Virginia Tech vs. Clemson 2012: Tigers take control after controversial fumble 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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