Sports

Clemson routs Hokies for ACC title, Orange Bowl berth

Clemson’s Andre Ellington ran over Virginia Tech’s defense for 125 yards in the ACC championship. (Associated Press)
Clemson’s Andre Ellington ran over Virginia Tech’s defense for 125 yards in the ACC championship. (Associated Press)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tajh Boyd threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as No. 21 Clemson routed No. 5 Virginia Tech 38-10 Saturday night to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 20 years.

The Tigers (10-3) clinched their first Orange Bowl berth since 1981, the year they won their only national championship.

Clemson won’t be playing for a national title this season, but the victory was still sweet considering they’d lost three of four games to close the regular season.

“We knocked down a lot of walls tonight,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said.

Clemson became the only team to beat Virginia Tech (11-2) twice in the same season. The Tigers beat the Hokies 23-3 in Blacksburg, Va., on Oct. 1.

Clemson scored three touchdowns on five plays in a span of 4:24 in the third quarter to break open a 10-10 halftime tie.

After Virginia Tech went three-and-out on its first second-half possession, Boyd capped a 10-play, 87-yard touchdown drive with his second touchdown pass of the game to tight end Dwayne Allen for a 17-10 lead.

On Clemson’s next play from scrimmage, wide receiver Sammy Watkins got behind the defense and hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Boyd – his 31st of the season, extending his school record. Boyd completed 20 of 29 passes for 240 yards.

Andre Ellington, who ran for 125 yards, raced 29 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 31-10 lead. Boyd put the game away early in the fourth quarter on a quarterback sneak.



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