Clemson rolls to fifth straight ACC crown
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes, three to Tee Higgins, and No. 3 Clemson won its fifth consecutive ACC title with a 62-17 victory over No. 22 Virginia on Saturday night.
The defending national champion Tigers (13-0, No. 3 CFP) have won 28 games in a row and return to the College Football Playoff.
And while Virginia (9-4, No. 23 CFP) and quarterback Bryce Perkins put forth a game plan that caused the Tigers to sweat early on, there was no stopping Clemson's dazzling set of experienced playmakers led by Lawrence and Higgins on the way to ACC championship game records for points and yards (619).
Lawrence set an ACC title-game record with his four touchdown throws, had 302 yards passing and completed 16 of 22 passes before coming out in the third quarter.
Higgins finished with 182 yards receiving yards and the three TDs, both bests in ACC championship game play.
NO. 16 MEMPHIS 29, NO. 21 CINCINNATI 24:Antonio Gibson caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brady White with 1:14 left for the Tigers. Memphis (12-1, No. 17 CFP) finally won the AAC title in its third straight conference championship game. The Tigers now wait for an invitation to the Cotton Bowl as the highest-ranked Group of Five team. Eight days after beating the Bearcats 34-24 at home in the regular-season finale, Memphis rallied for another win. Along with scoring the go-ahead touchdown, Gibson ran for 130 yards, including a 65-yard TD dash. The game became a back-and-forth battle in the fourth quarter. Sam Crosa's 33-yard field goal with 4:23 left gave the Bearcats (10-3, No. 20 CFP) a 24-23 lead.
NO. 19 BOISE STATE 31, HAWAII 10:Jaylon Henderson threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the Broncos. Boise State (12-1, No. 19 CFP) won its second conference title in three years, beating Hawaii again this season after winning the Oct. 12 meeting 59-37. After rolling up 518 yards of offense in the first game, the Broncos leaned on their defense in the rematch. The Broncos made two defensive stands inside the 5. Hawaii (9-5) was making its first appearance in the title game. It enjoyed some success through the air with Cole McDonald passing for 241 yards, but couldn't overcome early problems in the red zone.
NO. 20 APPALACHIAN STATE 45, LOUISIANA 38:Darrynton Evans scored three touchdowns, and the Mountaineers repeated as Sun Belt champions. Zac Thomas threw for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and Daetrich Harrington and Marcus Williams added touchdown runs. Appalachian State racked up 416 yards on offense, including 267 on the ground. The Mountaineers (12-1, No. 21 CFP) have won at least a share of four straight Sun Belt championships. Levi Lewis threw for a Sun Belt championship game-record 354 yards and four touchdowns for the Ragin' Cajuns (10-3).
MIAMI (OHIO) 26, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 21:Brett Gabbert threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jack Sorenson early in the third quarter, and the Redhawks controlled most of the second half. Miami (8-5) won a record 16th MAC championship despite doing little on offense in the first half. Trailing 14-10 after two quarters, the Redhawks took the lead on Gabbert's screen pass to Sorenson, and they held off CMU (8-5) the rest of the way to win their first conference title since 2010.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC 49, UAB 6:Chris Robison threw for 267 yards and four touchdowns, BJ Emmons ran for a pair of scores and the Owls rolled to their second Conference USA title in Lane Kiffin's three seasons as coach. Malcolm Davidson rushed for 128 yards, and Deangelo Antoine had five catches for 112 yards for Florida Atlantic (10-3), which had no trouble with the league's top-ranked defense. The Blazers (9-4) allowed a season high in points and a season-high 585 yards.