Facing fourth-ranked Clemson Saturday night, Virginia Tech football battled all the way up until midway through the third quarter, then the Tigers scored 28 unanswered to go on to win 45-10 in Lane Stadium.
Tech (4-6, 4-5 ACC) was in it at the five-minute mark in the third quarter, driving at its own 20, following a clutch interception by safety Divine Deablo in the end zone off of preseason ACC Player of the Year Trevor Lawrence, but shot itself in the foot with a fumble, which led to a Tiger score two plays later.
The Hokies never recovered, going three and out on their next drive and then fumbling on their ensuing possession, which resulted in a scoop and score by Clemson’s Derion Kenrick (66 yards) to put the game away.
Playing three quarterbacks due to injuries during the game, Tech never found its rhythm in the second half, resulting in 119 yards of offense in the third and fourth frames. Clemson (9-1, 8-1), which has won the league five years in a row, kicked it in gear the last 20 minutes and scored 28 points alone during that time frame.
There were some bright spots for the Hokies, though, as running back Khalil “Juice” Herbert rushed for 96 yards and had a touchdown, Tech’s lone of the day. Kicker Brian Johnson banged in a 54-yard field goal, becoming the first Virginia Tech kicker to make three or more 50-yard field goals in a single season, and the defense held Lawrence to 12-of-22 passing for a season-low 195 yards (min. 10 attempts).
Tech will be back in action next Saturday, Dec. 12 in Lane Stadium to take on in-state rival Virginia (5-4, 4-4). The game time has not been selected yet.