ORLANDO, Fla. — Third-ranked Clemson looks to win a second straight ACC Championship when it plays No. 18 Virginia Tech on Saturday in the ACC Championship Game (8 p.m., ABC) at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
This will be the Tigers’ fourth appearance in the conference championship game under head coach Dabo Swinney. The Clemson program has not won back-to-back ACC Championships since the 1986-’88 Clemson teams won three straight.
With a win, the Tigers can also earn a berth in the College Football Playoffs.
About Virginia Tech: The Hokies are seeking their fifth ACC Championship. They are coming off a 52-10 victory over rival Virginia. The Coastal Division Champions have won five of their last six games.
Virginia Tech’s offense: The Hokies are led by quarterback Jerod Evans, who leads the team in rushing and passing yards. The offense runs through the 6-foot-3, 238-pound quarterback. He has thrown for a school-record 3,039 yards and 26 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He has completed 63.8 percent of his passes. He also has rushed for 713 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns. Tight end Bucky Hodges (6-7, 245) has 42 receptions for 598 yards and seven scores, while wideout Isaiah Ford leads the team with 949 yards on 69 catches to go with his seven scores as well. As a team, the Hokies are averaging 452.9 yards a game.
Virginia Tech’s defense: This Hokies rank fourth in the ACC, allowing 332.2 yards per game. They rank third in the conference in passing yards allowed (186.4), while holding opponents to 47 percent completion percentage, which leads the ACC. Opponents are averaging 145.8 yards on the ground and 3.9 yards per carry. Middle linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka leads the team with 102 tackles. Defensive end Ken Ekanem leads the squad with 6.5 sacks, while cornerback Brandon Facyson has a team-high 11 pass breakups. Rover Terrell Edmonds has three interceptions and 72 tackles.
Records: Clemson 11-1, 7-1 ACC; Virginia Tech 9-3, 6-2 ACC
Clemson injury report: Adrian Baker, DB, Knee, out; Jake Fruhmorgen, OT, shoulder, personal reasons, out; Scott Pagano, DT, leg, out; Richard Yeargin, DE, Knee, out; John Simpson, OG, leg, questionable.
Series record: Clemson leads 20-12-1
First meeting: Clemson won 12-5 in Charlotte in 1900
Last meeting: Clemson won 38-17 in Clemson in 2012
ACC Championship Game: Clemson leads 1-0. Beat the Hokies, 38-10, in the 2011 title game.
Streak: Clemson has won three straight
Stat worth noting: Virginia Tech is 40-3 in ACC competition when it scores 30 or more points in a game, including a 5-0 mark in 2016.
Second stat worth noting: Clemson has outscored its opposition 152-20 in the first quarter this season. Only Pittsburgh scored a touchdown on the Tigers when they scored two in the first quarter in the Nov. 12 game in Death Valley.
Third stat worth noting: Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett needs 11 yards to break Dwayne Allen’s record of 598 yards by a tight end in one year. Allen recorded the record in 2011. This year, Leggett has caught 34 passes for 588 yards and five touchdowns. The All-ACC First-Team tight end is averaging 17.3 yards per catch.