Clemson dominates Hurricanes in 38-3 win to claim ACC championship
Top-ranked Tigers likely earn playoff spot; Miami likely headed to Orange Bowl
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.
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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