Virginia safety Joey Blunt says the Cavaliers plan to beat down top-ranked Clemson this Saturday when they visit Death Valley for an 8 p.m. kickoff.
The Wahoos are hoping to atone for last year’s 62-17 loss to the Tigers in the ACC Championship Game. Blunt said Saturday’s game feels like a revenge game for them, and it helps they are the underdog as well.
The oddsmakers have Virginia as a 28.5-point underdog. However, that is not discouraging the Cavaliers from feeling they have a good opportunity to knockoff the five-time defending ACC Champions.
“Clemson is the number one team in the nation,” Blunt said on the Packer & Durham Show Wednesday on the ACC Network. “With that being said, we want to control what we can control. We want to go out there and give our best effort and have that mindset every play to just beat down their will. That is something we do best.”
To do that, Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) must get after Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who ripped the Wahoos last year for 302 yards and an ACC Championship Game record four touchdown passes. Lawrence completed 16 of his 22 attempts, while the Tigers threw for 408 yards overall.
Clemson (2-0, 1-0 ACC) finished the December night in Charlotte with 619 total yards.
“We are going to get after the quarterback. We are going to apply pressure and man up on the outside and do our things that we got to do,” Blunt said. “But at the end of the day, I think it is going to come down to whoever tries the hardest and wins the turnover battle.”
In last year’s game, the Cavaliers did get to two sacks, but they did not force any turnovers while giving up three.
The Virginia defense forced seven turnovers in last week’s opening win against Duke. It intercepted former Clemson quarterback Chase Brice four times, while sacking the Blue Devils’ quarterbacks five times.
“I feel like we understand what type of players they have [at Clemson]. We have kind of had a taste of that level of play when we played them last year in the championship. So, this is kind of like a revenge game for us.”
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