ACC Championship, Clemson vs Virginia Tech: Score, highlights and recap

Dec 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Dorian O
Dec 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Dorian O /

What would go down during Saturday night’s ACC Championship game between Clemson and Virginia Tech?

From the start of this game, Clemson took over. Deshaun Watson lit up the Virginia Tech defense on the opening drive, and scoring a three-yard touchdown to go up, 7-0. He then connected with Jordan Leggett for a 21-yard touchdown pass to continue the early dominance at 14-0.

Virginia Tech needed something badly to go their way. When they were about to punt on their ensuing possession, this looked like it would set them back even further. However, a fake punt got called and actually succeeded. This led to a 20-yard gain and a first down. A one-yard rushing score would lead to the score being trimmed to 14-7, Clemson.

Once again, though, the Tigers fought back on their next drive. They quickly went down the field, which led to Watson hitting Leggett for the second time to make it 21-7.

It would a little while for the Hokies to fight back as the two teams traded drives. However, one a little over the midway point of the second quarter saw them get back on the board. This was via a quarterback run from Jerod Evans to make it 21-14.

The second half would see Clemson break back out. Wayne Gellman ran for an eight-yard score to make it a 28-14 game. VA Tech quarterback Evans then quickly got picked off to put the ball back in the hands of the No. 3 team in the country. They would add yet another rushing score to go up, 35-14 near the end of the third quarter.

When it seemed like the Hokies were down and out, they stayed alive. Evans chucked a deep pass which got caught after Clemson dropped everyone into coverage. McMillan then took the ball in on a 27-yard rush to make it 35-21, Clemson.

The score would then become 35-28, Clemson as the fourth quarter progressed. After another touchdown from Dabo Swinney’s team, though, the Hokies just wouldn’t stop fighting back. They clawed their way down the field as Evans threw a touchdown pass to Cam Phillips to make it 42-35.

Well, it wouldn’t help that Tech drove down the field with just minutes remaining, looking to tie the game. Evans kept getting easy completions to his wide receivers that got them well into Clemson territory. However, a fourth-and-six situation came into play. Evans faced a ton of pressure, though, and threw an interception to end the game. The Tigers would win, 42-35 and potentially clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Three Stars

Deshaun Watson, Clemson – The future first-round selection had 288 passing yards, 85 rushing yards (led the team), and five total touchdowns.

Jordan Leggett, Clemson – Leggett had two early touchdown catches to put Clemson ahead.

Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech – Phillips led the game with 12 catches for 92 yards and one touchdown.


What’s Next?

Clemson will find out their College Football Playoff fate on Sunday afternoon. It would be surprising to see them not make it. Virginia Tech will wait to see what bowl game they receive.