Clemson Beats Down Virginia Tech: Rapid Reactions

No. 4 Clemson rolled into Blacksburg for their with Virginia Tech knowing that with a win they would be headed to Charlotte for a rematch with No. 2 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship game while the Hokies were looking to play the role of spoiler. After a slow start the Tigers took care of business in a 45-10 win.

  • Not a very sharp first half on either side of the ball. Maybe it was the cold, but for whatever reason this team just did not look very focused in the first half. Much better second half effort though. Defense just asserted their will over the final two quarters.
  • The sprinklers came on with 2:42 left in the first quarter. Pretty funny moment there.
  • Really concerning that LB James Skalski left after the first drive due to some soreness and then seeing LB Jake Venables have to go to the locker room in the second quarter because of a possible broken arm. Especially after all of the injuries the Tigers have had this season.
  • Could hear a collective sigh of relief from Clemson Nation when DL Tyler Davis came back in after leaving due to some type of injury. Davis has been a huge piece to this team and his absence has been really noticeable. For instance, in the Notre Dame game.
  • Was really impressed in the first half with the way the Tigers responded after Virginia Tech scored. Once after they took the lead and again near the end of the half after the Hokies tied the game on a 54 yard field goal. The second one was a 75 yard drive that ended with a 19 yard touchdown run by RB Lyn-J Dixon. It gave Clemson a 17-10 halftime lead.
  • Tigers DB Derion Kendrick made up for his mistake at the end of the second second half when he treid to intercept a Hail Mary instead of batting it down. It landed in WR Raheem Blackshear’s hands at the two yard line but Kendrick was then able to muscle him out of bounds without him scoring to end the half. He atoned for it with the 66 yard fumble return for a touchdown.
  • Lawrence just had an off-night. He had a pass that should have been intercepted dropped in the first half and then threw an interception in the end zone on the Tigers second drive of the second half. He did end the night going 12 of 22 for 195 yards, one touchdown and one interception along with 41 yards and two touchdowns on seven rushes. His Heisman hopes are over though. He needed a big night through the air.
  • Clemson true freshman DE Myles Murphy made his presence known in this game. He had a hit on the Hokies starting QB Hendon Hooker that led to him leaving the game after the first drive and helped lead to a three and out on that drive. Murphy then caused a fumble in the third quarter that led to a touchdown drive by the Tigers of 13 yards. He finished with 7 tackles and 1 TFL.
  • Cornell Powell redeemed himself for a pass interference called against him on a first down play that caused the Tigers to have a first and 25 when he blew by his defender for a 65 yard touchdown two plays later. Powell ended the night with four receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown. He was just ten yards shy of setting the school record for most consecutive 100 yard receiving games.
  • It was so great seeing this year’s Disney Spirit award winner RB Darien Rencher take a run to the end zone from 50 yards out for the Tigers final score of the game. Especially after they tries so hard to get him in last week on Senior Day.
  • Now we get two weeks to hear about Notre Dame. This is the game Clemson wanted. Now they just have to go out and win it.

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