No. 14 Clemson uses defense and special teams to top Virginia Tech

Clemson's Sammy Watkins (2) stiff-arms Virginia Tech's Detrick Bonner (8) during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

CLEMSON – No. 14 Clemson used an improved defensive showing and special teams effort to overcome a relatively sluggish offensive performance in a 38-17 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Clemson safety Jonathan Meeks recorded his first two interceptions of the season – including a 74-yard return for a touchdown – and Xavier Brewer also picked off a pass from the talented but erratic Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas.

Malliciah Goodman recorded his first sack of the season.

Clemson improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. Virginia Tech fell to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference. The Hokies are 0-4 on the road this season and have lost three straight games to Clemson.

Clemson recorded a decisive victory in surprisingly fashion as its offense had one of its poorer showings of the season.

The Clemson offense had five three-and-outs, allowed a season-worse five sacks, had just 254 yards through three quarters, and quarterback Tajh Boyd threw his fifth interception of the season. Still, the Tigers were able to maximize advantageous field position and were helped by the team’s special teams units.

Virginia Tech started nine straight drives inside its 25-yard line.