Trevor Lawrence looked sharp, Travis Etienne looked like he was in mid-season form, and the defense was downright dominant.
The top-ranked Clemson Tigers rolled into Winston-Salem on Saturday night and did exactly what they were supposed to do, beating Wake Forest 37-13 in the season opener for both teams.
Clemson scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions as the Demon Deacons never stood a chance in this one.
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- There will be no slow start for Lawrence this season. The Heisman favorite finished up 22-28 for 351 yards, with three total touchdowns. He averaged 12.5 yards per attempt and did not turn the ball over. At one point Lawrence completed 12 consecutive passes and did it in just about 2.5 quarters of action.
- Etienne wasn't as dominant as he has been at times over his career, but he had a productive night nonetheless. The senior running back finished with 102 yards on the ground and averaged six yards per carry. It was the 18th 100-yard rushing game of his career, which sets a new school record. His touchdown run in the third quarter gives him a rushing touchdown in ten straight games, which is also a new school record.
- Clemson might have been without two of its top corners in Derion Kendrick and Mario Goodrich, but the secondary had no problem overcoming their absence. Sheridan Jones and Andrew Booth Jr. turned in solid efforts against the Wake Forest receivers.
- This Clemson defensive line is going to be really good. The front four controlled the line of scrimmage all night long. Wake Forest had nowhere to run and the Tigers had six sacks on the night.
- Freshmen Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee both made their presence felt early on Saturday night. Murphy had seven total tackles and two sacks, both of which were team highs. Bresee added in half a sack.
- The long-awaited question has now been answered as freshman D.J. Uiagalelei was the first quarterback into the game once Trevor Lawrence's night was done. He went 2-3 for 16 yards in his college debut.
- Thirteen different receivers caught a pass in this game, and that is what you call spreading the wealth around. In what could be a sign of things to come, Amari Rodgers and Braden Galloway, both had five catches, which were most on the team.
- The new-look offensive line passed its first test. The Tigers allowed two sacks on the night but one of those was on Lawrence when he clearly should have thrown the ball away. They were solid in pass protection and opened holes in the running game as the Tigers averaged four yards per carry and rushed for 185 total yards.
- B.T. Potter was perfect on the night, hitting on all three of his field-goal attempts. One of those was a 52-yarder at the end of the first half. If he can keep that up, he could become a valuable weapon for this Clemson team.