No. 12 Virginia Tech discovered just how versatile No. 2 Clemson is in the Tigers 31-17 victory Saturday night in Blacksburg.
Clemson QB Kelly Bryant threw for a score, the Tigers ran for two more and also added a defensive touchdown in the methodical domination of the Hokies.
As Virginia Tech got the ball trailing 24-10 in the fourth quarter, the potential of a touchdown was tantalizing for Hokies fans and those wanting a close game. That potential disappeared rather quickly the second play after Virginia Tech got the ball when a dropped pass turned into a 22-yard pick-six for Dorian O’Daniel and a 31-10 lead.
After taking a 17-3 lead into halftime, Clemson scored on its opening drive of the third quarter when Tavian Feaster scored a one-yard touchdown. It was Feaster’s second touchdown of the night — he scored on a 60-yard catch and run in the first quarter to give Clemson a 10-0 lead.
The Tiger defense also forced Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson into his first multi-interception game. Jackson had been efficient in his first four games as a starter, throwing 11 touchdowns and just one interception while completing nearly two-thirds of his passes. Saturday night, he was 29-44 passing for 251 yards and a touchdown to go along with two interceptions. And that touchdown didn’t come until there was 1:32 left in the fourth quarter.
Bryant finished the game 12-21 passing for 186 yards while adding 94 yards on the ground on 19 carries. He’s got 362 rushing yards through five games in 2017; well on his way to surpassing the 629 yards that Deshaun Watson ran for a year ago.
Per ESPN, Clemson is the first team to defeat three top-15 teams in the month of September. In Week 2, the Tigers beat Auburn 14-6. A week later, Clemson went on the road to Louisville and handled defending Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals.
Yeah, Clemson sleepwalked a little bit last week against Boston College. But while Alabama has been steamrolling opponents with ease and is a deserved No. 1, Clemson’s resume is the best in college football. At 5-0 and with a schedule that gets far easier in the coming weeks, Clemson’s the clear favorite in the ACC. And could end up seeing Virginia Tech again in the ACC Championship Game in December.
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