Postgame notes on Clemson-Pittsburgh
|Sunday, December 2, 2018, 12:27 AM-|
With Saturday night’s victory, Clemson (13-0) became the first program to win four consecutive Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Games … The Tigers’ 18 total ACC titles are also the most in league history, three ahead of Florida State’s 15 … Clemson also becomes the first program in the league’ 66-year history to win four consecutive ACC titles outright.
The Tigers have won 56 of their last 60 games … Clemson’s 101-22 record in the 2010s already represents the ¬¬winningest decade in school history, far surpassing the 87-25-4 mark set in the 1980s.
The Tigers are the fifth team in ACC history to win at least 13 games in a season … Clemson’s teams of 2015 and 2016 were the most recent prior to Saturday night, with each posting 14-1 records.
Clemson has won 34 of its last 36 games against ACC opponents, including ACC Championship Game wins over North Carolina (2015), Virginia Tech (2016), Miami (2017) and Pitt (2018).
The Tigers’ current winning streak of 13 consecutive games is tied with Notre Dame for the third-longest active streak in the nation … UCF leads with 25 consecutive wins, and Alabama has won 15 games in a row.
With the victory over the Panthers, the Tigers have come out winners in each of their most recent games against ACC opponents … Pitt held a 2-0 edge in the all-time series between the schools prior to Saturday night, including a 43-42 win over Clemson’s eventual national championship team in 2016.
Clemson limited the Panthers to an ACC Championship Game record low eight yards passing … Virginia Tech set the previous low when it limited Boston College to 84 yards through the air in the 2008 game at Tampa.
The Tigers set another defensive record by limiting Pitt to 200 total yards. Clemson topped its own previous record for fewest yards allowed in the title game (214 in last year’s 38-3 win over Miami).
Clemson led 28-10 at halftime, which tied the Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game record for points in a half … The Tigers matched Florida State’s total in the 2014 game versus Georgia Tech.
2018 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game MVP Travis Etienne’s 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage marked the earliest score in Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game history. There were 14 minutes and 47 seconds showing on first-quarter clock when the Clemson sophomore reached the end zone.
The 75-yard run was the longest offensive play from scrimmage in ACC title game history, surpassing Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas versus Clemson in the 2009 game at Tampa.
Etienne, the ACC Player of the Year and the conference leader in rushing yardage with 1,307 coming into the game, rushed for a total of 24 yards on six carries in last year’s win over Miami in the ACC Championship Game.
Etienne’s 75-yard touchdown run was Clemson’s longest rush from scrimmage in 2018. Etienne and Tavien Feaster each had 70-yard runs during the regular season.
Etienne finished with 156 yards rushing on the night … Etienne, who rushed for 143 yards by halftime, became the fifth player in Clemson history to rush for more than 100 yards in an ACC Championship Game.
The Tigers had 77 net rushing yards as a team in last year’s ACC Championship game. They surpassed that total on their second play from scrimmage (13:12 remaining in the first quarter), when Feaster’s 3-yard run gave them 78 yards for the game.
Etienne’s 3-yard scoring run with 9:29 remaining in the first quarter was Clemson’s school-record 76th touchdown of the season. Clemson will enter the College Football Playoff with 80 touchdowns on the year.
The 63-yard punt by the Tiger’s Will Spiers with just more than a minute remaining in the first half set a Championship Game record, topping the previous mark of 61 yards held by several players.
Clemson set an ACC Championship Game record with three one-play touchdown drives in the opening half … There had been a total of three one-play touchdown drives in the 14-year history of the event prior to Saturday night.
ACC Rookie of the Year Trevor Lawrence finished the night 12-of-24 passing for 118 yards and two touchdown throws to sophomore wideout Tee Higgins … Lawrence has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in eight consecutive games and 12 of the 13 games in which he has appeared this season.
With a 53-4 record for over the past four seasons, Clemson boasts the winningest senior class in both school and ACC history … The Tigers’ current senior class is one of just two in NCAA Division I that has reached the 50-win plateau.
With his 52 yards, senior RB Qadree Ellison has moved into seventh place on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,832 yards.
Pitt’s 117 yards rushing were the most allowed by Clemson in the first half this year.
Sophomore Jason Pinnock had three pass break ups tying an ACC title game mark last accomplished by Wake Forest’s Riley Swanson against Georgia Tech in 2006.
For the first time in school history, Pitt has two 1,000-yard rushers on the season – Qadree Ellison (2,836) and Darrin Hall (1,021).