Even on an off day, No. 11 Clemson still managed to come up with enough for its annual victory over Virginia.
“We dodged a bullet,” Coach Danny Ford said after Rodney Williams threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Chip Davis with 1:52 remaining to lift Clemson to a 10-7 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the Cavaliers Saturday at Charlottesville, Va.
The touchdown capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive by the Tigers after Virginia had taken a 7-3 lead on Herman Moore’s juggling reception in the end zone.
Clemson added to its National Collegiate Athletic Assn. record for consecutive victories in a series, having beaten Virginia for the 28th time.
The Tigers improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. Virginia fell to 2-3 and 1-2.
The Tigers, who entered the game having committed just 1 turnover in 285 plays this season, lost a pair of fumbles inside Virginia territory in the first half.
Each team also missed a field goal in the scoreless first half.
Chris Gardocki put Clemson ahead, 3-0, with his 33-yard field goal with 1:26 left in the third quarter.
With 10:16 to play, Virginia put together an 11-play, 76-yard drive that ended when quarterback Shawn Moore found receiver Moore in the right corner of the end zone with a 14-yard scoring toss.
Clemson took the ensuing kickoff and moved 66 yards in 7 plays before Williams found Davis racing down the left sideline for the winning touchdown. Terry Allen helped set up the score with a 39-yard run that moved the ball to the Virginia 22.
Virginia ran 8 plays after the touchdown, but it lost the ball on downs at the Clemson 45 with 16 seconds to play.
After Virginia’s Mark Inderlied missed a 41-yard field goal midway through the first half, Gardocki was wide left from 37 yards on Clemson’s opening possession of the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, Clemson moved 70 yards in 11 plays and had a first-and-goal at the Virginia 10. But Williams fumbled the snap, and the Cavaliers’ Ray Savage recovered.
Virginia responded by driving to the Clemson 40, but the Tigers’ James Lott intercepted a pass by Moore at the 3-yard line.
Both teams were coming off an open date. Allen, who used the hiatus to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, led all runners with 145 yards in 24 carries.
South Carolina 26, Virginia Tech 24--Collin Mackie’s fourth field goal, a 23-yarder with 6:43 to play, gave the eighth-ranked Gamecocks a nonconference victory at Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech led for most of the game, with Roger Brown intercepting Todd Ellis’ pass for a 47-yard touchdown and Leslie Bailey intercepting Ellis for a 19-yard touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half. The latter put the Hokies ahead, 21-10.
Ellis was intercepted 3 times in the second half, but he still finished with 272 yards, completing 27 of 53 passes.
South Carolina began its comeback on the first play of the second half, when Robert Brooks returned the kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.
Mackie, who kicked a 24-yarder in the first quarter, gave the Gamecocks the lead with field goals of 28, 50 and 23 yards.
The winning field goal was set up when Derrick Frazier blocked Kelly Fitzgerald’s punt and Tim High recovered on the Virginia Tech 6.
South Carolina, playing its first road game of the season, is 6-0. Virginia Tech is 1-5.
South Carolina was held to zero yards rushing and was penalized 10 times for 96 yards. Virginia Tech was whistled 14 times for 123 yards.
Did the Gamecocks live up to their ranking?
“That’s a damn dumb question, and I won’t answer it,” Coach Joe Morrison said.
Louisville 9, Tulsa 3--Jay Gruden threw for 186 yards and the game’s only touchdown, and the Cardinals forced 4 turnovers in a nonconference victory at Louisville, Ky.
Louisville (3-3) squandered several scoring opportunities in the first half before Gruden hooked up with freshman Fred Jones on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds remaining to make it 6-3.
But kicker Ron Bell, who had already been wide right on field- goal attempts of 40 and 33 yards, missed the extra-point attempt--to the right, of course.
Freshman Klaus Wilmsmeyer replaced Bell in the second half, and Wilmsmeyer’s 27-yard field goal with 13:03 to play provided the final margin.
Louisville halfback Deon Booker rushed for 108 yards, the fourth straight game he has topped 100 yards.
Tulsa is 1-4.
Maryland 13, Georgia Tech 8--The Terrapins scored 10 points off Yellow Jacket turnovers to win the ACC game at College Park, Md.
Maryland improved to 3-2 and 2-0 by holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless until 8 minutes into the final quarter.
Georgia Tech lost its fourth straight ACC game and fell to 1-4 overall.
Southern Mississippi 38, Tulane 13--Brett Favre completed 15 of 25 passes for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns and set up a fourth score with a 32-yard run to lead the Golden Eagles to a nonconference win at New Orleans.
James Henry took the opening kickoff and returned it 61 yards to the Tulane 28 to set the tone for Southern Mississippi (5-1). Favre completed 3 passes on the drive, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to Reginald Warnsley.
Tulane is 3-3.
Wake Forest 42, North Carolina 24--Quarterback Mike Elkins threw for 3 touchdowns, including 2 to Ricky Proehl, as the Demon Deacons won the ACC game at Winston-Salem, N.C.
The last time a North Carolina football team opened with 5 losses was in 1967.
Wake Forest is 3-2 and 1-1. North Carolina, under first-year coach Mack Brown, is 0-1 in conference play.
North Carolina St. 49, East Tennessee St. 0--Tyrone Jackson and Chris Williams ran for 3 touchdowns each to lead the Wolfpack to the nonconference win at Raleigh, N.C.
N.C. State amassed 464 yards of total offense, including 260 yards rushing.