Clemson has a 21-12-1 lead in the series with Virginia Tech. Clemson’s 23-3 victory on October 1, 2011 in Blacksburg ended Virginia Tech’s five-game winning streak in the series. Clemson had not defeated Virginia Tech since 1989 prior to the victory at Virginia Tech in 2011. Clemson has now won four in a row over Virginia Tech, including a pair of ACC Championships, one in 2011 and one in 2016.
The Tigers defeated Virginia Tech twice in 2011, 23-3 at Blacksburg and 38-10 in the ACC Championship in Charlotte. It Is the only time Clemson has beaten the same school twice in the same year. So after not defeating Virginia Tech since 1989, the Tigers outscored the Hokies 61-13 in the two games in 2011.
Clemson then defeated Virginia Tech 38-17 in the regular season at Clemson in 2012 and last year in the ACC Championship game, 42-35.
Dabo Swinney is 4-0 vs. Virginia Tech by an average score of 35.3 to 16.
The five consecutive Virginia Tech wins between 1998-07 took place in three different stadiums. Virginia Tech won at Clemson over Tommy West’s final team in 1998 by a 37-0 score, then won at Blacksburg the following year by a 31-11 score against Tommy Bowden’s first Clemson team. Virginia Tech then defeated Clemson 41-20 behind Michael Vick at the 2001 Gator Bowl (end of 2000 season). Tech won in 2006 at Blacksburg on a Thursday night in November, and 2007 at Clemson. Clemson was 7-1 and ranked in the top 10 entering that 2006 game after beating Georgia Tech 31-7 the previous Saturday.
Here are some other notes on the series:
- The Clemson vs. Virginia Tech series is one of the oldest in the Clemson history books. The two teams first met in 1900 when the Tigers won 17-5 during John Heisman’s first year as head coach. That was Clemson’s fifth straight win in a 6-0 season in Heisman’s first year. That game was played in Charlotte, NC.
- Clemson has a 6-3 advantage in the series in games played in Blacksburg, including a 4-2 lead in Lane Stadium. The two teams are not scheduled to play again in the regular season until 2024 at Clemson and Clemson won’t come back to Blacksburg until 2031 if the rotation remains the same.
- Virginia Tech won the 1999 game in Blacksburg, a 31-11 victory in a Thursday night game on ESPN. Clemson trailed just 17-11 late in the game, but Virginia Tech scored two touchdowns in the last four minutes. Clemson held Michael Vick to 7-16 passing for 88 yards and intercepted three of his passes, the most effective pass defense against Vick during that season. That Virginia Tech team went on to play Florida State for the National Championship.
- The 1956 Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game was a battle of top 15 teams. That game took place at Clemson and the Tigers won, 21- 6. That was the first battle of top 20 teams in the history of Death Valley.
- Virginia Tech upset Clemson in the season opener at Clemson in 1986 by a 20-14 score behind coach Bill Dooley. That was one of just two season opening losses in Danny Ford’s Clemson career, and the Tigers lost just two games that season and went on to win the ACC.
A blocked punt by Virginia Tech’s Mitch Dove was a key play in the game. Clemson’s punter that day was Bill Spiers, who went on to a 13-year major league baseball career. He is now on Dabo Swinney’s staff as a student assistant coach as he has come back to Clemson to finish his degree requirements. His son, Will Spiers, is Clemson’s starting punter and currently ranks fifth in the nation in punting.
- Clemson won the 1985 game at Virginia Tech by a 20-17 score on a 36-yard field goal by David Treadwell on the last play of the game. That was the season opener for both teams. Clemson had five turnovers in that game, yet won. Clemson did not win another game in which it committed five turnovers until the 2016 Louisville game.
- Clemson had a three-game winning streak in the series between 1987-89. Clemson’s defense was prominent, allowing just 24 points and two offensive touchdowns in those three games combined. All three of those Clemson wins were against Frank Beamer, who came to Virginia Tech as head coach in 1987.
- Frank Beamer had a 2-2 record against Clemson in Memorial Stadium and was 5-6 against the Tigers overall. He was 2-3 against the Tigers in Lane Stadium. Dabo Swinney was 2-0 vs. Beamer.
Last Year vs. Virginia Tech December 3, 2016
at Orlando, Fla.
Deshaun Watson accounted for five touchdowns and a Cordrea Tankersley ended a Virginia Tech threat with his second interception as the No. 3 Clemson Tigers defeated No. 19 (AP) Virginia Tech to win the program’s 16th ACC Championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Clemson improved to 12-1 with the victory and earned a bid to the College Football Playoff the next day.
Watson threw for 288 yards and three scores, and added 85 yards rushing and two more scores in collecting game Most Valuable Player honors. Tankersley’s second interception of the game came with Virginia Tech facing a fourth-and-six from the Clemson 23 with under 90 seconds left.
Clemson had a balanced receiving contingent as no player had more than 69 yards receiving, but five had at least 46 yards. Deon Cain had two catches for 69 yards, Mike Williams had 5-57 and Artavis Scott had 7-48. Tight end Jordan Leggett had two touchdown catches off his 4-49 performance, and Hunter Renfrow had two catches for 46 yards and a score.
Kendall Joseph, who had a quarterback hurry on Tankersley’s interception, led the Tigers with 11 tackles, while Ben Boulware added 10. Reserve Jalen Williams added nine. Freshman Dexter Lawrence had an active night with two sacks.
Clemson wasted little time in building a 14-0 lead after two possessions. Watson was sharp, completing his first 10 passes, giving him a Clemson record 19 in a row over two games. He ran for the first touchdown on a three-yard run to complete a nine-play 75-yard drive that look the opening 3:13 of the game. On Clemson’s second possession he found Leggett for a 21-yard scoring pass that ended a nine-play 83-yard drive.