Virginia created some buzz early in the game, but Clemson appears to be another 30 minutes from celebrating another ACC championship in a comfortable fashion. Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers lead Virginia 24-7 at halftime in Charlotte.
Lawrence has completed 12 of 15 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns, and he has rushed for 24 yards as well. Tee Higgins has caught seven of those passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Star running back Travis Etienne has carried the football nine times for 84 yards and a score too.
Virginia did get off to a solid start with Bryce Perkins connecting on a deep pass to Hasise Dubois on the opening drive, but Perkins was picked off by Nolan Turner in the end zone at the end of the drive. After Clemson scored on their first offensive series following the interception, Virginia went right down the field their next time out to tie the game at 7-7. But a fumble on their next offensive series led to a Clemson touchdown to increase Clemson’s lead to 24-7 in the second quarter.
The way things are going tonight, Clemson is certainly about to wrap up a fourth consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff as the ACC champion. They could also be making a case for a top-two seed with Ohio State in some trouble tonight in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis, although getting to the No. 1 seed may be just out of reach for the defending national champions after LSU’s big win today in the SEC’s championship game.