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Ore leads Virginia Tech to upset win over No. 10 Clemson


Virginia Tech knew it had one last chance to repair its image after two big losses and a string of conduct problems on and off the field.

When that chance arrived in all-white Clemson road uniforms, the Hokies were more than ready, manhandling the 10th-ranked Tigers in a 24-7 victory Thursday night.

"Hopefully we're silencing the doubters now," right tackle Duane Brown said.

The Hokies did it on both ends. They got 203 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Branden Ore against one of the nation's top defenses, and limited one of the nation's most potent offenses to 76 yards and three first downs after the first quarter.

The dominance left many Hokies feeling a sense of redemption.

"We knew tonight was our night," Brown said after the young and often maligned offensive line helped Ore become the first back in school history to have back-to-back 200-yard games. He had 207 yards five days earlier against Southern Mississippi.

"The setting was there," Brown said. "Everybody thought we were going to lose. We were the underdogs on our home field. We took that to heart."

Ore also felt like he had something to prove after hearing all week about Tigers running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller, who were averaging 185 yards per game combined.

"There was a lot of talk about how good they were. I really wasn't hearing my name at all," Ore said. "I just wanted to put myself up there in that category."

The Hokies (6-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had been beaten soundly in their last two conference games by Georgia Tech and Boston College. They bounced back behind Ore, who finished with a career-high 37 carries, and Sean Glennon, who was 9-for-15 for 108 yards with a 1-yard touchdown run.

"It's just so satisfying to have a great team win," said coach Frank Beamer, whose team has drawn negative publicity recently after having three arrests off the field and a slew of unsportsmanlike penalties on it. "We did it the right way."

The Tigers (7-2, 4-2), averaging more than 42 points as the nation's top scoring offense, had 10 series that didn't yield a first down, including eight three-and-outs. Davis, who had a 6-yard TD run, and Spiller totaled 71 yards on 22 carries.

"They had more people in there than we could block," Spiller said. "They were strong to the ball. They made sure that me and James didn't get to the second level."

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, his team suddenly behind the one-loss trio of Boston College, Wake Forest and Maryland in the Atlantic Division standings, said he knew coming into raucous Lane Stadium his team would have to play well to get a win.

"This is not the first team Virginia Tech has done this to," he said.

Ore, he said, "was very equal to what we had on the field."

The Hokies, leading 10-7 at halftime, padded their lead early in the third quarter after Xavier Adibi intercepted Will Proctor's pass at the Clemson 35. Ore did the rest, carrying on five consecutive plays, the last an 11-yard, second-effort run for the TD.

Later in the period, he essentially put the game away, breaking off a 21-yard run to get the ball inside the Clemson 5, then carrying two more times to get it to 24-7. Sam Wheeler also had a big play in the drive, a 41-yard reception from Glennon.

Clemson ran just 12 plays &

for 21 yards &

in the second quarter as Virginia Tech kept the ball for nearly 10 minutes. Brandon Pace's 37-yard field goal with 11:36 left in the half made it 10-7 and was his 14th consecutive successful field goal.

Clemson was in great position to at least tie it when C.J. Gaddis stripped the ball from a scrambling Glennon and Gaines Adams recovered for the Tigers on the Tech 25.

Three plays later, however, Proctor never got the handle on the third-and-9 snap and Hokies defensive end Barry Booker jumped on the loose ball to end the threat.