By:|Sidney Rouse:|4.0 Sports Media
CHARLOTTE, NC-Clemson is tired of hearing the chatter about Alabama and how good they are. Every week the Tigers are playing for respect.
#2-ranked Clemson demolished the Panthers made them look like mere mortals and beat them up to a tune 42-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett completed just 4 of 16 passes for 8 yards while the Tigers kept him on the move all game long.
“They’re a good football team. They’ve done that to about everybody they played. We didn’t help ourselves much.” coach Pat Narduzzi said.
Clemson Travis Etienne running back set the tone from the first carry. Etienne found a little seam and hit it hard, scampered 75 yards just 13 seconds into the game. It was the fastest score.
The Panthers couldn’t get on track on offense at all on its fifth possesion— Pickett was hit from behind and fumbled. Boston native defensive tackle Christian Wilkins scooped it up and returned it 18 yards to Pitt’s 3-yard line.
Etienne powered in for another touchdown on the next play, before the Panthers could blind they were down a 14-0 with 9:29 left in the first. Pitt’s defense came up with consecutive stops and changed some of their packages, the offense started to move the ball down the field moving the ball, highlighted by Qadree Ollison’s 26-yard run that set up a 1-yard touchdown, making it 14-10 halfway through the second quarter.
Pitt were down 28-10 at the break. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence hit receiver Tee Higgins for their second score and it was set up by an interception by A.J Terrell who returned it to the 10 yards with 29 tics remaining.
Pickett and the offense just looked out of sync during the first half. The Tigers put so much pressure and strain on the offense that they looked confused on the field.
Clemson’s freshman quarterback, Trevor Lawrence threw for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-24 passing. Etienne carried the ball 12 times for 156 yards, was named MVP of the game.
The Panthers finished the game with 192 yards rushing, held below 200 for the third game in a row after putting up 492 against Virginia Tech. Pickett passed for fewer than 65 yards for the third time this year, and it was the lowest yardage total for a Pitt quarterback since 2000.
Darrin Hall led Pitt with 86 yards rushing on 14 carries, and went over 1,000 for the season.