ACC Championship: Clemson (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (9-3) Game Preview
Check out the ACC Championship: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Bowl and Conference Implications
It’s almost a mortal lock that Clemson will be in the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row with a win, and would likely go to the Cotton Bowl – likely against either Western Michigan or Navy – with a loss. Virginia Tech would be in the Orange with a win, and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl or the Russell Athletic Bowl with a loss.
What Does Each Team Need To Do?
Okay, Clemson. Just stay hot.
yeah, the Tigers lost to Pitt, and was scared by NC State and Florida State, but since that close call with the Seminoles, the offense has been unstoppable over the last five games with Heisman-finalist hopeful – he’s not going to win the Heisman – bombing away.
If he’s hitting the deep ball and playing like he did against South Carolina – completing 27-of-33 passes for 347 yards and six scores with a pick – good night, Hokies.
Watson is destined for the NFL next year, and Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans should join Lamar Jackson as the stars of the ACC.
Evans has been a bit hit or miss with the passing game, but for the most part he’d been sharp, dangerous – he’s a terrific runner – and effective, throwing two touchdowns or more in every game but the loss to Tennessee, the loss to Georgia Tech, and the close call against Duke.
Against the Tigers, it’s on Evans to go off.
There’s a ton of talent in the Clemson back seven, and the overall pass defense stats are fantastic, but that’s partly because of the competition.
Yeah, the Tigers shut down Syracuse to a dead stop, but that’s after knocking out QB Eric Dungey early. They got to face passing game-challenged teams like Wake Forest, South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Boston College, but got hit for over 200 yards by the teams with quarterbacks – Louisville, NC State, Florida State, and most famously, Pitt.
Clemson, though, has the pass rush to get to Evans and bother him just enough to come up with just enough third down stops to get by. On the flip side, the Tiger pass protection has been outstanding and should give Watson time to operate. And like Clemson, the Hokie secondary is strong, but struggled against the good quarterbacks – Tech was bombed on by Dungey, Miami, Pitt, and Notre Dame, at least for a half against DeShone Kizer.
What’s Going To Happen?
The Hokies are about to get bombed on by Watson.
Virginia Tech absolutely has the talent, the make-up, and the attitude to come up with something special defensively, but this is a tough, smart Clemson team that’s not going to suffer a letdown.
Consider Clemson like a great NBA team that just gets through the regular season so it can turn it on once it really matters. It really mattered after losing to Pitt, and the Tigers are playing like it.
Virginia Tech will keep up the pace for about a half, and then the Clemson experience will kick in.
The Hokies will look like the Next Team Up for 2017, but Clemson will look like the Next Team Now when it counts.
ACC Championship: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Prediction
Clemson 34, Virginia Tech 23
Clemson -10, o/u: 58
ATS Confidence: 5: Mitt Romney – 1: Rudy Guiliani … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 1: CMA Country Christmas 2016 … 4.5