Clemson smokes Hokies in second half to win ACC title

Clemson scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to rout No. 3 Virginia Tech 38-10 in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday.

The No. 21 Tigers (10-3) won their first conference title since 1991 and fourth overall, and clinched a berth in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 against most likely West Virginia, which is expected to be the highest ranked Big East team when the final BCS standings are released Sunday.

Virginia Tech (11-2) likely will play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

Clemson dominated the second half, reversing a late-season swoon that saw the Tigers lose three of their past four games. Tied 10-10 at halftime, the Tigers scored on all three third-quarter possessions while smothering the Hokies’ offense. Clemson held Virginia Tech to minus-13 yards on the Hokies’ first three possessions of the second half.

Tajh Boyd threw touchdown passes to Dwayne Allen (8 yards) and Sammy Watkins (53 yards) on Clemson’s first two second-half possessions. Andre Ellington raced 29 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown on the third possession to push the Tigers’ lead to 31-10 with 6:21 left in the third.

Virginia Tech’s lone loss before Saturday came at home against Clemson on Oct. 1. The Hokies had won seven in a row and averaged 199.8 rushing yards on the season, but finished with 56 yards rushing and committed three turnovers.

Boyd completed 20-of-29 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns, and added a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. He found Allen on a 24-yarder less than four minutes into the game as the Tigers took a 7-0 lead. Ellington finished with 125 yards on 20 carries.

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