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Clemson Vs. NC State score: No. 3 Tigers assert their dominance with rout of no. 16 Wolfpack



No. 16 NC State was expected to be the biggest test standing between no. 3 Clemson and the College Football Playoff when the two undefeated ACC Atlantic rivals teed it up Saturday afternoon. If that's the case, then the Tigers passed with flying colors. True freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence went 26-of-39 passing for 308 yards and one touchdown, and the Tiger Defense shut the Wolfpack open in a 41

-7 win in Death Valley.

Alabama is not the only juggernaut rolling through the season like a Mack truck.

For the first time all season against a solid opponent, the Tigers looked like many expected to be in the course of the season. Travis Etienne – who scored three touchdowns on just 39 yards – helped the offense come out, and it never looked back. This is exactly how it should work with Lawrence under center.

His ability to take the top off in opposing secondary loosens the defense up, and the running game brings the hammer. The fact that Etienne – who came into the game averaging 9.17 yards per carry – did not make a great game from a yardage perspective. Syracuse and Wake Forest, and Lawrence did it himself. Clemson wants face all year. Clemson's College Football Playoff puzzle.

Ryan Finley and the Wolfpack. Finley was held to 156 yards and threw two interceptions, the Tigers notched 10 tackles for loss and hero NC State to just 2 of 12 on third-down conversions.

What's even more important the work of the secondary. Finley's worst passing game against Virginia, when he threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns. That was the only game prior to Saturday that he was under 300 passing yards. Clemson gave up 430 yards and 250 yards to Texas A & M and Syracuse, respectively.

Let's not get too far ahead, though. It took Clemson half of the season, and top-ranked Alabama hit it from the moment the season started. Saturday's win over NC The Clumson is a threat to the Crimson Tide right now, but it did prove it's the clear-cut favorite to win the ACC's Atlantic, ACC title and make the College Football playoff for the fourth straight

If Clemson's trajectory keeps pointing up, it will come to Alabama's level December.


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