Etienne and Rodgers fuel #Clemson victory over Virginia (VIDEO)

Travis Etienne scored a touchdown in a game for the 38th time, tying an FBS mark held jointly alongside Florida’s Tim Tebow and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

Clemson passed its first four-quarter test of the season with a 41-23 victory over Virginia at Death Valley, Saturday night. The Tigers were pressed into playing their starters into the final quarter for the first time this season as each time Clemson (3-0, 2-0 ACC) landed a haymaker, Virginia returned a blow in kind. And there were plenty of haymakers from the Tigers offense. Running back Travis Etienne (73 yards rushing, 114 yards receiving) and receiver Amari Rodgers (72 yards receiving on six catches) scored two touchdowns, apiece, while quarterback Trevor Lawrence added to his resume with 329 yards passing and three scores. Etienne was especially effective as a receiver with the Cavaliers focused on stifling the run. Lawrence has now thrown 314 consecutive passes without an interception, the longest such streak in the country.

But Clemson was unable to shake Virginia loose until midway through the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers got a gritty performance from quarterback Brennan Armstrong. After starting the game 1 for 8, Armstrong finished 24 of 43 for 270 yards. The southpaw endured a night of punishing hits, carrying the ball 22 times for 89 yards against Brent Venables’ fast and physical defense. In all, Virginia put up 417 yards and averaged 5.1 yards/play. Those are not the numbers Venables is used to seeing, but his unit did force Armstrong into a pair of interceptions (Andrew Booth, Nolan Turner).

The 18-point win will almost certainly keep Clemson atop the AP poll, setting up a top-10 showdown next week with Miami. The Hurricanes (3-0) are enjoying a bye and came into the week ranked 8th in the country. ESPN’s College Gameday will be visiting Clemson for the sixth time.

Recap from Death Valley :

Clemson’s defense didn’t have its best outing but did force a pair of turnovers. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

Dabo Swinney postgame comments

Trevor Lawrence had another stellar outing, eclipsing 300 yards for the ninth time. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

Brent Venables postgame comments

Tony Elliott postgame comments

Trevor Lawrence postgame comments

Travis Etienne’s 1st-quarter touchdown run extended his own school record to 58. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)
Final stats

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