Dan Scott Prediction: Virginia Tech at Clemson


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Well, the undefeated season is gone. I suffered my first loss last week, as did the Tigers. The question now is can either of us bounce back? Tough week, but we'll give it a shot.

VIRGINIA TECH AT CLEMSON

WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL

Unless you live under the proverbial rock, you know that it was Virginia Tech's defense that loused up the Clemson season a year ago. By stacking the box against the run, the Hokies forced Clemson to beat them with the pass. The Tigers couldn't. Expect Tech to employ the same strategy again this season, with the expected wrinkles. This time Clemson has a quarterback who can make the throws, if he's protected. The offensive line holds the key here. Keep Cullen Harper upright, and run the ball effectively the way North Carolina did late on Tech last week. Do that, and the Tigers are in good shape.

ADVANTAGE - Slight to Clemson

WHEN TECH HAS THE BALL

While Brandon Ore is a talented tailback, Virginia Tech's fortunes are pinned on freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Clemson's defensive strategy is to keep him contained and not let him make plays with his legs. That means Tiger defensive ends must stay honest in their rushing lanes. If you can keep Taylor contained, he has trouble with sight lines because of his size. If he gets loose, he can cause Clemson big time problems.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson

SPECIAL TEAMS

Not even wasting time here.

ADVANTAGE - Virginia Tech

INTANGIBLES

Much like Tech at home last year, the atmosphere and everything surrounding this game should favor Clemson. Night game. National TV. Home at Death Valley. These are circumstances at home under which Clemson has played well of late. Win this and things are pretty much back on track. Lose? You don't want to go there.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson

BOTTOM LINE

Georgia Tech needed the game against Clemson last week. Likewise, the Tigers need this one. Big time.

THE PICK

Clemson 21, Virginia Tech 17

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