It’s really cold in Blacksburg. They lit the town Christmas Tree last evening. The town is decorated for Hokie Nation, but eventually the decorations will be changed for the pretty lights and garland around the light poles. It’s really tough to see the campus so empty, though the normal semester would end at the beginning of the 3rd week. There are only a few people living on campus. The apartment complexes are still buzzing, though. School is not over, just put in total remote-control mode. And that’s sort of the way the football game is this evening. It seems like it’s all remote control. It’s happening right here, at Lane where home games always happen, but it just seems like it’s going on somewhere else.
Hokies took the kick, and managed to get one first down on a short 3 yard pick your way through the traffic run by Khalil Herbert, and a nice reverse screen to James Mitchell to just nick the 35… followed by a rather limp 3-yard play call to have Herbert pick his way through heavy traffic for 3. And then disaster struck. The cold reared up and bit Hendon Hooker and he bobbled the snap the loss of 17 made it 3rd and 20. The QB draw into the boundary ‘B’ Gap gave Bradburn a better shot at giving Clemson a longer field. Hokies Punt.
Clemson took the long Bradburn punt at there 32 or so… two plays later they were knocking at the door on the Tech 15, and that’s pretty much where they stayed. The Tech defense stiffened. Chamarri Conner lit up Travis Etienne with a great open field tackle, and Lawrence who seems a bit out of time, couldn’t hit any passes beyond the sticks. Their nearly automatic field goal kicker came in and kicked a -4, which might be the closest thing to a stop that the Hokies pulled off. 0 – 3 Clemson
So, the Hokies took the ball at the 25, and #3 showed up on the field. Braxton Burmeister laced together an actual fast-moving drive with a nice QB draw to nab a 1st down early, then hit Tayvion Robinson on a wide open deep shot down the left side to the Clemson 4 yard line. The next play, the Offensive Line opened up a truck sized hole and Herbert scored 6 from the 4. Johnson buried the PAT, and the Hokies end up on top for the time being. 7 – 3 Hokies
The Hokies kicked off, and Clemson just drove the ball methodically down the field with Trevor Lawrence finishing the drive off with a 16-yard TD run as the defense just lost track of where the ball was, again. 7 – 10 Clemson
Hokies took the ensuing kickoff and Burmeister started moving fast, getting the ball out quickly, and between James Mitchell, Khalil Herbert, and the Vice Squad started off with 5 nice first downs. But the 11 play drive stalled out when the booth called for the same ole same ole on first down. Herbert lost 3. Burmeister pulled in a delayed QB draw on an RPO to grab back about 8 but Brock Hoffman was flagged for unnecessary roughness with a late hit. Then the Hokies tanked the 3rd down and Southgate. Bradburn put too much foot in the ball, so Clemson gets the ball on the 20 with Tech having burned lots of clock, but getting ZERO points.
After the punt, Clemson went a total of 4 and a half yards, and nearly an interception by Chamarri Conner. The Tigers actually were forced to punt, and James Mitchell put in a respectable return. The Hokies end up starting their series with decent field position. After a nice two plays for a first down, Cornelsen started calling slow moving delayed outside plays into the boundaries, and started backwards. And a poor pattern low percentage throw just didn’t make it. Brian Johnson came into the game in no-man’s-land and pounded a beautiful 55-yard field goal to tie the game. 10 – 10 Tie
The kickoff with all of 3:51 left in the half, and a tie game was answered by a hammering methodical run and short pass drive from their 25. Clemson scored with 1:06 left on the clock and several Hokie defenders trying to find their arms because they weren’t tackling at all on that one. 10 – 17 Clemson
The Hokies got the ball back with decent field position, and 1:05 on the clock and almost scored on a Hail Mary to Blackshear. The Hokies might have scored if he’d extended the ball over the corner of the south end zone. The Hokies aren’t out of this, but the opening drive for Clemson in the 2nd half has to be better handled than Clemson’s last drive.