Streeter Lecka

Virginia Tech vs. Clemson 2012: Hokies fall to Tigers on the road, 38-17

Tajh Boyd's three total touchdowns led the No.19 Clemson Tigers to a 38-17 win over the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies.

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Virginia Tech falls to No. 19 Clemson, 38-17

The Tigers improved to 6-1 on Saturday with a convincing win over Virginia Tech.

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Tigers take control after controversial call

The Clemson Tigers have all the momentum against Virginia Tech as the game heads to the fourth quarter. The Tigers overcame a slow start, and after a relatively uneventful third quarter, the offense put together a couple big plays to take a 31-10 lead.

The turning point was a missed call by the ACC officiating crew, who failed to overturn a call on an apparent Sammy Watkins fumble. The Clemson wideout had the ball knocked loose as he was sliding to the ground, but the refs ruled his backside had already hit the turf. Replays pretty clearly showed the ball knocked loose while he was still in the air, but the officials refused to overturn the call. An animated gif of the play:

Fumble3_medium

The Tigers immediately took advantage. Three plays later, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd floated the ball down the right sideline, hitting the speedy Watkins on the outside shoulder for a 37-yard pick up. It was a huge third-and-six conversion, and one player later, Andre Ellington took an inside hand-off and burst up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown scamper.

Clemson forced a quick Virginia Tech three-and-out, and they promptly made it a three-touchdown lead before the quarter was out. Boyd threw another pretty floater down the right side, but this time it was DeAndre Hopkins hauling it in and not Watkins. The duo is one of the most athletic pairs in college football, and they made a huge impact in the third quarter as the Tigers took control.

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Logan Thomas picked twice, Clemson leads by 7

The Virginia Tech Hokies got off to a quick start against Clemson on Saturday, but the Tigers weathered the early storm to come back with 17 unanswered points to take the lead. The underdog Hokies trail 17-10 after 30 minutes.

As the first quarter wound down, the Tigers stuffed the Hokies on a critical fourth down inside the 20-yard line, and quarterback Tajh Boyd responded with a 73-yard drive to end the shutout and pick up three points. The field goal came as time expired, and it was all Clemson from there.

The Tigers defense looked to be in for a long day in the first, but they stepped up to slow down Logan Thomas. The Hokies quarterback was picked off on Tech's first possession of the second quarter, setting up a short field for Clemson. Boyd moved the Tigers 26 yards in six plays for the first their first lead of the game. The Clemson quarterback did a lot of the damage on the ground, and capped the quick drive by punching it in from one yard out.

Clemson took advantage of a second Thomas interception later in the second quarter, but this time they wouldn't need the offense to pick up the points. Thomas tried to force one on a slant, and the throw went high, hitting cornerback Jonathan Meeks right in the numbers. Meeks burst down the left sideline, beating Thomas and the Hokies' offensive line for a 76-yard pick-six. The turnover gave Clemson a 17-7 lead.

Thomas responded with a nice drive in the final two minutes, resulting in a Tech field goal to cut the lead to a touchdown. The Hokies played well despite the halftime deficit, and the offense will just need to limit turnovers to pull things even in the third.

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Hokies start fast, take early lead over Clemson

Virginia Tech is off to a strong start in South Carolina, leading Clemson, 7-3, after one quarter.

The Hokies took an early 7-0 lead, marching 58 yards in less than three minutes on their opening possession. It was an impressive beginning to the game, as the defense forced a Clemson three-and-out to hand things over to Logan Thomas. Thomas did it all on the first drive, mixing in the pass and run for the quick first score. The Hokies faced a crucial fourth-and-two inside Clemson territory, but Thomas picked up three yards on a keeper to move the chains.

Two plays later, Thomas hit Corey Fulller coming across the field and the backup wide receiver pushed his way into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown. It was a nice play by Fuller, as he had to fight through traffic to cover the final five yards and break the plane at the pylon.

On Clemson's second offensive possession, Bud Foster's defense forced a turnover, with safety Michael Cole finding himself in the right place at the right time. Cole slipped and fell as he was crossing the field, but as he lay on his back, a high Tajh Boyd pass over the middle would come right at him and his reflexes went into action to pick it off. An animated gif of the interception:

Backint

Thomas kept it humming on the Hokies ensuing possession, hitting his throws inside the numbers and moving Virginia Tech inside the 20-yard line. But this time, on fourth down, the Tigers would stuff Michael Holmes to end the Hokies scoring threat.

The fourth-down stop slowed the Hokies' momentum, and Boyd marched the Tigers the other way to pick up a field goal as time expired.

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