Back Hot Read: Clemson Returns to Winning Ways

Back To ACC

Hot Read: Clemson Returns to Winning Ways

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

Trevor Lawrence and Clemson rout Pitt 52-17.

1. Having not played in 21 days dating back to the double-overtime loss at Notre Dame, Clemson had quite the bounce back performance in looking like a leading national contender. Facing a Pittsburgh team that has played pretty well when quarterback Kenny Pickett has been healthy, the Tigers promptly routed the last program to win in Death Valley. Clemson outgained the Panthers 581 yards to 246 and dominated every aspect of the football game. The Tigers didn't waste any team reintroducing themselves either, scoring 31 points in a statement first quarter.

2. Trevor Lawrence had not seen the field in five weeks, yet had one of the best games of his career. Lawrence completed 26-of-37 passes for 403 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Cornell Powell and Amari Rodgers for a number of big plays. Saturday maked Lawrence's second career 400-yard passing performance.

3. Clemson's defense completely dominated. The Tigers intercepted Kenny Pickett, a likely upcoming NFL Draft pick, four times. Mario Goodrich had two picks, with Malcolm Green and Andrew Booth, Jr., each recording one. Overall, Clemson limited Pickett to just 209 yards on 39 total attempts. Furthermore, the Tigers held Pittsburgh to less than one yard per carry, compiling six sacks and eight tackles for loss. The Panthers were just 4-of-17 on third downs.

4. Playmakers were everywhere for the Tigers. Amari Rodgers caught ten passes, moving him into first in the ACC in receptions. Though it wasn't a huge day for Travis Etienne, the all-time great scored two more rushing touchdowns in limited action. He now has a dozen rushing scores on the season and has rushed for at least one touchdown in each of Clemson's FBS games.

5. Pittsburgh was overwhelmed in the first quarter, following behind 31-0 in the opening quarter. The Panthers turned the football over five times, could not establish the line of scrimmage and simply had no defensive answer for Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers offensively.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports