Clemson dominates Hurricanes in 38-3 win to claim ACC championship

Top-ranked Tigers likely earn playoff spot; Miami likely headed to Orange Bowl

Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne scores a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes in the first quarter of the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 2, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Clemson Tigers are Atlantic Coast Conference champions again.

Top-ranked Clemson scored three rushing touchdowns against in the rushing seventh-ranked Miami in the first half of Saturday night's ACC Championship game, setting the tone for the Tigers' dominating performance en route to a 38-3 win that most likely punched their ticket to the College Football Playoff.

It was over before it really began. The Tigers held Miami (10-2) to 64 yards of total offense in the first half and led 21-0 at halftime.

Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant was 23-of-29 passing for 252 yards and a touchdown.

The Tigers (12-1) scored on their first three possessions.

Clemson running back Travis Etienne powered his way into the end zone on a 4-yard run to give his team the early 7-0 lead.

Bryant ran it in from 11 yards out later in the first quarter, giving Clemson a 14-0 lead.

Adam Choice was untouched as he scored the lone touchdown of the second quarter -- a 1-yard run -- to put Clemson ahead 21-0.

Miami's Jeff Thomas fumbles the ball against the Clemson Tigers in the first quarter of the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 2, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Things didn't get better for Miami after the half. Alex Spence booted a 46-yard field goal to extend Clemson's lead.

Tavien Feaster scored Clemson's fourth rushing touchdown of the evening on an 11-yard run.

Bryant capped the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Deon Cain with 1:01 in the third quarter.

Miami avoided the shutout when senior kicker Michael Badgley, whose previous attempt earlier in the game sailed wide left, kicked a 22-yard field goal.

The win gave Clemson its third straight ACC title and 17th overall crown.

For the Hurricanes, meanwhile, the consolation for winning their first-ever ACC Atlantic Division title will likely be a trip to a familiar place. Miami is expected to receive a bid to the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium, where the team plays its home games.

It would be Miami's first Orange Bowl appearance since a 16-14 win against Florida State on New Year's Day in 2004.

Clemson has now outscored the Hurricanes 96-3 in their last two games. Miami's 58-0 loss in 2015 was the worst in program history.

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