No. 3 Clemson Claims 2019 ACC Championship
Press Release Courtesy Clemson Athletics
CHARLOTTE — No. 3/3 Clemson (13-0) defeated No. 22/22 Virginia 62-17 to win its fifth consecutive ACC Football Championship Game on Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium. Clemson is the first team in college football history to win five straight conference championship games. The win also extends Clemson’s nation-best win streak to 28 games.
The Tigers await a likely spot in a fifth-straight College Football Playoff when selections are announced Sunday at 12 p.m. on ESPN.
Clemson has now won 19 ACC Championships and 25 overall conference championships in its history.
Trevor Lawrence set an ACC Championship Game record with four touchdown passes, three of which went to Tee Higgins. Clemson built a 31-7 halftime lead, scoring on its first five possessions, en route to an ACC Championship Game record 62 points and 619 total yards.
The sophomore quarterback finished 16-of-22 and 302 passing yards, and extended his streak of consecutive games with three touchdown passes to eight. Higgins finished with three touchdown receptions, and 182 receiving yards, each setting an ACC Championship Game record. With three touchdown receptions on the night, Higgins tied Clemson’s all-time receiving touchdowns record with 27 (Watkins/Hopkins).
Travis Etienne rushed for 114 yards and one touchdown on the night. Etienne reached 1,500 rushing yards on the season for the second consecutive season, becoming the first player in program history to accomplish the feat.
Clemson opened the scoring when Lawrence found Higgins on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Lawrence would respond to Virginia’s touchdown drive, connecting with Justyn Ross on a 59-yard touchdown to reclaim the lead in the first quarter. B.T. Potter knocked in a 47-yard field goal, Etienne added a 26-yard touchdown, and Lawrence connected with Higgins on a 7-yard score to give Clemson a 31-7 halftime lead.
Higgins added his third touchdown of the game to open the scoring for the Tigers in the second half, scoring from 11 yards out on a pass from Lawrence. Lyn-J Dixon scored on a 23-yard rush with a minute remaining in the third quarter, as Clemson increased its lead, 45-14. Potter added his second field goal of the night in the fourth quarter, this time from 24 yards out. Chase Brice scored his first career rushing touchdown with eight minutes remaining to give Clemson a 55-17 lead. Chez Mellusi capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard rushing touchdown.