The last time Virginia Tech played Clemson, there seemed to be a changing of the guard. The Hokies had dominated the ACC of late, winning three of the four past titles, but the Tigers were victorious in that meeting two months ago. Since then, however, the teams have gone in wildly divergent directions.
Clemson, who was undefeated at the time, has since lost three of their past four games and gone 4-3 since beating Virginia Tech 23-3 on Oct. 1. The Hokies, meanwhile, have gone 7-0 since then, a record that includes road wins over two Top 25 teams. To hear the Hokies tell it, that loss may have been the best thing that could have happened to them.
"(The Clemson loss) was a wake-up call. After that game, we were like, 'This is ACC play,' " Hokies senior free safety Eddie Whitley said. "Obviously, we knew how it was going to be, but I guess we got caught off guard a little bit."
Perhaps the biggest difference for Virginia Tech has been the play of their offense. After gaining a season-low 258 yards and failing to score a touchdown for the first time since 2006, the Hokies have averaged 31.2 points per game and piled up 442.3 yards per game. Quarterback Logan Thomas has accounted for 23 touchdowns in that time, while throwing just two interceptions.
Whether Virginia Tech can avenge their loss will be settled on Saturday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.