Drive Chart
CLEM
VATECH

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Watson, Clemson claim ACC title and await playoff berth

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Deshaun Watson's mission is not over.

The Heisman Trophy hopeful and third-ranked Clemson Tigers are ready to return to the College Football Playoff and try to resolve some unfinished business from last season.

Watson bolstered his candidacy for the sport's biggest individual award by passing for three touchdowns and running for two more to lead the Tigers (12-1, No. 3 CFP) a 42-35 victory over No. 19 Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night.

Winning consecutive league titles for the first time in 28 years likely will send coach Dabo Swinney and his players back to the four-team College Football Playoff for the second straight year, providing Watson with an opportunity to resolve unfinished business from last January , when the Tigers lost to Alabama in the national championship game.

''What a blessing to be a part of this journey,'' Swinney said, flanked by Watson. ''This guy is the best player in the country, and it isn't close.''

The Clemson star completed 23 of 34 passes for 288 yards, including TDs of 21 and 10 yards to Jordan Leggett and 15 yards to Hunter Renfrow for a 42-28 lead midway through the fourth quarter. He also rushed for 85 yards on 17 attempts for the Tigers. They've won back-to-back ACC titles for the first time since winning three straight from 1986-88.

Watson's Virginia Tech counterpart, Jerod Evans, was just as impressive. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound ran for two touchdowns and rallied the Hokies from a 21-point deficit to make it close at the end.

The Hokies (9-4, No. 23 CFP) scored on three straight possessions, trimming what was once a 35-14 deficit to seven points on Evans' 5-yard run early in the fourth quarter and Cam Phillips' 26-yard TD reception with just under 6 minutes remaining.

''We've been there before. We were down 17 in the Notre Dame game and we were able to rally together to fight back,'' Hokies receiver Isaiah Ford said. ''So we were confident we could come back.''

Virginia Tech got the ball back with a chance to force overtime. Evans drove his team to the Clemson 23, where the drive stalled when Tigers cornerback Cordrea Tankersley intercepted a pass on fourth-and-6.

''They got here for a reason,'' Swinney said of Virginia Tech. ''We just couldn't put them away.''

Virginia Tech didn't take solace in playing Clemson close.

''They showed up here to win the ballgame. It's a pretty somber locker room because of that,'' coach Justin Fuente said.

''Obviously, we came up `a little short, but it wasn't because we weren't out there competing,'' Fuente added. ''I think our kids poured their heart and soul into this and are going to learn some life lessons from this endeavor.''

SITE CHANGE

The game, originally scheduled to be played in Charlotte, N.C., drew a crowd of 50,628 - about 20,000 shy of Camping World Stadium's listed capacity. The ACC moved the event to Orlando because of North Carolina House Bill 2, a controversial law that limits legal protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

EVANS' BIG NIGHT

Virginia Tech QB Jerod Evans finished 21 of 35 for 264 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He rushed for 46 yards on 21 carries, and joined Travon McMillian in scoring two TDs on the ground. Meanwhile, Cam Phillips had 12 receptions for 92 yards, and Isaiah Ford had four catches for 89 yards while becoming the Hokies' career leader in receiving yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

Clemson: It's been a yearlong quest to get back to the CFP, and the Tigers survived every test with the exception of a 43-42 loss to Pittsburgh in early November - a game in which the Tigers turned the ball over three times but still came within a fourth-and-1 conversion of winning. Watson was overshadowed early in the season, when ACC player of the year Lamar Jackson was posting gaudy statistics for Louisville, however the Clemson quarterback's performance Saturday night added to the sterling resume he's put together for Heisman Trophy consideration .

Virginia Tech: The Coastal Division winners weren't just happy to be in the title game. Fuente and his players were determined to make the most of the Hokies' first appearance in the title game in five years. And for a half, they kept it close, weathering Clemson scoring on its first three possessions to build a 21-7 lead. Even after being outgained 148 yards to minus-14 while falling behind by three TDs in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, Evans rallied his team to make a game of it in the fourth quarter.

DISQUALIFIED

Clemson LB Dorian O'Daniel was ejected in the opening quarter after being penalized for targeting on a high hit on Virginia Tech RB Sam Rogers, who was dropped for no gain on a pass reception. The call, along with Terrell Edmunds' 20-yard reception on a fake punt play and a 15-yard pass interference penalty against Tankersley, fueled the Hokies' first scoring drive, a 12-play, 77-yard march that McMillian finished his TD run.

UP NEXT:

Clemson: Awaits official word on a berth and seeding in the CFP, which begins with the national semifinals on Dec. 31.

Virginia Tech: Will travel to a bowl game hoping to finish its season under Fuente with 10 wins for the first time since 2011. Fuente also would become the first coach in school history to win 10 games in his first season leading the Hokies.

---

More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 5:43
46-J.Slye extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
42
35
Touchdown 5:43
4-J.Evans complete to 5-C.Phillips. 5-C.Phillips runs 26 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
76
yds
01:45
pos
42
34
Point After TD 7:33
92-G.Huegel extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
42
28
Touchdown 7:33
4-D.Watson complete to 13-H.Renfrow. 13-H.Renfrow runs 15 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
90
yds
04:02
pos
41
28
Point After TD 11:35
46-J.Slye extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
35
28
Touchdown 11:35
4-J.Evans runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
50
yds
03:25
pos
35
27
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 2:27
46-J.Slye extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
35
21
Touchdown 2:27
34-T.McMillian runs 27 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
80
yds
02:18
pos
35
20
Point After TD 4:45
92-G.Huegel extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
35
14
Touchdown 4:45
4-D.Watson runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
51
yds
01:19
pos
34
14
Point After TD 9:17
92-G.Huegel extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
28
14
Touchdown 9:17
9-W.Gallman runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
89
yds
03:38
pos
27
14
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:09
46-J.Slye extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
21
14
Touchdown 4:09
4-J.Evans runs 11 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
75
yds
01:58
pos
21
13
Point After TD 11:46
92-G.Huegel extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
21
7
Touchdown 11:46
4-D.Watson complete to 16-J.Leggett. 16-J.Leggett runs 10 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
54
yds
03:14
pos
20
7
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:51
46-J.Slye extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
7
Touchdown 0:51
34-T.McMillian runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
13
plays
107
yds
05:00
pos
14
6
Point After TD 5:57
92-G.Huegel extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
0
Touchdown 5:57
4-D.Watson complete to 16-J.Leggett. 16-J.Leggett runs 21 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
117
yds
04:06
pos
13
0
Point After TD 11:47
92-G.Huegel extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 11:47
4-D.Watson runs 3 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
75
yds
03:13
pos
6
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 30 19
Rushing 11 5
Passing 14 12
Penalty 5 2
3rd Down Conv 6-11 7-15
4th Down Conv 0-0 1-2
Total Net Yards 470 404
Total Plays 75 71
Avg Gain 6.3 5.7
Net Yards Rushing 182 102
Rush Attempts 41 35
Avg Rush Yards 4.4 2.9
Net Yards Passing 288 302
Comp. - Att. 23-34 22-36
Yards Per Pass 8.5 8.4
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 5-18
Penalties - Yards 8-65 8-89
Touchdowns 6 5
Rushing TDs 3 4
Passing TDs 3 1
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 1-0
Int. Thrown 1 2
Punts - Avg 5-34.6 6-44.8
Return Yards -5 110
Punts - Returns 2--5 1-2
Kickoffs - Returns 0-0 5-108
Int. - Returns 2-0 1-0
Kicking 6/6 5/5
Extra Points 6/6 5/5
Field Goals 0/0 0/0
Safeties 0 0
1234T
3 Clemson 12-1 14714742
23 Virginia Tech 9-4 7771435
288 PASS YDS 302
182 RUSH YDS 102
470 TOTAL YDS 404
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Watson 4 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
67.6% 288 3 1 162.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
67.6% 3914 37 15 154.0
D. Watson 23/34 288 3 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Watson 4 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 85 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
129 529 6
D. Watson 17 85 2 12
W. Gallman 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 59 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
196 1002 15
W. Gallman 17 59 1 11
C. Fuller 27 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 40 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
45 205 0
C. Fuller 5 40 0 27
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Cain 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 69 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
32 621 9
D. Cain 2 69 0 39
M. Williams 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 57 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
84 1171 10
M. Williams 5 57 0 20
J. Leggett 16 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 49 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
38 637 7
J. Leggett 4 49 2 21
A. Scott 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
7 48 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
71 592 5
A. Scott 7 48 0 15
H. Renfrow 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 46 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
29 353 4
H. Renfrow 2 46 1 31
R. McCloud 34 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
45 443 2
R. McCloud 1 9 0 9
W. Gallman 9 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 103 0
W. Gallman 1 7 0 7
T. Thompson 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 108 1
T. Thompson 1 3 0 3
C. Fuller 27 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 17 1
C. Fuller 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
B. Boulware 10 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-0 1 0.0
B. Boulware 8-0 0.0 0
J. Williams 30 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-1 1 1.0
J. Williams 8-1 1.0 0
K. Joseph 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 1 0.0
K. Joseph 6-1 0.0 0
C. Ferrell 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 1.0
C. Ferrell 6-0 1.0 0
C. Watkins 94 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 1.0
C. Watkins 4-3 1.0 0
D. Lawrence 90 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 2.0
D. Lawrence 4-0 2.0 0
C. Tankersley 25 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 2 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 3 0.0
C. Tankersley 3-0 0.0 2
J. Johnson 18 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 5 0.0
J. Johnson 3-2 0.0 0
R. Carter 31 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 1 0.0
R. Carter 3-1 0.0 0
V. Smith 23 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
V. Smith 3-0 0.0 0
C. Wilkins 42 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Wilkins 1-0 0.0 0
D. O'Daniel 6 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
D. O'Daniel 1-0 0.0 0
M. Edmond 29 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
M. Edmond 1-0 0.0 0
T. Feaster 28 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Feaster 1-0 0.0 0
A. Bryant 91 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
A. Bryant 1-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
G. Huegel 92 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 6/6
SEASON FG XP
13/17 62/64
G. Huegel 0/0 0 6/6 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
A. Teasdall 32 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 34.6 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
48 37.7 0
A. Teasdall 5 34.6 0 42
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Scott 3 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 -2.5 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 6.7 0 0
A. Scott 2 -2.5 0 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Evans 4 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
60% 264 1 2 121.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
63.5% 3303 27 7 154.1
J. Evans 21/35 264 1 2
M. Ludwig 90 P
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 20 0 0 268.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 20 0 0 268.0
M. Ludwig 1/1 20 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Evans 4 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
21 46 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
182 759 10
J. Evans 21 46 2 15
T. McMillian 34 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 37 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
136 637 6
T. McMillian 7 37 2 27
S. Rogers 45 FB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
65 279 2
S. Rogers 4 10 0 7
C. Phillips 5 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
26 124 0
C. Phillips 3 9 0 5
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Phillips 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
12 92 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
70 868 5
C. Phillips 12 92 1 26
I. Ford 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 89 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
73 1038 7
I. Ford 4 89 0 53
B. Hodges 7 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 42 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
43 640 7
B. Hodges 1 42 0 42
S. Rogers 45 FB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 36 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
22 287 3
S. Rogers 3 36 0 32
Te. Edmunds 22 S
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 20 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 20 0
Te. Edmunds 1 20 0 20
C. Carroll 86 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 258 0
C. Carroll 1 5 0 5
H. Murphy 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 29 0
H. Murphy 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
C. Clark 19 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-0 0 0.0
C. Clark 9-0 0.0 0
Tr. Edmunds 49 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 0.0
Tr. Edmunds 9-1 0.0 0
Te. Edmunds 22 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 3 0.0
Te. Edmunds 7-1 0.0 0
A. Alexander 36 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 2 0.0
A. Alexander 5-1 0.0 0
M. Reynolds 6 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 2 0.0
M. Reynolds 4-0 0.0 0
A. Motuapuaka 54 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 3 0.0
A. Motuapuaka 3-3 0.0 1
K. Ekanem 4 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
K. Ekanem 3-0 0.0 0
A. Shegog 24 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
A. Shegog 2-0 0.0 0
G. Stroman 3 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 3 0.0
G. Stroman 2-0 0.0 0
T. Hill 94 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
T. Hill 2-0 0.0 0
B. Facyson 31 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
B. Facyson 2-0 0.0 0
S. Peoples 32 FB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
S. Peoples 1-0 0.0 0
V. Mihota 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
V. Mihota 1-0 0.0 0
W. Baron 60 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
W. Baron 1-0 0.0 0
N. Williams 8 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
N. Williams 1-0 0.0 0
R. Walker 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
R. Walker 1-0 0.0 0
T. Settle 97 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
T. Settle 1-1 0.0 0
H. Gaines 11 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
H. Gaines 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Slye 46 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 5/5
SEASON FG XP
20/26 53/54
J. Slye 0/0 0 5/5 5
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Ludwig 90 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 44.8 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
62 38.8 2
M. Ludwig 6 44.8 2 60
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
H. Murphy 12 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
5 21.6 27 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
10 26.2 27 0
H. Murphy 5 21.6 27 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. Carroll 86 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 2.0 2 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
11 8.9 2 0
C. Carroll 1 2.0 2 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 CLEM 25 3:13 9 75 TD
10:03 CLEM 17 4:06 12 83 TD
0:51 CLEM 25 0:50 3 36
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 VATECH 39 3:14 8 39 TD
8:49 CLEM 35 2:35 6 13 Punt
4:09 CLEM 25 2:45 6 11 FUMBLE
0:06 CLEM 20 0:00 1 -1
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:11 CLEM 33 0:23 1 3 INT
12:55 CLEM 11 3:38 9 89 TD
7:48 CLEM 24 0:51 3 3 Punt
6:04 CLEM 49 1:19 4 51 TD
2:27 CLEM 25 1:23 3 7 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:35 CLEM 25 4:02 11 80 TD
5:43 CLEM 25 1:32 5 -2 Punt
1:11 CLEM 14 0:41 4 30
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:42 VATECH 27 1:29 4 -7 Punt
5:51 VATECH 23 5:00 13 77 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:40 VATECH 22 2:42 6 16 Punt
6:07 VATECH 30 1:58 6 70 TD
1:16 VATECH 26 1:03 3 7 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 VATECH 25 0:41 3 -6 Punt
13:40 CLEM 38 0:38 3 -5 Punt
9:10 VATECH 20 1:13 3 -1 Punt
6:50 VATECH 35 0:36 1 -2 INT
4:45 VATECH 25 2:18 6 75 TD
0:59 VATECH 35 0:53 4 15
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 CLEM 50 3:25 8 50 TD
7:28 VATECH 24 1:45 6 76 TD
4:03 VATECH 40 2:47 8 37 INT