Matt Connolly

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

THUMBS UP

Kelly Bryant

Clemson’s junior quarterback did not turn the ball over on the road in a hostile environment and finished with 280 total yards and a touchdown. He missed some throws high in the first half, but settled in and led the Tigers to another impressive road victory.

Dorian O’Daniel

The linebacker continued his stellar season with 10 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and a pick-six. O’Daniel’s interception return for a touchdown came on a tipped pass and was from 22 yards out. He is the first Clemson player to return two interceptions for a touchdown in the same season since 1990.

Austin Bryant

The defensive end made an incredible interception in the fourth quarter, grabbing the ball with one hand on a screen pass. Bryant also had five tackles and led the Tigers with 2.5 tackles for loss.

Clemson’s secondary

The Tigers defensive backfield was banged up as Marcus Edmond and Trayvon Mullen didn’t play, but the shorthanded group performed well. Clemson held Virginia Tech’s Josh Jackson to 251 yards passing with many of the yards late in the fourth quarterwith the game out of hand. Hokies receiver Cam Phillips, who entered as the nation’s leading receiver in terms of yards, finished with 74.

THUMBS DOWN

Hokies gamesmanship

Virginia Tech put the Clemson band at the very top corner of the stadium.

Virginia Tech trick plays

The Hokies tried a pair of unsuccessful trick plays late in the third quarter. C.J. Carroll was stopped for a loss of 8 on what was supposed to be a wide receiver pass. Two plays later, Virginia Tech gained 1 yard while attempting a shovel pass on fourth-and-12.

Will Spiers

Clemson’s punter has been great this season but averaged 37.9 yards on six attempts. His 33-yard line drive punt early in the fourth quarter was returned 43 yards and led to a Tech touchdown.

Third-down conversions

The teams combined to go 10-for-31 on third down. Clemson was 6-for-16, while Virginia Tech finished 4-for-15.

Matt Connolly

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