- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va — In a 24-7 win against No. 10 Clemson last night, unranked Virginia Tech got the opportunity to undo some of the self-inflicted damage from two weeks earlier at Boston College.

The Thursday night contest was supposed to be a showcase for stunning ground games, but the Hokies won that matchup easily as Branden Ore ran went over 200 yards for the second straight game and scored two third-quarter touchdowns. Meanwhile, Clemson’s dynamic duo of James Davis and C.J. Spiller, the so-called “Thunder and Lightning” of the ACC, never got going.

The difference, besides the overwhelming performance by Ore, who had 203 yards on 37 carries, was that Tech’s defense held the conference’s most productive offense and most prolific ground game to 80 yards rushing and 166 overall.

Davis, who entered the game as the ACC’s leading rusher with 961 yards, was held to 30 yards on 12 carries. Spiller, who had 523 rushing yards, settled for 41 last night on 10 carries.

“I don’t know how you compare [the running backs] individually,” Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon said, “but I think the stats did the talking tonight.”

Clemson (7-2, 4-2 ACC) scored first on Davis’ 6-yard run with just more than six minutes left in the first quarter, the end of an 11-play, 77-yard drive.

Looking as poised and determined as he has all season, Glennon then put together the longest drive the Tigers have allowed this season — an 84-yard effort.

On second-and-7 from the 19-yard line, the third-year sophomore finally showed the awareness that coaches have been seeking as he eluded tacklers in the backfield and moved out to the 25-yard line. After getting a first down, Tech (6-2, 3-2) faced a third-and-5 from its own 34. This time, Glennon completed a quick pass to Justin Harper over the middle to set up fourth-and-inches. Calling his own number, the quarterback dived ahead for two yards and the first down.

Later in the drive, a 39-yard by Ore brought the Hokies to the Clemson 1-yard line. Glennon followed with the first rushing touchdown of his college career.

On that drive and throughout the game, the Tech offensive line finally emerged — even as starting guard Ryan Shuman went out early with an injury.

“We knew we had to come in and run the ball,” right tackle Duane Brown said. “We knew they had a good pass rush defense and we knew we had to establish the run early.”

Brandon Pace’s field goal with 11:36 left in the half broke the 7-7 tie. The 37-yarder marked the 13th consecutive successful attempt for the fifth-year senior, the longest streak of his career.

The Hokies punted away on the opening possession of the second half, but junior linebacker Xavier Adibi picked off a Will Proctor pass to give Virginia Tech the ball at the Clemson 40-yard line. Taking advantage of the field position, Ore hammered out a second touchdown drive. On his 26th carry of the game, he took the ball in from 11 yards out to extend the Hokies’ lead to 17-7 and set a new career record for carries in a single game.

Ore added another touchdown in the third quarter, running it in from three yards out with 2:07 on the clock to put the Tigers away.

“Things kind of went our way and then we helped them go our way,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. “And the kids just played awful good.”

Said cornerback Brandon Flowers: “We’re back. We’ve got our swagger back. We could see the fight in everybody’s eyes going in practice all week. Everybody knew, when they’ve got a chance, they’ve got to make that play.”

With the win Thursday night, the Hokies are potentially back in the hunt for a trip to the ACC championship game in Jacksonville as Georgia Tech and Miami are the only two Coastal Division teams with only one conference loss.

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