ACC Championship: Clemson vs. Virginia fearless prediction and game preview.
ACC Championship: Clemson vs. Virginia Broadcast
Date: Saturday, December 7
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Clemson (12-0) vs. Virginia (9-3) Game Preview
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Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The ACC Championship
– Maybe Clemson can find the love that’s apparently been missing from the College Football Playoff committee – at least according to head coach Dabo Swinney.
No, Clemson hasn’t beaten a CFP Top 25 team, and when/if it beats Virginia, it’ll finish up its season without a win over a team that finishes in the rankings. However, in case you haven’t noticed – considering Clemson hasn’t played a game worth paying attention to in almost two months, why would you? – this team crushing everything in its path.
So here’s the deal. If Ohio State wins the Big Ten Championship and LSU wins the SEC Championship, Clemson is the No. 3 seed in the CFP, which is worth just as much as being the two. However, if the Buckeyes and SEC Tigers both lose, Clemson will move up to No. 1 with a win.
If Virginia pulls this off, though, then it’s Game On for that No. 4 spot.
– This is Virginia’s first trip to the ACC Championship – making it seven different Coastal teams in seven years to get to the title game – with the Atlantic winning the last eight. The Cavaliers are playing with house money. Win, and they’re going to the Orange Bowl. Lose, and they’re going to the Orange Bowl. Throw in the 15-year-streak-breaking win over Virginia Tech, and it’s already been a special season.
– Virginia really is just good enough to pull this off. It has a whole slew of good parts to the puzzle – including a tremendous coaching staff – and again, it’ll be able to play loose. At the very least, this should be a far better game than the last two ACC Championships – Clemson beat Pitt and Miami by a combined score of 80-13.
CFN Podcast: ACC Championship Discussion
Why Virginia Will Win
– The pass rush will come at Trevor Lawrence in waves. The Cavaliers are second in the ACC – Pitt led the way – and sixth in the nation in sacks, roaring for 43 on the season including six in the win over Virginia Tech last week. The Clemson offensive line has been phenomenal in pass protection, but it’s about to get tested as the Cavaliers throw the kitchen sink of a pass rush at Lawrence.
– Ball control, ball control, ball control. Virginia has to try to slow this thing down a bit, even though the offense works better when QB Bryce Perkins is able to get into a groove. The Cavaliers lead the ACC in time of possession, and they’re going to have to do everything possible to keep all of Clemson’s NFL offensive talent on the sidelines. Even though it might not be what’s best for the Virginia offensive groove, the team has to have the ball for at least 33 minutes. However …
– This has to be the Bryce Perkins game, and that means he has to get the O moving however he can. He took over the win over Virginia Tech 311 yards and a score through the air, and with several big runs on his way to a 164-yard day and two touchdowns. Clemson’s defense will eat the Cavalier offense as a light snack if Perkins isn’t able to get in space win third downs in any way possible.
Why Clemson Will Win
– Ever since the 21-20 win over North Carolina, Clemson has obliterated everything in its path scoring 45 points or more in six straight games before the 38-3 win over South Carolina.
Yeah, there hasn’t been a restaurant-quality victory over the last two months – again, there isn’t a win over a CFP Top 25 team on the slate – but the Tigers are doing exactly what you’re supposed against inferior teams. No one has come closer than 31 points over the run as they’ve won by a combined score of 353-61 (50.4 to 8.7).
– This gets Clemson people really, really mad, but it’s actually a plus. Playing an easy schedule means the Tigers have had a few decent battles and ten light scrimmages. For a team that needs to replace a historically great defensive front, it has had the time to get all the parts working. Now, Clemson has the No. 2 defense in college football – barely behind Ohio State – it’s No. 1 in scoring defense, No. 1 in pass defense, and No. 6 in tackles for loss. The other massive advantage to the light schedule is …
– Trevor Lawrence has reestablished himself as the best NFL quarterback prospect in college football. This Joe Burrow thing is fun, and a health Tua Tagovailoa would have a case, but after a few blips early on, Lawrence has been magnificent.
Over the last five games – after there were overblown concerns that his game might be slipping a wee bit – he has thrown 16 touchdown passes with no interceptions, he’s averaging close to 12 yards per pass over the stretch, and he’s taking target practice in game after game.
In other words …
What’s Going To Happen
Clemson is humming.
Two things can be true at the same time. Clemson has played a light and breezy schedule, and it might be the best team in college football.
Between the No. 3 ranking, the Dabo “they don’t want us in there anyways” rant, and the lack of national attention over the last several weeks, this is a salty team that’s going to come out and make a statement.
However, Virginia has a good enough defense and a bit more than just Perkins on offense to at least come up with a bit of a fight.
Clemson will win its fifth-straight ACC Championship Game and on the way to its fifth straight College Football Playoff with relative ease. Virginia will keep fighting with a few scores late, but the Tigers will put this away by halftime.
ACC Championship: Clemson vs. Virginia Prediction, Line
Must See Rating: 4
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ACC Championship History
2018 Clemson 42, Pitt 10
2017 Clemson 38, Miami 3
2016 Clemson 42, Virginia Tech 35
2015 Clemson 35, North Carolina 37
2014 Florida State 37, Georgia Tech 35
2013 Florida State 45, Duke 7
2012 Florida State 21, Georgia Tech 15
2011 Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 10
2010 Virginia Tech 44, Florida State 33
2009 Georgia Tech 39, Clemson 34
2008 Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 12
2007 Virginia Tech 30 Boston College 16
2006 Wake Forest 9, Georgia Tech 6
2005 Florida State 27, Virginia Tech 22