No. 12 Hokies eager for another crack at No. 2 Tigers

The Clemson football team dismantled the Virginia Tech Hokies on their own turf, 31-17 on Saturday.

"First of all, I just want to commend the Hokie nation".

As I mentioned on Podcast Ain't Played Nobody this week, part of the reason for that comeback was, according to Virginia Tech coaches, conditioning. Few have. No, it was more that the Hokies hadn't face a team that plays much defense at all, and they were unprepared for this challenge. And it could be a precursor to another meeting in this year's ACC title game, December 2 in Charlotte.

Tech (4-1) started the game with a lethargic offensive effort, but ended up outgaining Clemson 342-332.

Clemson kicked off and forced a three-and-out. Jackson has completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 1,127 yards, 11 touchdowns and only one interception.

"He's got incredible credibility because nobody's done it better for longer, more consistently, than Bud Foster", Venables said.

Unfortunately, the Clemson defensive line played it as if it had seen the play before. That threat loosened up Tech's defense for the running attack, and the Tigers were more than capable of capitalizing. "Sorry that we couldn't find a way to get it done". "We knew that sledding was going to be hard, no matter what they lined up".

"I give credit to those guys", Phillips said. "The coaches did a great job of preparing us".

Down 14, Tech needed a fast start and got it.

The Hokies clearly designed their offensive gameplan to slow down Clemson's pass rush.

Tech's play-calling was clearly stunted by the increase in pressure.

I recently spent time at Virginia Tech for a story, and it came as no surprise to hear from multiple coaches and players that they view Clemson as the standard in the conference.

This game was originally scheduled to take place September 9 but got pushed back due to Hurricane Irma. In an instant, Clemson's Austin Bryant converged, blowing up the play for a 5-yard loss.

Bryant then led the Tigers on a 10-play, 51-yard drive, highlighted by his 24-yard run and an electifying scramble to avoid a sack and eventually pick one yard.

Two plays later, Tavien Feaster plowed his way into the end zone for a 24-3 lead.

In Week 1, Clemson drove 55 yards in two minutes to effectively end the game against Kent, scoring with a minute left in the half to go up 28-3. He went all the way to the third receiver.

"We talk randomly and share ideas and pick each other's brain if we're playing a crossover opponent", Foster said. Swinney is certainly envisioning something much different than those Virginia Tech people want to see - Hokies fans don't want Swinney to like coming to Blacksburg one bit.

The Hokies did not get their initial first down until the second quarter. He finished Saturday with two receptions for 19 yards. "I think we really wanted to whack-tackle him, instead of just tackling him, because he's a quarterback". "The play before I had an opportunity to do the same thing and I missed".

O'Daniel and Kendall Joseph had 10 tackles each, while J.D. Davis led the Tigers with 11 stops.

Jackson rushed for 101 yards and a score in a season-opening win over West Virginia. Clemson's Feaster was left open in the flat on a busted coverage, and the sophomore sprinted for a 60-yard touchdown. Spence has not yet tried a field goal. Tech would come away with zero points in the third quarter, and trailed 24-3 heading into the fourth. Hamilton hauled in his 180th career catch midway through the fourth quarter to break the record set by Deon Butler in 2008 for Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten). Sean Savoy ran it on the next play, but the Hokies had just 234 yards through three quarters. Jackson, the freshman QB, never looked rattled; he just didn't have anywhere to throw the football.

On second-and-10 from Tech's 20, Jackson looked to swing a quick pass out to Murphy in front of Clemson's sideline, but Murphy let the pass slip through his hands before it popped into the grasp of linebacker Dorian O'Daniel, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown.

Barring some major flukes, injuries or an unprecedented Coastal Division run out of Miami, Saturday's game could serve as a preview of December's ACC title game.

"I do love the way our guys battled". It wasn't always pretty, but the guys out there in maroon and orange were competing their tails off. And we weren't good enough. They've been quieted (for now, at least) by Bryant, who looks like a clone of Watson. Clemson had not won at Auburn since 1950, had not won at Georgia Tech since 2003 and had not won at Florida State since 2006.

The Hokies were 23 yards away from reaching the end zone and tying or winning the game in an eventual 42-35 loss. "I thought we were ready to compete".

  • Julie Sanders