Slow start, fast finish

CLEMSON - Saturday's 38-17 victory didn't match the blueprint Chad Morris had in mind, but he'll take the win.

Clemson was limited to just 295 yards of total offense, the second-lowest output by the Tigers since Morris came on board as the offensive coordinator in 2011.

For the second time in as many regular season meetings, Morris' hurry-up, no-huddle attack was held in check by a Bud Foster defense.

Just like last year, when Virginia Tech limited Clemson to 323 yards, the Tigers emerged with a win.

At the end of the day, that's all that Morris needs.

"I thought our defense played very well, gave us an opportunity to capitalize on some opportunities," Morris said. "That was great to see that. I'm proud of those guys on that side of the football.

"But, obviously, yes, we have played a lot better offensive football around here."

As Tajh Boyd goes, so does the offense.

That's what he told reporters after Tigers moved their record to 6-1 [3-1 ACC]. And he was clearly not at his best against the Hokies.

"We're starting to get the expectation that we want to score 50 right off the bat. That's just kind of how things go. Sometimes you're going to have one of these games where it takes a little while," Boyd said.

Boy, did it take some time for Boyd to get going.

The redshirt junior finished 12 of 21 passing for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"He couldn't quite find a groove today, especially the first three quarters," Morris said. "I thought he ran the ball well, especially late in the game, but those things are going to happen."

Boyd would have finished with 77 yards rushing had it not been for Virginia Tech's five sacks. Instead, he finished with a net of 27 yards with his two touchdowns.

As for the five sacks, Morris called those "embarrassing."

"There's no question about that. It's unacceptable to have five sacks in a ball game," he said.

But it wasn't all bad.

"I will say this: we ran the ball well and we won a football game. We're extremely excited about that," Morris said.

Andre Ellington broke the 3,000 career yard mark with his 96-yard, one touchdown performance.

"I thought he ran hard," Morris said. "I was glad to see that."

Plus, Sammy Watkins, who's stumbled out of the gate in his second season, finished with eight catches for 84 yards and three carries for nine yards.

"That was something we worked on last week, was try to get him back in shape and get him more involved in the flow of the game," Morris said. "I think you saw that."

The good thing for the Tigers' offense, they don't have long to stew on this one. Clemson back in action on Thursday night with a trip to Wake Forest.

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