BLACKSBURG, Va. — Lyn-J Dixon rumbled 19 yards for a touchdown with 1:06 left before the half, giving third-ranked Clemson a 17-10 lead at halftime.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence had a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter, while throwing for just 99 yards on 7-of-12 passing. Clemson also got a 28-yard field goal from B.T. Potter.
Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert scored on a four-yard touchdown in the first quarter and finished the first half with 74 yards on 13 carries. The Hokies had 214 total yards in the first half on 31 plays.
The Tigers had 215 yards on 26 plays.
During the first half, Clemson lost backup middle linebacker Jake Venables after he broke his arm. He was in for James Skalski who complained to the coaches his injured groin was sore.
After starting quarterback Hendon Hooker left the game following the Hokies’ first series of the night, Virginia Tech used a ball control offense to keep the Tigers at bay in the opening half.
Virginia Tech deliberately ran the play clock down to about 13 seconds consistently, eating up the clock, while keeping Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables guessing on what it would do next. The scheme allowed the Hokies to drive 75 yards for a touchdown on one drive and eat up nearly five minutes off the clock. They also had a second-quarter drive that did not get any points, but it took up 7:14 off the clock.
Clemson took a 3-0 lead after it drove the ball 61 yards on seven plays on its opening drive of the game. B.T. Potter kicked a 28-yard field to cap the drive, which took to 2:48 off the clock. A Lawrence to Braden Galloway 49-yard pass set up the field goal.
The Hokies answered the Potter field goal with a four-yard Herbert touchdown run. The Herbert score capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive, which included a 48-yard pass from backup quarterback Braxton Burmeister to Tayvion Robinson to the Clemson four.
Herbert’s touchdown gave the Hokies a 7-3 lead with 3:45 to play in the first quarter.
Lawrence answered the Virginia Tech touchdown with a 17-yard scamper for a 10-7 Clemson lead with 12 seconds left to play in the first quarter. Lawrence kept the ball on a zone-read play and ran off the left side for the touchdown, his fifth of the season.
Virginia Tech tied the game at 10 with 3:52 to play in the half, as kicker Brian Johnson made a 54-yard field goal after a short drive by the Hokies netted just 13 yards.
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