Lawrence lights up Notre Dame, No. 2 Clemson cruises

Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) comes down with control of the ball that was tipped by Notre Dame cornerback Donte Vaughn (8) in the end zone for a touchdown late in the first half of the NCAA Cotton Bowl semi-final playoff football game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Trevor Lawrence threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson beat No. 3 Notre Dame 30-3 on Saturday in the Cotton Bowl to reach the College Football Playoff championship game for the third time in four seasons.

The Tigers (14-0) will play either No. 1 Alabama — for a fourth straight season in the playoff — or No. 4 Oklahoma on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, California.

Clemson's overpowering and experienced defensive line smothered Ian Book and the Fighting Irish (12-1). On offense, freshmen led the way. Lawrence was 27 for 39 and did not throw an interception against a Notre Dame defense that had been one of the best on the country. Freshman receiver Justyn Ross had six catches for 148 yards and two long touchdowns.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

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Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.


Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) prepares to throw fro the pocket in the first half of the NCAA Cotton Bowl semi-final playoff football game against Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)