Travis Etienne ran for 192 yards and a touchdown, Trevor Lawrence overcame two early interceptions to throw for three scores and No. 3 Clemson's stout defense stymied host Louisville to extend its winning streak to 22 games with Saturday's 45-10 Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
Etienne topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the second straight game on just 14 carries, but appeared to injure his leg in the fourth quarter. He essentially put the game away for Clemson (7-0, 5-0 ACC) with a 49-yard touchdown run late in the third.
Lawrence, picked off twice in the first quarter, finished 20 of 29 for 233 yards with touchdown passes to true freshman Joseph Ngata, Justyn Ross and Cornell Powell. Meanwhile, a Tigers defense that entered allowing 12.3 points per contest, held a potent Louisville offense to 263 yards, recorded six sacks and forced three turnovers.
The Cardinals quarterback duo of Micale Cunningham and Evan Conley combined to throw for just 107 yards. Talented freshman running back Javian Hawkins ran the ball 26 times for 129 yards and a late 3-yard TD run for Louisville (4-3, 2-2), which fell to 0-6 against the Tigers.
Clemson opened the scoring on B.T. Potter's 51-yard field goal with 9:27 left in the first quarter. The Tigers were again moving on their next drive when Lawrence was intercepted near the Louisville goal line. Lawrence was picked off again to end the quarter, but he regrouped and found a leaping Ngata for a 6-yard touchdown pass to go up 10-0.
After Blanton Creque's 28-yard field goal with just under five minutes to go in the second quarter got Louisville within 10-3, Ross caught a Lawrence heave in the back of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown catch with 5 seconds left in the half.
Etienne put the game out of reach when he broke free for the long touchdown run with 1:35 left in the third to make it 24-3. However, he limped to the sideline following a run early in the fourth.
In the fourth, Lawrence hit Powell for a 10-yard touchdown pass, Darien Rencher had an 8-yard TD run and Chez Mellusi a 16-yard scoring romp for the Tigers.
--Field Level Media