So much for Clemson being a national title contender. The No. 6-ranked Tigers finally laid the egg many expected them to lay, falling 31-17 to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards from the quarterback position and the Yellow Jackets were never really threatened.
The Tigers took the early lead, but Georgia Tech was all over them afterwards. The Yellow Jackets scored 24 unanswered points to take a 24-3 lead. Clemson never really threatened after that.
The Tigers still lead the ACC's Atlantic Division and will likely make the ACC Championship Game, so not all is lost. However, in losing this game, their great season suffered a setback.
In other ACC action, surprising Wake Forest got a dose of reality, getting blown out in Chapel Hill by North Carolina. Giovani Bernard rushed for three touchdowns to lead North Carolina to the 49-24 victory.
Virginia Tech should have blown Duke out. Instead, the Hokies survived with a narrow win in early Week 9 ACC football action. Virginia Tech held off two late drives by the Blue Devils and walked away from Durham with a 14-10 win, keeping the Hokies in control in the Coastal Division.
Virginia Tech went ahead early, but Duke rallied late. The Blue Devils drove the ball to the Hokies' 15-yard line before faltering on fourth down with 4:37 remaining in the game. Duke got the ball back with under two minutes left, but Sean Renfree was intercepted.
In other early ACC action, Florida State continued its surge with a 34-0 win over North Carolina State. E.J. Manuel threw for 321 yards and the Seminoles' defense was stout for the second week in a row.