Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Notes
Clemson Sports Information Department
Clemson has an 19-12-1 lead in the series with Virginia Tech. Clemson’s 23-3 victory on October 1, 2011 ended Virginia Tech’s five-game winning streak in the series. Clemson had not defeated Virginia Tech since 1989 prior to the victory at Blacksburg last year. The Tigers then defeated Virginia Tech 38-10 in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte last year. It marked the first time Clemson had beaten the same team twice in one year. So after not defeating Virginia Tech since 1989, the Tigers outscored the Hokies 61-13 in the two games in 2011.
The five Virginia Tech wins prior to last year had spanned from 1998-2007 and 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 Tom¬my Bowden’s first Clemson team. Virginia Tech then defeated Clemson 41-20 behind Michael Vick at the 2001 Gator Bowl. Tech then won in 2006 at Blacksburg and 2007 at Clemson.
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 actually had a nine-game winning streak in the series from 1955-89, including a 6-1 record against the Hokies in the decade of the 1980s. Clemson has a 6-3 advantage in the series in games played in Blacksburg, including a 4-2 lead in Lane Stadium. 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 ever 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 10-year major league baseball career.
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 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.
Beamer has a 2-1 record against Clemson in Memorial Stadium and is 5-5 against the Tigers overall. He is 2-3 against the Tigers in Lane Stadium.
Clemson will attempt to tie the school record for consecutive wins in Memorial Stadium when the Tigers play host to Virginia Tech. Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have won 10 in a row at home dating to a victory over Troy to open the 2011 season. The last team to beat Clemson at home is South Carolina, the final home game of 2010.
The record for consecutive wins in Memorial Stadium is 11, set on two occasions. It first happened in the 1937-42 era under Jess Neely and Frank Howard. It started with a 46-0 in over Presbyterian on September 18, 1937 and ended with a 7-0 loss to George Washington on November 7, 1942.