Monday Thoughts: The Clemson Game Plan, Clock Management, and Hendon Hooker

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Virginia Tech Clemson Cornell Powell
Clemson wide receiver Cornell Powell breaks away for a late score against Virginia Tech. (Clemson Athletics)

In the end, the score was close to what we predicted. Clemson won 45-10, with Chris picking 47-17 and me picking 56-17. Our margins of 30 and 39 points bracketed the final margin of 35.

No surprises there. But as so often happens with the actual game, events transpired that added intrigue and discussion points, to put it clinically. To me, the big points of discussion are (1) the offensive game plan and execution; (2) the clock management at the end of the first half; and (3) Hendon Hooker’s issues after his third quarter fumble.

The fact that Virginia Tech played a tough game that got away from them due to turnovers and mistakes is the obvious, easy discussion, and I’m not interested in it. It was 17-10 when Braxton Burmeister fumbled on the Tech 12 and Clemson scored two plays later to go up 24-10. Less than three minutes later, Hooker fumbled, Clemson returned it 66 yards to make it 31-10, and the rout was on.

There were other mistakes, most notably Brock Hoffman’s penalties, and plays that Tech failed to make, like Armani Chatman’s dropped