BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Just as with Clemson's place in the ACC race, Tigers' fans should by no means feel comfortable with this halftime lead. Virginia Tech is a good team, a better team than I gave it credit for heading into this game. You can count on the Hokies' staff to make good adjustments in the second half, but Clemson is undaunted by the Lane Stadium crowd, and has found a way to move the ball on the Hokies' stingy D. Here's a look back at the first half:
Turning point: On third-and-eight, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd completed a 23-yard pass to freshman receiver Sammy Watkins. Three plays later, Virginia Tech went ahead with the first touchdown of the game.
Stat of the half:Virginia Tech has passed for just 38 yards. This is first-year starting quarterback Logan Thomas' first game against a ranked opponent, and the Hokies' passing game is hurting. Tailback David Wilson can, will and is getting his yards on the ground, but the Hokies' can't afford to rely only on Wilson in this game. Thomas hasn't had to win a game yet, but the game could be in his hands if it continues to stay close.
What Clemson needs to do:The Tigers need to continue to put pressure on Thomas and dare him to throw. Limit Wilson as much as possible, but with Virginia Tech's passing game struggling, Clemson needs to take advantage of that while at the same time being more efficient in its own.
What Virginia Tech needs to do:Get the ball to Wilson, but also put Thomas in comfortable positions and keep him out of third-and-long situations. The Hokies also have to limit the turnovers in the second half, and fare better on third downs (3-of-8).