BOSTON (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score and No. 2 Clemson knocked Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown out of the game early on the way to routing the 17th-ranked Eagles 27-7 on Saturday night.
The battle for first-place in the ACC Atlantic Division was not much of a fight. The Tigers (10-0, 7-0, No. 2 CFP) wrapped up a fourth straight trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game as division champions and kept rolling toward another trip to the College Football Playoff.
Boston College (7-3, 4-2) lost Brown on its first possession when the sophomore got off a third-and-9 pass, but was thrown to the turf by star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Athletic trainers attended to Brown on the field and he walked to the sideline on his own. He wasn’t there long before heading to the locker room. In the second quarter, it was announced he would not return. His injury was not immediately known.
Without Brown, BC never threated Clemson’s defense. But the Tigers let the Eagles hang around. BC’s Michael Walker returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and Clemson stalled a couple times in the red zone. With 260 yards of offense, Clemson led only 13-7 at half.
It took six plays from scrimmage into the second half for the Tigers to build some cushion. BC went three-and-out and Clemson went 64 yards in three plays, the last a walk-in touchdown from 6 yards out by Lawrence.
BC backup quarterback E.J. Perry took over for Brown and was overmatched against one of the best defenses in the country. The sophomore is a better runner than passer, and Wilkins, Austin Bryant and Tanner Muse feasted against the Eagles’ limited attack. Clemson held BC star tailback AJ Dillon to 39 yards on 16 carries.
The Eagles managed 113 total yards and nine first downs.
Lawrence was 29 for 40 for 295 yards, including a 2-yard TD pass in the first quarter to Milan Richard out of the Fridge Formation. With 350-pound defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence at fullback and the 315-pound Wilkins at tailback, Trevor Lawrence faked to Wilkins and flipped to Richard on fourth down to put Clemson up 10-7.
Clemson: The one nit to pick was the Tigers never got their running game really cranked up, but a 58-yard punt return touchdown by Amari Rodgers early in the fourth quarter eliminated any possibility for drama.
Boston College: The Eagles’ biggest home game in years featured a sellout crowd of 44,500, sprinkled with Clemson orange, and ESPN’s “College GameDay” on campus for the first time since 2009. The crowd started building on campus for the pregame show by 5 a.m ., lining the “Million Dollar Stairs” that connect the upper campus to the area around Alumni Stadium. The Eagles still have a chance to reach eight victories for the first time since 2009 and nine wins since 2008.
One day short of a year ago, Brown blew out his knee against North Carolina State.
Clemson: The Tigers return home to finish the season against Duke and then South Carolina.
Boston College: The Eagles go to Florida State next week.
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