Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Series
Clemson has a 17-11-1 lead in the
series with Virginia Tech, but the Hokies have
won four consecutive games, including last year
at Blacksburg when Frank Beamer's team won
24-7 over a 10th ranked Clemson team. The
four wins in a row have spanned over the last
10 years and have taken place in three different
stadiums. Virginia Tech won at Clemson over
Tommy West's final team in 1998 by a 37-0
score, then won at Blacksburg the following year
by a 31-11 score. Virginia Tech then defeated
Clemson 41-20 behind Michael Vick at the 2001
Clemson's last victory in the series
took place in 1989 at Blacksburg, as a seventh-
ranked Clemson team that had just won at
Florida State, defeated Virginia Tech, 27-7. Virginia
Tech's only score came on a 90-yard kickoff
return for a touchdown by Marcus Mickel.
Here are some other notes on the
•The Clemson vs. Virginia Tech series
is one of the oldest in the Clemson history
books. The two teams first met in 1900 when
the Tigers won 17-5 during John Heisman's first
year as head coach. That was Clemson's fifth
straight win in a 6-0 season in Heisman's first
year. That game was played in Charlotte, NC.
•Clemson actually had a nine-game
winning streak in the series from 1955-89,
including a 6-1 record against the Hokies in the
decade of the 1980s.
•Clemson has a 6-3 advantage in the
series in games played in Blacksburg, including
a 4-2 lead in Lane Stadium.
•Virginia Tech won the 1999 game in
Blacksburg, a 31-11 Hokie victory in a Thursday
night game on ESPN. Clemson trailed just 17-11
late in the game, but Virginia Tech scored two
touchdowns in the last four minutes. Clemson
held Michael Vick to 7-16 passing for 88 yards
and intercepted three of his passes, the most
effective pass defense against Vick during that
season. That Virginia Tech team went on to
play Florida State for the National Championship.
*The 1956 Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
game was a battle of top 15 teams at Clemson.
The Tigers won that game 21-6. That was the
first ever battle of top 20 teams in the history of
•Virginia Tech upset Clemson in the
season opener at Clemson in 1986 by a 20-14
score behind coach Bill Dooley. That was one
of just two season opening losses in Danny
Ford's Clemson career, and the Tigers lost just
two games that season and went on to win the
ACC. A blocked punt by Virginia Tech's Mitch
Dove was a key play in the game. Clemson's
punter that day was Bill Spiers, who went on to a
10-year major league baseball career.
•Clemson won the 1985 game at
Virginia Tech by a 20-17 score on a 36-yard field
goal by David Treadwell on the last play of the
game. That was the season opener for both
•Clemson had a three-game winning
streak in the series between 1987-89. Clemson's
defense was prominent, allowing just 24
points and two offensive touchdowns in those
three games combined. All three of those Clemson
wins were against Frank Beamer, who came
to Virginia Tech as head coach in 1987.
•Beamer will be making just his third
appearance as head coach of Virginia Tech in
Death Valley. He has a 1-1 record. This will be
his third game at Clemson, one in the 1980s,
one in the 1990s and now one in the first decade
of the 21st century. Virginia Tech does not return
to Clemson until 2012, His two previous trips to
Clemson have been large margins, a 40-7 Clemson
win in 1988 and a 37-0 Virginia Tech win in
•This is the last regular season game
between Clemson and Virginia Tech until 2011.
It is the last meeting at Clemson until 2012.
2006 vs. Virginia Tech
Branden Ore rushed for 203 yards
to lead Virginia Tech to a 24-7 victory over #10
Clemson at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA on
October 26, 2006. The game was played in front
of 66,233 fans on a Thursday night on ESPN. It
was the first meeting between the two teams as
The defeat ended Clemson's 26-game
streak of not losing by more than six points dating
back to 2004, when the Tigers lost in the same
state by 20 points at Virginia.
Virginia Tech doubled the Tigers (332-
166) in total yards, including a 224-80 advantage
in rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Hokie offense
totaled 58 rushing attempts and wore down the
Tiger defense by game's end.
Ore's 203 rushing yards came on 37
carries, while he added two touchdowns. It was
the first time in the Tommy Bowden era at Clemson
that an opposing player rushed for 200 yards in a
game. Quarterback Sean Glennon completed 9-15
passes for 108 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Virginia
Tech defense stuffed the Tiger run game all night.
The Tigers did not have a run of 10 yards or more
until the final drive of the game.
James Davis was held to 30 rushing
yards on 12 carries, and scored the team's lone
touchdown. C.J. Spiller had a team-high 41 rushing
yards on 10 carries.
Will Proctor struggled the entire game,
completing only 11 of 28 passes for 86 yards.
Tyler Grisham and Chansi Stuckey both had three
catches to pace the Tigers. It was Stuckey's first
game back after missing the previous three contests
due to a broken foot.
Clemson played well in certain areas,
such as pass protection and lack of penalties.
The Tigers did not allow a sack and committed
just one penalty for five yards. Clemson totaled
just 75 yards of total offense in 42 plays after its
touchdown-scoring drive in the first quarter.
After three-and-outs by both teams to
start the game, Clemson drove 77 yards in 11
plays to post the first points of the game. A 20-yard
pass from Proctor to Grisham on third-and-nine
moved the ball to the Hokie 27. After Clemson's
only penalty of the game, Proctor hit Grisham for
12 yards and Stuckey for seven yards on third
down. Two plays later, Davis rushed six yards
for a touchdown. It was his 17th rushing score of
the year, tying Lester Brown's 28-year-old school
But the lead was short-lived, as the
Hokies drove 84 yards in 12 plays on the ensuing
drive to tie the score. At their own 36, the Hokies
elected to go for it on fourth-and-one, and Glennon's
sneak was enough to keep the drive alive.
Ore rushed for 13, eight, and 40 yards on the next
three plays to move the ball to the Tiger one. Two
plays later, Glennon scored on a one-yard quarterback
On the Hokies' next possession, they
drove 29 yards in 10 plays to take the lead early in
the second quarter. A 14-yard pass from Glennon to Eddie Royal on third-and-nine kept the drive
alive. But the drive stalled when Glennon threw
back-to-back incompletions in Tiger territory. Brandon
Pace came on to make a 37-yard field goal to
put Virginia Tech up by a score of 10-7.
With 3:32 left in the second quarter, C.J.
Gaddis stripped a scrambling Glennon, and Gaines
Adams scooped up the fumble and returned it five
yards to the Hokie 26. But three plays later, Proctor
fumbled the snap from Dustin Fry, and Barry
Booker recovered to end the scoring threat.
The game got away from the Tigers in
the third quarter. Xavier Adibi picked off Proctor
and returned the ball to the Tiger 35. Ore carried
on all five plays of the ensuing drive, including an
11-yard jaunt for a touchdown.
After three-straight three-and-outs
combined by both teams, Virginia Tech added
insurance points after a lengthy drive of 79 yards.
Glennon connected with tight end Sam Wheeler
for 41 yards to move the ball into Tiger territory.
On the next play, Ore carried 21 yards to the Tiger
four. Two plays later, he scored on a three-yard
touchdown run to give Virginia Tech a 24-7 lead
with 2:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Clemson Graduate is Virginia Tech QB coach
Virginia Tech quarterback coach Mike
O'Cain is a 1977 Clemson graduate. O'Cain was
the Tigers team MVP in 1976 when he played
quarterback and served as the punter. He was
a member of the team from 1973-76, then stayed
on staff as student assistant coach in 1977.
O'Cain served as the head coach at
NC State before coming to Clemson as an assistant
coach for the 2001 Gator Bowl. His first
game coaching for Clemson as a full-time assistant
came against Virginia Tech. He replaced
Rich Rodriquez who left to become the head
coach at West Virginia.
O'Cain served on the Clemson coaching
staff for 2001-02-03 and 2004. He was the
quarterbacks coach for the first three years, then
the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator
in 2004. His first year on the staff (2001)
he coached Woody Dantzler who became the
first quarterback in NCAA history to record 2000
yards passing and 1000 yards rushing in the
same season. Dantzler and O'Cain are both
from Orangeburg, SC.
Clemson Welcomes ESPN Saturday Night
Clemson's game with Virginia Tech
on Saturday will be televised by ESPN and its
Saturday night announcing crew of Mike Patrick,
Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe. This will be
the fourth time in the last two years this announcing
team has broadcast a Clemson game
and the Tigers are 3-0 in the previous three
games. All three games have been wins over
The streak started last year at Florida
State when Clemson defeated a ninth ranked
Florida State team on the road, 27-20. James
Davis scored the winning touchdown with just
eight seconds left. Then, last October, the same
crew did Clemson's 31-7 win over 13th ranked
Georgia Tech from Clemson. Davis had a
career high 216 yards rushing in that game.
The streak continued earlier this year
when the same crew did Clemson's win over 19th
ranked Florida State, 24-18 on Labor Day night.
Davis had 102 yards rushing in that conteet.
The presence of Patrick and Blackledge
must bring the Tigers good fortune. Patrick
has done Clemson events for many years
for ESPN. He provided the play by play for
Clemson's 1990 ACC Regular season clinching
basketball victory over Duke. That is the only
time Clemson has won the ACC regular season
championship in men's basketball.
Blackledge was the starting quarterback
for Penn State in 1981, the year Clemson
won the national championship. The Saturday
after Thanksgiving that year, he led Penn State
to a 48-14 win over then number-one Pittsburgh.
The victory allowed Clemson to move into the
number-one position in both polls and position
the Tigers to win the National Championship with
its Orange Bowl win over Nebraska.
Clemson Faces Another Outstanding Defense
For the second week in a row, Clemson must go against one
of the best defenses in the ACC. Last Saturday, Clemson faced Georgia
Tech, who is number-one in the ACC in scoring defense, number two in
rush defense and number two in total defense. This week, Clemson faces
Virginia Tech, who is number-two in scoring defense, and number two in
pass efficiency defense. Virginia Tech led the nation in total defense last
Clemson's defense has been outstanding in its own right this
year. Vic Koenning's point prevention unit is first in the ACC in pass efficiency
defense, first in pass defense and third in total defense. Clemson
ranks in the top 25 in the nation in pass efficiency defense (7th), pass
defense (8th), scoring defense (22nd) and total defense (24th). The Tigers
defense has also contributed to a number-14 ranking in turnover margin.
Leading the way for Clemson on defense has been linebacker
Nick Watkins, who has 51 total tackles and two tackles for loss. He had
12 tackles at Georgia Tech, his third double figure tackle game of the year.
Chris Clemons and Phillip Merling are tied for second on the club in tackles
with 36. Clemons had 14 at Georgia Tech and Merling had a career high
10 stops, including three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
Tigers from Virginia
Clemson has just two players on its roster from the state of Virginia,
but both are prominent players. Chris McDuffie is a red-shirt senior
offensive guard who made his first career start at Virginia Tech last year.
McDuffie is from Danville, VA and has now started 10 consecutive games.
He leads the team in knockdown blocks with 47.5.
Kavell Conner is a red-shirt sophomore linebacker from Richmond,
VA. He has played in all 5 games this year and has 14 tackles in
81 plays in reserve. He is 2nd on the team in tackles among non-starters.
Clemson will play Virginia Tech at 6:00 PM on Saturday night.
Tommy Bowden used to roll his eyes when he was informed that the Tigers
had been scheduled for night for television, but he must not be as disappointed
Clemson was 4-1 last year in night games, wins over Florida
State, Louisiana Tech, Temple and Georgia Tech. The only loss was to
Virginia Tech. Clemson won all four of its night games in 2005, including
wins over top 20 teams from Texas A&M, South Carolina and Colorado.
Clemson opened this year with a victory over 19th ranked Florida
State on Labor Day night. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 11 night
games and six of the wins have come against ranked opponents. Clemson
has won four straight home night games with the last loss coming to
Georgia Tech in 2004.
The 10-1 run in night games is a total reversal from Bowden's
first five years at Clemson. Clemson had an 0-5 record in night games his
first year and a 6-1 mark in day games. Clemson was 2-14 at night under
Bowden for his first four years, plus three games. Overall, he is now 12-15
in night games in his Clemson career.
Clemson Has won Nine in Row in Home Redemption Games
Clemson is coming off a loss at Georgia Tech, a team the Tigers
defeated at Clemson in 2006. That could be called a "redemption home
The Tigers are now in that situation this Saturday when Virginia
Tech comes to Clemson. The Hokies defeated Clemson last year 24-7 in
Blacksburg and the Tigers are now trying to redeem themselves by taking a
victory at Clemson.
Clemson has played well in redemption home games under Tommy
Bowden. In fact the Tigers are 14-5 under Bowden in redemption home
games, including nine wins in a row. The last time Clemson lost a redemption
home game was in 2003 when the Tigers lost at home to Georgia, 30-0
after having lost at Georgia the previous year, 31-28.
Clemson's nine-game winning streak in redemption home games
includes five wins over top 25 teams, including each of the last two. Clemson
defeated a 17th ranked Florida State team 35-14 in 2005 after having lost to
the Seminoles in Tallahassee the previous year. Last year Clemson defeated
a 13th ranked Georgia Tech team 31-7 after having lost to the Yellow Jackets
the previous year, 10-9 in Atlanta. Six of Bowden's 14 redemption home
games have been over top 25 teams.
Virginia Tech - Clemson Game Notes
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