Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ACC [Print without images]

Saturday, November 21, 2009
No letdown for Tigers

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Clemson did it. Regardless of what happened in Chestnut Hill, the Tigers can head to Tampa knowing they avoided the upset in their home season finale against a struggling Virginia team, winning by a final score of 34-21. With 3:03 still left on the clock, the fans in Memorial Stadium sang Happy Birthday to coach Dabo Swinney, who turned 40 on Friday.

He couldn't possibly find a better way to celebrate it.

At the end of the day, Clemson left no doubt it was the better team, and sent the Cavaliers limping home to face a strong Virginia Tech team still playing for 10 wins. The Tigers have momentum and confidence heading into their season finale against South Carolina knowing that for the first time in school history, they'll play in the ACC championship game. And for the first time since 1991, they might actually win it.