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Trevor Lawrence and Clemson pin lopsided loss on Georgia Tech

The San Diego Union-Tribune — Kirk Kenney The San Diego Union-Tribune

Oct. 17--I've wondered at times through the years why a school would embrace the nickname Ramblin' Wreck.

Now I know.

On Saturday, Clemson crushed Georgia Tech's Ramblin' Wreck 73-7.

That 1930 Ford Model A Sports Coupe that Georgia Tech likes to roll out before games?

It got T-boned.

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson's quarterback and future No. 1 NFL Draft pick, led the top-ranked Tigers to one of the most lopsided wins in school history.

It was the most lopsided ACC loss ever for Georgia Tech.

Lawrence had five touchdown passes in the first half and threw for a career-high 404 yards in the game, leaving after the first series of the second half.

Georgia Tech did end Lawrence's streak of pass attempts without an interception at 367 — just shy of the ACC record 379 set by North Carolina State's Russell Wilson — with a first-quarter pick. So there was that.

The biggest challenge of the day for Lawrence was keeping his mask on and trying to social distance on the sideline in the second half.

Is their any point in continuing the Heisman watch?

The biggest thing to keep an eye on now is which team among the Jets, Giants and Falcons goes winless to win the Lawrence sweepstakes.

How impressive was Clemson?

The Tigers had 52 points in the first half — despite turning the ball over twice.

For those who would accuse the top-ranked Tigers of running up the score, they did use four different quarterbacks in the game.

Well, four players lined up at quarterback, anyway. One of them was punter Will Spiers. He was 2-for-3.

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins was asked after the game if he thought Clemson ran it up.

"We're not going to worry about that," Collins told reporters. "We're not going to complain about that.

"Whatever another coaching staff needs to do, that's on them. We've got to worry about us. So that's all I'm going to concern myself with, is those kinds of things.

"But it's a good point."

Maybe it was payback for Georgia Tech hiring away Clemson coach John Heisman 117 years ago.

Heisman guided Clemson to a 73-0 win over Georgia Tech in 1903. Or, maybe, the Tigers were tempted with apples.

According to historical lore, Georgia offered Clemson a bushel of apples for every point it scored in that 1903 game against Georgia Tech.

Anyway, Heisman was hired away for $2,250 a year and 30 percent of the home ticket sales. It was $50 more than he was making at Clemson.

Of course, Georgia Tech is the last school that can talk about running up the score.

It was Heisman, that great sportsman, who in 1916 coached Georgia Tech to its infamous 222-0 win over Cumberland in the most lopsided game in college football history.

Wonder if the punter took any snaps in that one?

Cougars beat CougarsNo. 14-ranked BYU reached the season's midpoint with its fifth straight victory, using a furious fourth quarter on Friday night for a 43-26 road win over Houston.

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson was 25-for-35 passing for 400 yards and four touchdowns. Two of the TD throws came in a 22-point fourth quarter when BYU turned a 26-21 deficit into a 17-point victory.

Wilson's top target was junior wide receiver Dax Milne, whose nine receptions went for 184 yards and three TDs.

Wilson began with a 78-yard touchdown pass to Milne on the BYU's first offensive play.

The win keeps BYU on track to stay unbeaten when it hosts San Diego State in the regular-season finale on Dec. 12.

The biggest challenge between now and then for BYU is a Nov. 6 game at Boise State.

Positive and negativeSaturday morning brought news that Alabama head coach Nick Saban had three straight negative tests for COVID-19 and would be able to take the field with his team for the No. 2 Crimson Tide's game against No. 3 Georgia.

This, after midweek news that Saban had tested positive for the coronavirus.

By afternoon, Florida coach Dan Mullen announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was self-isolating.

"I am proud of how our players, staff and campus community have navigated this unprecedented time and hope all continue to be safe."

This weekend's LSU-Florida game already had been postponed because of an outbreak involving nearly two dozen Gators players.

It was less than a week ago that Mullen had been hoping for 90,000 fans at the game, despite spikes in cases in Florida.

"What we do need to do is however many people they allow into the stadium," Mullen told ESPN, "we need to try to work as hard as we can — all the Gator fans and all of us — to create the best game-day atmosphere we can."

Umm, yeah.

Quick hits— Kentucky's 34-7 upset at No. 18 Tennessee was the Wildcats' first win at Knoxville in 36 years. It included interceptions on three straight Tennessee drives. Two of the INTs were returned for touchdowns. The biggest stat to jump off the page — the third interception meant Kentucky had picked off nine passes in its opponents' last 16 drives.

— The shine on Mississippi State coach Mike Leach seems to have lost its luster since a season-opening win at defending national champion LSU. The Bulldogs have lost three straight games following a 28-14 loss against No. 11 Texas A&M. Last week's 24-2 loss at Kentucky was worse, but still. The Bulldogs have two weeks to get ready for a trip to Alabama.

— The Big Ten returns next week. The schedule includes Nebraska at No. 6 Ohio State, which, to our knowledge, is the highest-ranked winless team ever in Week 8.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.

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