Junior running back Travis Etienne rushed for a career-high 205 yards and three touchdowns as No. 1 Clemson rolled to a 52-14 victory over Georgia Tech Thursday night at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence passed for one touchdown and ran for another as the Tigers began the defense of their second national championship in three years with a dominant performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Despite missing seven starters off last year’s defense, Clemson put the clamps on the Yellow Jackets’ offense, allowing 294 total yards and 13 first downs while ringing up eight tackles for loss, including three sacks, and two interceptions.
But the star of the night was Etienne, who picked up where he left off last season when he rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns. Etienne, who averaged a gaudy 17.1 yards on his 12 carries, had scoring runs of 90, 14 and 48 yards, pushing his career total to 40 and moving into third place on Clemson’s all-time list.
No. 12 Texas A&M 41, Texas State 7
Kellen Mond passed for 194 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score to help the Aggies earn an easy victory over the Bobcats in College Station, Texas, in the season opener for both teams.
Now comes the hard part: Texas A&M heads on the road next week to play top-ranked Clemson, the defending national champion, the first of the Aggies’ three games this season versus teams ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the preseason poll.
The Aggies cruised to a 28-0 lead at halftime behind Mond’s two TD passes and one scoring run, plus near-flawless play from their defense. Texas A&M freshman Isaiah Spiller and starting running back Jashaun Corbin rushed for 106 and 103 yards, respectively.
No. 14 Utah 30, No. 12 BYU 12
Zack Moss ran 29 times for 188 yards and a touchdown, while the Utes’ defense returned two interceptions for scores, enabling them to pull away from the Cougars in each team’s season opener at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.
Utah struggled for a half before flicking away BYU for the ninth straight year. The Utes set the tone with their first drive of the second half, a 75-yard, 11-play touchdown march to take a 16-6 advantage.
Utah then broke the game open with two touchdowns 31 seconds apart early in the fourth quarter. After a bungled snap exchange set them up at the BYU 22, Moss zipped in from the 4 yards out for a 23-6 lead. Then Julian Blackmon picked off a Zach Wilson pass and slalomed 39 yards with 12:25 left to end the game’s competitive phase.
No. 17 UCF 62, Florida A&M 0
Quarterback Brandon Wimbush was up-and-down in his debut, but it mattered little as Central Florida (1-0) rolled to a rout of Florida A&M before a sellout crowd of 44,073 in Orlando’s Spectrum Stadium.
The graduate transfer from Notre Dame passed for 168 yards and two touchdowns but completed only 12 of 23 attempts and overthrew receivers open for touchdowns three times in the first half. He also had a near interception but escaped when the defensive back dropped the ball.
Running back Adrian Killins Jr. led all rushers with 106 yards on 14 carries. Wide receiver Gabriel Davis had two of UCF’s six scoring receptions.
–Field Level Media