CLEMSON, S.C. -- A few quick hits from halftime here in Death Valley.
Turning point: When Boston College lost to North Carolina. It anointed Clemson the Atlantic Division champs without the Tigers having to even set foot on the field. No? Ok, ok. How about when Virginia tailback Mikell Simpson fumbled at his own 24-yard line on a first down. It was the second lost fumble of the game, but this time, Clemson was able to do something with it. Three plays later, quarterback Kyle Parker found Jacoby Ford in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown and a 24-14 lead heading into halftime.
Stat of the half: 14 carries for 84 yards. That’s what Virginia tailback Mikell Simpson has done so far. Why is that impressive? Because he didn’t even play last week against Boston College, a “coach’s decision.” Simpson also has two catches for 43 yards, including a touchdown as the clock expired. Not a bad day for a guy who didn’t even play last week.
Best player in the half: Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker. He started the game a perfect 10-for-10 for over 100 yards, and he’s kept his poise and the offense moving. He has completed 11 of 15 passes for 152 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He has had great patience and vision to match his arm strength.