Tigers remain untameable as Hokies fall victim to Clemson’s path of victory

Written by Garin Turner

The No. 2 Clemson Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC) made history when they defeated No. 12 Virginia Tech (4-1, 0-1 ACC) 31-17 in Blacksburg, VA. The Tigers are the first team in history to defeat three Top 15 teams in the month of September. They defeated Auburn 14-6 in week two then followed that up with a 47-21 victory against Louisville and now the victory over VT.

Kelly Bryant was a nightmare for Virginia Tech, particularly with his legs extending plays and running for first downs throughout the game. By halftime he outgained VT 241-149. Bryant finished the game 12/21 for 186 yards passing and a touchdown pass. He was the leading rusher for the Tigers with 19 carries for 94 yards.

Alex Spence connected on a 23-yard field goal, the first in his career to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead on its opening drive. The Tigers never trailed in the game. Bryant connected with running back Tavien Feaster with a 60-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 10-0.

Clemson’s defense was stout throughout the first half. The Hokies didn’t convert a first down until 2:13 left in the first quarter. At the end of the quarter the Hokies only had 35 yards of total offense.

After a 1-yard run by C.J. Fuller, the score at the half was 17-3 Tigers. Another 1-yard run, this time by Feaster in the third quarter brought the score to 24-3. After a punt return to the two-yard line. The Hokies scored their first touchdown in the game when Sean Savoy scored on a run. The Hokies defense started to make plays, forcing 3 and outs and the crowd was slowly getting back into it however a pick six by Dorian O’Daniel for 22-yards put a damper on any comeback hopes.  Savoy scored on a 30-yard pass from QB Josh Jackson to make the score 31-17.

Despite the fast start by Clemson’s defense, the Hokies ended the game with more total yards than the Tigers 342-332. Clemson was 6-16 on third down while the Hokies were 4-15. Jackson was 29/44 for 251 yards passing with 1 touchdown but threw two costly interceptions. The Hokies were able to sack Bryant three times and had five tackles for a loss in the game.

Clemson’s defense had 90 tackles with eight of them being for a loss. They forced three turnovers all in the second half and sacked Jackson twice.


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