Countdown to Kickoff: It is time to break out the Orange Pants

Countdown to Kickoff: It is time to break out the Orange Pants

Football

Countdown to Kickoff: It is time to break out the Orange Pants

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No. 3 Clemson at Virginia Tech

Clemson closes out the regular season at Virginia Tech on Saturday with an opportunity to clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game for a sixth straight year.

Earlier this week, the ACC announced Clemson’s and Notre Dame’s regular seasons will end on Saturday and also cancel Notre Dame’s makeup game at Wake Forest set for Dec. 12. The league also officially canceled Clemson’s game at Florida State, which the Seminoles postponed on Nov. 21.

“We are proud of our guys and how they competed all year. You work all year to get to a point like this, where you truly can have a chance,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “You don’t really have a division, you got half the league, call it whatever you want this year, but we have a chance to punch a ticket to Charlotte. But you have to go do it. You are four quarters away, four tough quarters away from that, but excited about the challenge.”

Game Information

Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.

Records: Clemson 8-1, 7-1 ACC; Virginia Tech 4-5, 4-4 ACC

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)

Radio: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 83, XM 83, Internet 83

Latest Line: Clemson minus-22

Series History

  • OVERALL: Clemson trails series, Clemson leads series, 22-12-1
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 9-6-1
  • ROAD: Clemson leads series, 9-4
  • NEUTRAL: Clemson leads series, 4-2
  • LAST MEETING: Sept. 30, 2017 (31-17, W)
  • STREAK: Clemson, Won 5

Three other story lines

Clemson is 3-3 all-time in December regular season games, dropping its first three in 1922, 1928 and 1945. Clemson has won its three most recent December regular season games, including wins by Frank Howard’s squads in 1948 and 1956 and a win by Tommy Bowden’s 2001 team against Duke.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (32-1 as a starter) attempting to break the school record for wins as a starting quarterback. Lawrence is presently tied with Rodney Williams, Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson at 32 wins each.

Running back Travis Etienne (4,730), the ACC’s all-time rushing yardage leader, needing 270 more rushing yards this season to become the first 5,000-yard rusher in ACC history. He would be the 23rd player to accomplish the feat according to official NCAA FBS records.

Virginia Tech’s three players to watch

Hendon Hooker, QB: Hooker has 18 total touchdowns this season. He is the only FBS quarterback to own a pair of 150-yard rushing games in 2020, giving him two of the top eight single-game rushing performances among FBS QBs this season.

Khalil Herbert, RB: Herbert is averaging 167.8 all-purpose yards per game and leads the ACC with the second highest avg in the nation amongst players participating in five or more games. He also leads the ACC in rushing yards (924 yards) and is averaging 8.2 yards per carry.

Tre Turner, WR: Turner leads Tech with 31 receptions for 504 yards. Has three receiving touchdowns and one rushing score. He had a career-high two touchdown receptions at Pitt, registering three receptions for 74 yards.

Prediction

Clemson will wear its famous orange pants as it tries to clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game for a sixth straight year. The Tigers have a lot to play for as they rank third in the College Football Playoff ranking. Look for Clemson to try and establish its running game early and often. The Hokies have struggled to stop the run, allowing 189.2 yards per game. As a defense, they are giving up 32.6 points and 450.1 yards per game. In case you are wondering, the Tigers are averaging 46.1 points and 512.2 yards per game on offense.

Score prediction: Clemson 47, Virginia Tech 17

–Clemson and Virginia Tech Athletic Communications departments contributed to this story

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