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frozenmail.net November 23, 2017


Kelly Bryant leads No. 2 Clemson past No. 12 Hokies, 31-17

01 October 2017, 02:09 | Randolph Howard

Buy Now MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times Football fans gather around the set of ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Friday

Buy Now   MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times Football fans gather around the set of ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Friday

The Virginia Tech football team entered Saturday night's showdown with Clemson seeking redemption and validation. The Tigers have been only briefly challenged since. Developing quarterbacks is something they've specialized in.

Clemson's first three third-down conversions were all massive.

The frenzied crowd grew almost silent, save for the Clemson contingent, when the Tigers opened a 10-0 lead with 6:48 left in the first quarter on a 60-yard completion from Bryant to Feaster. That built the 10-point cushion. They finally put together a few first downs on a mid-Q2 drive and got a field goal out of it. Phillips' 26-yard touchdown catch drew the Hokies within the final margin with 5:43 left, but Clemson collected a late interception to seal the win.

In its last two games, Tennessee has lost 26-20 to Florida on a tiebreaking 63-yard touchdown pass as time expired and struggled to a 17-13 victory over winless 27 1/2-point underdog MA.

But Clemson (9.3 points allowed) and Virginia Tech (10.3 points allowed) have defenses that would indicate a low-scoring game. Receiver Sean Savoy cut Clemson's cushion to 24-10 on a 2-yard sweep for a touchdown with 14 minutes left. He's had a top-10 defense with the Tigers every year since 2014, when Clemson was No. 1 in the country, producing stars like defensive ends Vic Beasley and Shaq Lawson, tackle Grady Jarrett, linebacker Ben Boulware and a current stable of defensive linemen that rank among the best in the country.

Tech then forced a punt. Time to seize the opportunity?

There was a play midway through the third quarter - a key moment for Virginia Tech, to be sure, but in retrospect irrelevant to a 31-17 Clemson win that was never particularly in doubt.

The Virginia Tech students, alumni and fans, all 65,632 who streamed into Lane Stadium Saturday night, were primed for an upset. Spence has not yet tried a field goal. No. 12 Virginia Tech primetime matchup on Saturday night. What couldn't the Hokies do this time around?

The second half was much of the same for Virginia Tech, as it simply could not find a way an answer to Clemson's defensive prowess.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also due to come back into the squad after damaging ligaments in his knee and re-registering with United. UNITED have something of a midfield crisis, with Paul Pogba , Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all out. "He's injured.

"A heckuva game and we will keep moving", said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, whose Tigers also defeated top 15 clubs Auburn and Louisville in the first month of the season. "It's a really cool setup and all, but it's still Clemson", said Lance Dieho, a Tech Fan. "I guess, it was just a good play". But that's just kinda the fandom.

Hopefully, none of the students are afraid of heights because they are at the very top of the Hokies' upper level. But they were also scoring touchdowns.

No. 1 Alabama 66, MS 3: Jalen Hurts threw two touchdown passes and ran for a TD for Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC), emphatically putting down a problematic foe in recent years with the highest-scoring performance by the Crimson Tide in 11 years under Nick Saban.

Clemson already owns victories this season against ranked opponents Auburn and Louisville, with the Louisville win coming on the road.

Clemson is the new No. 1 because no team comes close to matching its profile. At this point, it's hard to imagine any outcome other than Clemson taking the ACC crown again this year en route to a playoff berth, with a petrifying defense and an offense that hasn't seemed to miss a beat without Deshaun Watson.

The Hokies generated a little momentum early in the fourth quarter, only to give it right back.

Tech quarterback Josh Jackson did settle down and found success throwing downfield. And he threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to DaeSean Hamilton. On the ensuing drive, Jackson threw a screen to Henri Murphy, who dropped it. The senior saw a 46-yard attempt sail wide right with seven seconds left in the half, ending a drive in which Jackson completed 4 of 6 passes for 48 yards.

Clemson and North Carolina State are the last two ACC Atlantic teams unbeaten in conference play.



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