Clemson (10)...... 7 0 0 0 - 7 Virginia Tech...... 7 3 14 0 - 24 Scoring Summary: 1st Quarter 06:09 CU - Davis 6 yd run (Dean kick) 01:03 VT - Glennon 1 yd run (Pace kick) 2nd Quarter 13:01 VT - Pace 37 yd FG 3rd Quarter 09:26 VT - Ore 11 yd run 02:07 VT - Ore 3 yd run
Blacksburg, VA — Branden Ore was right. Thursday night proved who is the best running back in the ACC, and it is non other than himself. Ore went over 200 yards rushing for the second consecutive game as Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-2) pulled off a major upset of the #10 Clemson Tigers (7-2, 4-2) 24-7 in Lane Stadium on Thursday night.
Upset may be too strong a word, as the Hokies didn’t get lucky, they just dominated. Ore carried the ball 37 times for 203 yards and two touchdowns on the night, an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Not only did he outperform his two hyped Clemson counterparts, James Davis (12 carries, 30 yards, one TD) and C.J. Spiller (10 carries 41 yards), but Ore also outgained the entire Clemson offense by himself.
The Tigers were held in check for almost the entire game. They were the ACC’s best offense heading into the game, but the Hokies held Clemson to well below their season average in total yards (456.25 average, 166 in this game), rushing yards (260.75 average, 80 this game) and scoring (42.25 average, 7 points this game). It was the best performance of the season by the Tech defense.
Vince Hall led the charge for the Hokies with 12 tackles on the night, including 1.5 tackles for loss. His fellow linebacker, Xavier Adibi, had five tackles, an interception and two passes broken up.
Virginia Tech didn’t get any sacks during the game, but the defensive line owned the line of scrimmage for the full 60 minutes. Defensive tackles Carlton Powell and Barry Booker played their best game of the season, while defensive end Noland Burchette also had an outstanding performance with five tackles.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers was also excellent, as usual. The r-sophomore had six tackles, including one for loss in the backfield. He also broke up two passes.
It was mostly the Branden Ore show on offense, but Virginia Tech was efficient in the passing game. Sean Glennon was 9-of-15 for 108 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Glennon also scored Virginia Tech’s first touchdown on a quarterback sneak.
Glennon’s favorite target in the passing game was junior receiver Josh Morgan, who had four receptions for 23 yards. No other Tech receiver caught more than one pass, but there were some big gains. Tight end Sam Wheeler caught a 41 yard pass down the right sideline, while David Clowney and Eddie Royal had catches for 17 and 14 yards respectively.
Virginia Tech finished with 332 yards of total offense during the game, including 224 on the ground. Clemson had only been allowing an average of 72 yards rushing and 230.38 total yards heading into the game.
The Hokies dominated the time of possession 35:50 to 24:10. The Tigers only had the ball for 3:18 in the fourth quarter.
Virginia Tech kicked off to start the game, and the defense was successful on Clemson’s first drive, as the Tigers went three and out. After a three and out by the Hokies, Clemson got the ball back and marched down the field for a score.
The drive lasted 11 plays and covered 77 yards. Quarterback Will Proctor converted two third downs during the drive to keep the Tigers’ scoring opportunity alive. 16 of C.J. Spiller’s 41 yards on the ground came during the drive, while James Davis was credited with 13 of his 30 yards.
On second down and three from the Virginia Tech six yard line, Davis took the handoff and went left, avoided a weak arm tackle attempt by Aaron Rouse, and found the end zone. Jad Dean’s extra point made the score 7-0 Clemson with 6:09 left in the first quarter.
Clemson found themselves ahead on the scoreboard, but the lead did not last very long. The Hokies answered on their next possession with a 12 play drive that covered 84 yards. Sean Glennon and Branden Ore both played a major role in the drive.
Glennon completed both of his passes on the drive, including a critical third down conversion from the Tech 32 yard line. He also had nine yards rushing on the drive. He scrambled for six yards early in the drive, converted a fourth down and short (on the Tech 36-yard line) on a quarterback sneak, and later had a sneak for a touchdown.
Branden Ore provided the big play of the drive with a 40 yard run from the Clemson 41 yard line all the way down to the one yard line. Two plays later Sean Glennon used the quarterback sneak to get the Hokies on the scoreboard, as Tech tied the game 7-7 with 1:03 left in the first quarter. They would never look back from there.
The Tigers lost one yard on their ensuing possession and had to punt. They failed to execute in the punting game, and it gave Virginia Tech good field position. Cole Chason’s punt was good for just 34 yards, and Eddie Royal returned it four yards to the Clemson 49 yard line, giving the Hokies great field position for their first drive of the second quarter.
Glennon made a big play early in the drive when he hit Eddie Royal for a 14 yard gain on a slant to the Clemson 34 yard line. Ore’s legs would take the Hokies to the 20 yard line, but the drive stalled. The Hokies settled for a 37 yard field goal to make the score 10-7 Virginia Tech with 11:36 left in the second quarter.
That was all the scoring that took place in the first half, although there was quite a bit of action late in the second quarter. On a third and nine from the Virginia Tech 47 yard line, Glennon dropped back to pass and was flushed from the pocket. He did a great job of avoiding several pass rushers, but held on to the ball too long, and C.J. Gaddis stripped him of the ball. All-American defensive end Gaines Adams jumped on the loose ball and returned it to the Tech 26 yard line.
The Tech defense had to make a stand, and they came up big. The first two plays of the drive netted only one yard for Clemson, and on third and nine, Will Proctor fumbled the snap. Defensive tackle Barry Booker recovered the fumble for the Hokies, and the threat was averted.
Clemson made a critical error in their first drive of the second half. After Tech went three and out, Clemson got the ball back on their own 29 yard line. On third and eight, Proctor fired a pass over the middle, but Adibi was there to intercept it for the Hokies. He returned the interception to the Clemson 35 yard line.
The Tech offense took the field with great field position, and it took them just five plays to reach the end zone. Branden Ore carried the ball on all five plays and scored on an 11 yard touchdown run off left tackle to put Virginia Tech up 17-7 with 9:26 left in the third quarter.
Virginia Tech put the final nail in the coffin late in the third quarter. The Hokies took over on their own 21 yard line. They picked up an initial first down after a nine yard pass to Josh Morgan and a four yard run by Branden Ore. The big play of the drive came on the next play, when Sean Glennon found tight end Sam Wheeler on a 41 yard pass down the right sideline to the Clemson 25 yard line.
The Tech momentum continued to the next play when Ore rumbled 21 yards to the four yard line. Two plays later Ore scored on a three yard touchdown run, and the extra point put the Hokies up 24-7 with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
From there, it was just a matter of running out the clock. Clemson managed just one first down in the third quarter and one first down in the fourth quarter as the Tech defense iced the game in the second half. Overall the Tigers had just eight first downs for the game, five of which came in the first quarter.
The Hokies return to action on November 4 when they travel to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes. Kickoff is set for 8pm, and the game will be televised by ABC.
STATISTICS VT CU ---- ---- First downs 15 8 Rushed-yards 58-224 28-80 Passing yards 108 86 Sacked-yards lost 2-21 0-0 Return yards 30 70 Passes 9-15-0 11-28-1 Punts 10-39.4 8-40.5 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1 Penalties-yards 3-22 1-5 Time of possession 35:50 24:10 Att: 66,233 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Ore 37-203, K.Lewis 5-23, E.Lewis 8-7, Royal 1-3, Allen 1-0 Glennon 6-(-12). CU, Spiller 10-41, Davis 12-30, Proctor 5-7, Ford 1-2. PASSING-Virginia Tech, Glennon 9-15-108. CU, Proctor 11-28-86-1 RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Morgan 4-23, Wheeler 1-41, Clowney 1-19, Royal 1-14, Ore 1-7, Harper 1-4. CU, Grisham 3-34, Stuckey 3-28, Palmer 2-12, Spiller 2-7, Kelly 1-5.