a 13th consecutive ACC regular season game for the third time in school history (20 from 1981-84, 14 from 2015-16).

Up next

The Tigers return home to take on the Charlotte 49ers next Saturday (7:30 p.m.,

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Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat. He also serves as a co-host of Solid Orange, seen at 11 p.m. Wednesdays on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia. He is editor of www.ClemsonMaven.io

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