COLUMBIA, S.C. — Trevor Lawrence threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 3 Clemson to its 27th straight victory and second consecutive 12-0 regular season with a 38-3 victory over rival South Carolina on Saturday.
Travis Etienne ran for two touchdowns to break Atlantic Coast Conference marks for career touchdowns (57) and rushing scores (53) as the Tigers dominated throughout on the way to a sixth straight win over South Carolina (4-8).
Lawrence had touchdown throws of 10 and 65 yards to Tee Higgins and of 16 yards to Justyn Ross. He completed 25 of 35 throws — tying an Atlantic Coast Conference single-game mark with 18 straight at one point — before coming out in the fourth quarter.
Lawrence also had 66 yards rushing to lead Clemson (No. 3 CFP), which will attempt to become the first program to win five straight league championship games when it meets Virginia next week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Clemson's defense did its part in the beatdown, holding the Gamecocks to 174 yards and continuing a run where the Tigers have limited all 12 opponents this year to less than 300 yards of total offense.
South Carolina's defense showed some fight very early, stuffing Etienne for no gain on fourth-and-goal at the 1 on Clemson's first drive. Four plays later, though, Ryan Hilinski threw an interception to Derion Kendrick to set up the first score and Clemson's rout was on.
Lawrence connected with Higgins on a 10-yard score on a perfectly placed over the shoulder throw.
Higgins was on the other end of another beautiful Lawrence TD pass from 65-yards out.
Lawrence and the Tigers benefited from a couple of official reviews. On the first, Justyn Ross' 33-yard catch after he was pushed out of bounds and returned was upheld when South Carolina challenged the call. Then Ross' catch, initially ruled caught out of bounds, was overturned for a 16-yard scoring pass as his backfoot touched turf before going out.
South Carolina, which gained 600 yards a year ago in this game, struggled to make anything against Clemson's front-line defense. The Gamecocks finished with 99 yards overall the first 30 minutes and their only score was Parker White's 39-yard field in the second quarter.
It was South Carolina's fewest points scored against Clemson in 30 years since a 45-0 shutout loss in 1989.
No. 4 Georgia 52,
Georgia Tech. 7
ATHENS, Ga. — Jake Fromm threw four touchdown passes and No. 4 Georgia cruised into the Southeastern Conference championship game with a 52-7 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday — the Bulldogs' biggest win ever over their state rival.
The Bulldogs (11-1) were 28-point favorites over the Yellow Jackets (3-9) and this one was never in doubt, even as Georgia struggled a bit offensively, fumbled the ball away three times, dealt with injury woes, and failed to cover an onside kick.
It was Georgia's third straight win in the one-sided series known as "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate" — all of them blowouts. The Bulldogs have outscored Georgia Tech 135-35 during that span.
When Tyson Campbell recovered a fumbled punt for Georgia's final touchdown in the closing minutes, it surpassed the Bulldogs' previous biggest margin over the Yellow Jackets, a 51-7 rout in 2002.
This was a mere speed bump on the way to next week's SEC title game, where the Bulldogs will face No. 1 LSU with a berth in the College Football Playoff on the line.
Fromm failed to complete half his passes for the fourth week in a row, but it didn't matter. He finished 14 of 29 for 254 yards, connecting on scoring throws of 20 yards to Charlie Woerner, 17 yards to Tyler Simmons, 41 yards to George Pickens and 9 yards to Dominick Blaylock.
The TD to Blaylock with 4 minutes left in the third quarter was Fromm's final throw of the game. Stetson Bennett went the rest of the way at quarterback.
Things got chippy as the game turned into a blowout.
On Blaylock's score, a scrap broke out between Pickens and Georgia Tech cornerback Tre Swilling on the other side of the end zone, with each player throwing punches. The officials assessed them both unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and Pickens was sent to the locker room with an apparent ejection.
Georgia also suffered an injury that could have a big impact on the SEC championship.
Star running back D'Andre Swift fumbled twice, the second of which left him crumpled on the turf holding his left shoulder. He went to the medical tent, had his shoulder pads removed and watched the rest of the game from the bench with a towel over his head.
Georgia Tech wrapped up its first season under coach Geoff Collins with just 139 yards and seven first downs on offense. The Yellow Jackets went three-and-out 11 times and were forced to punt a school-record 13 times.
James Graham was 5 of 20 for 40 yards passing. Georgia Tech's lone touchdown — Graham's 6-yard pass to Tyler Davis — was set up by a fumbled punt that was recovered at the Georgia 17.