• 61°

No. 4 Clemson tops NC State, 55-10, wins ACC division title

Clemson routs Wolfpack, makes statement

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney congratulates Clemson’s John Simpson (74) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

By AARON BEARD AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw for two scores and ran for another in a dominating first quarter for fourth-ranked Clemson, which beat North Carolina State 55-10 on Saturday night to clinch a trip to Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
The reigning national champion Tigers learned this week that they were on the outside looking in for the first rankings for the four-team College Football Playoff. Yet coach Dabo Swinney had said the Tigers (10-0, 7-0, No. 5 CFP) were in a “good spot” and needed to focus instead on finishing strong.
Starting that way was enough against the Wolfpack (4-5, 1-4) as Clemson extended its school-record winning streak to 25 games.
By halftime, Clemson led 42-0. That first half was highlighted by 6-foot-4, 330-pound left guard John Simpson taking a goal-line handoff and plowing in for a 1-yard touchdown. Near the end of the game, Clemson added a 1-yard scoring run with 11 seconds left before letting linebacker James Skalski unsuccessfully kick the extra point.
There weren’t many positives for N.C. State beyond freshman Zonovan Knight’s 53-yard TD run. That came early in the third quarter, long after the Wolfpack’s typically rowdy fans had fled for the exits to leave the rest of the game to play out in a largely empty Carter-Finley Stadium.
THE TAKEAWAY
Clemson: The four-time reigning ACC champions claimed the league’s Atlantic Division title with the win and No. 22 Wake Forest’s loss at Virginia Tech earlier Saturday. That will give the Tigers a shot at becoming the first team in any power conference to win five straight league championship games when they face the Coastal Division champion Dec. 7 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
N.C. State: Injuries have caused an already young team to force even younger players into the lineup, and it didn’t get better Saturday night. A Lawrence keeper ended with three Wolfpack players lying on the turf in pain and ultimately left freshman linebacker Payton Wilson with his left arm in a sling and an ice bag on his shoulder. Redshirt freshman Devin Leary struggled again in his second start at quarterback — including simply dropping the ball in the pocket for a turnover — in a game that got away quickly. N.C. State must win two of the final three games to reach a sixth straight bowl game.
POLL IMPLICATIONS
The Tigers could move up in the AP Top 25 with No. 2 Alabama losing to No. 1 LSU. They also could rise in the playoff rankings with Alabama (No. 3 CFP) and No. 5 Penn State (No. 4 CFP) both falling Saturday.
UP NEXT
Clemson: The Tigers host No. 22 Wake Forest next Saturday.
N.C. State: Louisville visits the Wolfpack next Saturday.
___
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball , https://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 and https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast
___
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts

Business

Groundbreaking on Pennant Square signals next phase in downtown Kannapolis revitalization

Nation/World

J&J vaccine to remain in limbo while officials seek evidence

Nation/World

Prosecutors: No charges for officer in Capitol riot shooting

Nation/World

Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan, end ‘forever war’

Nation/World

Former Minnesota cop charged in shooting of Black motorist

Crime

Blotter: April 14

Elections

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

Crime

Salisbury woman arrested in Myrtle Beach for abducting child

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant