Saturday, October 1, 2011
Final: Clemson 23, Virginia Tech 3
By Heather Dinich
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Another week, another upset in the ACC. Clemson did it again. With its win over Virginia Tech, Clemson became the first ACC team to defeat three straight ranked opponents. It's been an impressive run for Clemson, which has finally found some consistency. Here's a look back at some highlights of the game:
How the game was won: Clemson had the better quarterback in Tajh Boyd, and the Tigers were able to put pressure on Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and keep him off his feet in the second half. The Hokies' passing game wasn't a factor, and David Wilson -- as effective and dazzling as he was -- couldn't do it all by himself. The Hokies were inept on third downs and the punting problems continued.
Turning point: The Hokies had the ball on Clemson's 12-yard line, and on fourth-and-4, Thomas threw an incomplete pass to Danny Coale. A touchdown there would have closed Virginia Tech's deficit to 17-10 and helped the Hokies with some momentum, but it was a poor pass and Thomas came up short in the clutch.
Stat of the game: The last time Virginia Tech was held scoreless at home? A 16-0 defeat to Cincinnati in 1995.
Unsung hero of the game: David Wilson. He was electrifying. Fun to watch. And couldn't have done much more. Wilson had 120 yards on 19 carries and two catches for 21 yards.
What Clemson learned: The Tigers are just as good on the road as they are at home. After starting out 4-0 in the cozy confines of Death Valley, Clemson proved it can keep it up on the road against ranked competition in one of the ACC's toughest venues.
What Virginia Tech learned: It doesn't have a championship-caliber offense. Thomas is still going through some growing pains, and the offensive line could help him out more, particularly on the left side. The Hokies fared well in four wins against unheralded opponents, but were brought to reality by what looks like the ACC's best team.