Four defending champions, four victories for the Tigers.
But those victories were all at home. The question was could the Tigers keep it up on the road against another defending champion: Virginia Tech.
The answer was a rounding yes. No. 13 Clemson throttled No. 11 Virginia Tech 23-3 at Lane Stadium.
If there’s any doubt, the Tigers (5-0) are very much for real. The Hokies (4-1), who finally survived their non-conference schedule unscathed, were exposed as, at best, an average team.
In their 4-0 start the Tigers had gained at least 443 yards in all four games. But against Virginia Tech it was their defense that was the difference.
The Hokies were held without a touchdown at home for the first time since 1995 and held to their fewest points since a 22-3 loss at Boston College in 2006.
Virginia Tech had won 13 of its last 14 home games in ACC play and had won 12 consecutive regular season ACC games. But the Hokies were absolutely no match for Clemson. It got so bad that in the second half Hokies fans were reduced to cheering a 29-yard punt – their punting is that bad.
Now that Clemson is 5-0 – the Tigers, who started the season unranked and unloved, have a very manageable schedule the rest of the way. There are home games with Boston College, North Carolina and Wake Forest and road games at Maryland, Georgia Tech, NC State and South Carolina.
Clemson should be favored the rest of the way out, except for the road trips at Georgia Tech and South Carolina.