Tailback Cliff Austin rushed for 116 yards and scored three touchdowns as Clemson, playing without starting quarterback Homer Jordan, defeated Kentucky, 24-6, yesterday in Clemson, S.C.

Jordan was pulled from the starting lineup by Clemson President Bill Atchley. In a statement issued an hour before kickoff, Atchley said Jordan would not play because of a university investigation into the player's purchase of a car. News reports have indicated the NCAA is looking into the matter as well, but details of the probe have not been released.

Questioned by reporters after the game, Clemson Coach Danny Ford said Jordan would attend Sunday's weekly team meeting and prepare for next Saturday's game against Virginia. Ford did not say if Jordan would play next week.

Mike Eppley, filling in for Jordan, completed nine of 13 passes for 95 yards as Clemson (2-1-1) rushed for 272 yards and passed for 133 more. Austin scored in each of the first three periods on runs of five, one and 10 yards. Kentucky (0-3-1) was held to minus 14 yards rushing.

Coach Jerry Claiborne, still winless at Kentucky, was matter-of-fact about the loss.

"They whipped us," said Claiborne, who coached at Maryland last year. "(They) moved us off the ball offensively, especially on that first long drive. Eppley did a fine backup job. We were kind of hoping we'd be able to concentrate on their running game, but he threaded the needle. He threw as well as Jordan."