Tigers do it with D, knock off No. 10 Hokies to stay perfect

Clemson beat No. 10 Virginia Tech at its own game, using a stifling defense for a 23-3 road win that establishes the 15th-ranked Tigers as the team to beat in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Tigers dominated an offense that came in averaging 34.8 points per game and kept the Hokies out of the end zone for the first time since a 2006 loss at Boston College. Virginia Tech had not been held without a touchdown at home since 1995.

Clemson entered the game with only four sacks, but Andre Branch had four in the second half alone.

The Tigers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) have beaten three consecutive ranked opponents for the first time in school history, including wins against preseason favorites Florida State and Virginia Tech to open ACC play. Clemson is 5-0 for the first time since winning its first eight games in 2000.

The loss snaps a 12-game conference winning streak for the Hokies (4-1, 0-1 ACC), a 15-game regular-season winning streak and a string of five straight wins against the Tigers. It’s also the Hokies’ first loss to open conference play in eight seasons since joining the ACC.

Andre Ellington’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Tigers a 10-3 halftime lead, and they never trailed again. Tajh Boyd hit Dwayne Allen for a 32-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead, and freshman Mike Bellamy broke away for a 31-yard touchdown run to seal it in the fourth quarter.

Virginia Tech’s David Wilson topped 100 yards rushing for the fourth time in five games, but the rest of the offense was stagnant, managing less than 150 total yards.

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