2019 Recap: Tigers Make History Against Cavaliers

Travis Boland

The staff at AllClemson is taking a look back at the 2019 season game-by-game, featuring the highlights, momentum-changing moments and stars. We continue with a look at the Tigers' victory in the ACC championship game against Virginia.

Clemson traveled to Charlotte to face the Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC championship. The Tigers looked to solidify their spot in the College Football Playoff while capturing a record-breaking fifth consecutive ACC title.

Virginia entered the came after defeating in-state rival Virginia Tech to clinch its first ACC Coastal Division title. Quarterback Bryce Perkins threw for 311 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 164 yards and two scores.

Perkins kept the Cavaliers close as Clemson held a one score advantage after one quarter, but the Tigers offense would take control as Tee Higgins caught nine passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns to be named Most Valuable Player.

Here’s how it happened:

It was over when

Higgins caught a seven-yard touchdown pass with 0:49 seconds left in the first half. The touchdown capped off a 24-0 run that gave the Tigers a 31-7 halftime lead.

Play of the game

Trevor Lawrence completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Higgins in the third quarter. The touchdown was the fourth of the game for Lawrence setting an ACC championship game record.

Player of the game

Higgins was named MVP, but running back Travis Etienne rushed for 114 yards. It was his eighth 100 yard game of the season.

What was that?

Virginia's defense sacked Lawrence twice in the first half. The Tigers offensive line had only allowed 11 sacks the entire regular season.

Freshman impact

Defensive tackle Tyler Davis led the Tigers with 1.5 sacks. He also added five total tackles in the victory.

Stat of the game: 19

The victory gave Clemson its league-leading 19th ACC championship. The Tigers also became the first team in ACC history to win five consecutive outright titles. 

He said it ...

"Just seeing the look in everybody's eyes, there's an excitement about being in this game. It's always going to be different because there's always a different challenge." - Justyn Ross following Clemson's 62-17 victory over Virginia in the ACC championship.