JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Maybe the next time Clemson visits the Gator Bowl, the Big East Conference will not send one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history.
Perhaps making his final collegiate appearance, Michael Vick accounted for two touchdowns while playing an all-around strong game as No. 5 Virginia Tech rolled over the 13th-ranked Tigers, 41-20.
Vick, a sophomore who has waffled on whether to enter the NFL draft -- he might be the top overall selection -- got the Hokies off and running by throwing a 23-yard TD just 1:37 into the game and added a six-yard scoring run later in the first quarter.
"I just have to sit down and talk with my family and coach (Frank) Beamer (about the NFL)," Vick said following the game. "Life must go on, so we'll see what happens."
"I think he's coming back," Beamer said. "We're meeting later this week and want to make sure we have all the facts. In long-term interest, he needs more playing time. There's no question about his talent."
Vick completed 10-of-18 passes for 205 yards with one interception while carrying nine times for 19 yards.
The expected quarterback battle between Vick and Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler never materialized as the Hokies took a 27-10 lead early in the third quarter and cruised to the fifth bowl victory in school history and their first Gator Bowl win in three tries.
Virginia Tech (11-1), which defeated Clemson for the third straight year, was on the wrong end of a 42-6 score against North Carolina in the 1998 Gator Bowl and lost in 1994 to Tennessee, 45-23.
"We are really excited about winning the Gator Bowl," Beamer said. "I was seriously worried after the last two times. We beat a quality program. That makes the win nice."
Lee Suggs ran for three touchdowns totaling nine yards as the Hokies completed their second straight 11-win campaign.
Clemson (9-3) fell to 4-4 in the Gator Bowl. This was its first trip to Jacksonville since New Year's Day 1996, when it was blasted 41-0 by Donovan McNabb and Syracuse.
"Getting into an early hole, down 14-0, hurt us," said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. "Vick made a lot of big plays. He had a lot to do with their ability to make their offense go."
The Tigers never recovered from the early 14-point deficit but did fight within 14-10 in the second quarter as Dantzler hit running back Travis Zachery for a 23-yard score and Aaron Hunt booted a 28-yard field goal. Zachery later suffered a broken foot.
"Up front we kept pressure on the quarterback," Beamer added. "Overall it was a good day."
Dantzler was 15-of-32 for 180 yards and carried 18 times for 81 yards before being pulled in favor of freshman Willie Simmons, who was 6-of-12 and threw a 14-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Rod Gardner.
"I am really disappointed by the loss, but we have had nine wins and a lot of national exposure," Clemson linebacker Chad Carson said. "Virginia Tech minimized their mistakes and took advantage of ours."
Suggs pushed the lead to 21-10 at halftime by scoring on a three-yard run with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter and added a one-yard TD plunge less than three minutes into the third period.
The Big East Conference's leading rusher added a five-yard TD to cap the scoring with 3:41 remaining.
Clemson leads the all-time series, 17-10-1.
"Not being chosen for the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) was a good motivation for them," Bowden added.