Dan Scott: Clemson-VT Prediction


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Well, here we are.


The Tigers are 7-1, winners of six in a row. Up next, Thursday night at Virginia Tech in Lane Stadium. Before the season began I predicted Clemson to finish 10-2, and this was one of the two losses.


Now, I'm not so sure. Let's see how it turns out.


Clemson at Va. Tech


When Clemson Has The Ball

When Georgia Tech put eight in the box to try and stop Clemson's running game last Saturday, the Tigers ran anyway. And once they broke through containment, big plays resulted. The question here is will Virginia Tech employ the same strategy in hopes of forcing the game into the hands of Will Proctor? And if they do, can the Tigers still run effectively? Count on one thing for certain - the Hokies will be ultra-aggressive, as usual. The trick for Clemson is to use that aggressiveness against Frank Beamer's team, ranked 6th in the country in scoring defense (12.7 points allowed per game). Oh, and take care of the football.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson



When Virginia Tech Has The Ball

Brandon Ore is a top-notch running back, but he has very little help. Ore has accounted for 88 percent of Tech's rushing yardage so far this season. Meanwhile, Beamer is going to play two quarterbacks vs. the Tigers, he said, hoping backup Ike Whitaker's mobility will give Clemson's defense problems. Starter and freshman Sean Glennon is more of a drop-back passer who has been sacked six times. The Hokies have an inexperienced offensive line, which should play right into the hands of Gaines Adams and Co.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson



Special Teams

Clemson's kickoff coverage was better last Saturday, and Jad Dean appears to be recovering from his early-season swoon. Heck, even the Hokies have had problems with getting kicks blocked this season. But Beamer Ball made its reputation on big-time special teams plays, and they remain dangerous in kick and punt block situations. So, purely on reputation...

ADVANTAGE - Va. Tech.



Coaching

Beamer's program has slipped a notch or so in the last couple of years, and with it has come some uncharacteristic discipline problems. Bowden and his staff seem to be hitting on all cylinders at the moment.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


Bottom Line

Usually I don't like to stray from first instincts. However, harkening back to my "show me" days, Clemson is on such a roll right now that the Hokies are going to have to show me they can beat Bowden's Tigers.


THE PICK

Clemson 27, Virginia Tech 14

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