During the bye week, K.J. Henry enjoyed a relaxing weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to watch other games from across the country.
This past weekend’s docket of college football saw a couple of top teams fall prey to upsets on their home field, such as No. 6 LSU’s loss at home to unranked Mississippi State and No. 3 Oklahoma’s loss to unranked Kansas State. Fourth-ranked Georgia struggled at Arkansas and No. 7 Auburn also struggled at home with Kentucky.
Top-ranked Clemson (2-0, 1-0 ACC) plays host to unranked Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) on Saturday and knows that any team can win on a given Saturday and not to take anybody for granted.
The sophomore defensive end learned a pivotal lesson while enjoying a full slate of games this weekend, no team is entitled to win and any team can stun a highly ranked opponent.
“The biggest lesson from this past weekend is that anybody can beat you,” Henry said. “That is forgotten a lot in today’s world with all the media attention on big matchups. At the end of the day, they have scholarship players who are eager to prove a point and get to the next level.”
The Tigers are focused on the task at hand, beating Virginia despite the media attention that has kept them at No. 1 in the AP and Coaches’ Polls so far this season.
“You have to come up every week and prove what Coach Swinney says that the game isn’t won on paper you have to go out there and play,” Henry said. “We are focused on Virginia because they could beat us so we have to be prepared to play our best football of the year on Saturday.”
The Wahoos got a late start to the season due to COVID-19 fallout that plagued the program early this year and defeated Duke 38-20. In their first game after the Bryce Perkins era, quarterback Brennan Armstrong showed flashes and finished 24-of-45 for 269 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Virginia racked up 450 yards of total offense and outscored the Blue Devils 21-0 in the fourth quarter. On defense it intercepted five passes and recovered a pair of fumbles.
Henry was impressed with Armstrong’s ability to lead the Cavalier offense and knows what his team is capable of despite a lopsided 62-17 Clemson win over Virginia in last season’s ACC Championship Game.
“Their quarterback is a great player and a great leader for their team, so it wasn’t surprising to see him play that well and we have a lot of respect for him,” Henry said. “We aren’t stuck on the score from last year because it was a great game and we know what they can bring to the table for sure.”
Clemson hosts the Cavaliers at 8 p.m. in an ACC matchup of undefeateds on Saturday at Death Valley.