Hokies Host The Champs

Saturday Spotlight

(2) Clemson Tigers at (12) Virginia Tech Hokies

Clemson: For the first three quarters last week against Boston College, I was asking myself were they still stuck in Louisville? And I said that because they looked terrible and just out of rhythm. It isn’t how you start, its how you finish and they woke up in the fourth quarter and finally took control to win, 34-7 and improve to 4-0. If Clemson wants to get back to the playoffs and defend their championship, they need the Kelly Bryant that put the team on his back in Louisville and simply outplayed Lamar Jackson, not the guy we saw in week four. He struggled immensely. He connected on 17 of 26 passes for 140 yards, no touchdown passes and two interceptions. He was able to have an effect in the rushing game as he tallied 106 yards on the ground, but he can’t always rely on his feet to make things happen for the offense. He’s shown he can throw the football, I just believe that he doesn’t have much confidence in his arm. The defense once again came through and continued to show why they are one of the best units in the country. They held Boston College to a total of 238 yards of offense and a 4 for 16 mark on third down conversions. These guys have not disappointed at all and they are stifling opponents each week. Look what they did in Louisville, so they have the utmost confidence to stop any player no matter what week it is. They’ll travel to Blacksburg for a Saturday night tilt with Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech: They’ve got off to a very nice start and you wouldn’t even know that head coach Justin Fuente has the Virginia Tech Hokies in really good position right now. 4-0 to be exact and they enter this week coming off a cakewalk win against Old Dominion and the defense pitched a shutout and held the Monarchs to 149 yards of total offense. One guy I’ve been looking forward to watching play is the exciting freshman quarterback, Josh Jackson who has been a dual threat at the position. He can throw it and also be at the top of the rushing stats as well. He can stand back in the pocket, fire the football down the field, he’s a “patient” quarterback meaning he lets the play open up and he doesn’t force anything and that is one thing you never see from a freshman quarterback nowadays. He’s a guy that can finish a game with 230 yards passing and add on 105 yards or so from the ground. Jackson has developed a very nice chemistry with senior wide receiver, Cam Phillips, a true number one receiver. Justin Fuente also has the Hokies playing great defense as well as The Hokies only give up 311.3 total yards per game (203.3 passing and 108 rushing). This will be the place to be on Saturday night with the defending champions coming to town. These are the games you always hope to play in.

Clemson Player To Watch: Hunter Renfrow– The hero of the national championship game. Clemson doesn’t have a true number one receiver if you really think about it. It should be Deon Cain or even Ray-Ray McCloud and they’re both good, but Hunter is extremely sure handed, especially on third down when you need that guy to get over the middle and make that grab to help convert the chains, he’s your guy. I see him being incorporated more to help Kelly Bryant.

Virginia Tech Player To Watch: Travon McMillian– Although Clemson may have a phenomenal run defense; you can still wear them down. This young man seems to be the forgotten piece in this offense. I’d allow him to get his touches early which will force Clemson to load the box and Jackson can attack the Tigers secondary in the passing game.

Final Analysis: These two teams are mirror images of each other. Both are similar when it comes to defending the run and the pass and both have quarterbacks who are replacing the guys from last season. The only difference is that Josh Jackson has a true number one receiver while Kelly Bryant doesn’t. Clemson’s offense needs to come ready to play because if we see more games where the offense is absent in for the first 45 minutes of the game, it will catch up to them when they least expect it. Virginia Tech just needs to stay true to themselves and not get away from their identity.

Prediction: Clemson 24 Virginia Tech 17