It’s Clemson vs. UVA for ACC crown

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Clemson had 16 players selected to the All ACC football team, but Dabo Swinney thinks his team gets no respect.

Even though Tuesday’s college football rankings have them as number 3 again, Swinney and the Tigers must win the ACC conference game vs. No. 23 Virginia to have a shot at the Playoffs.

If they lose and Utah and Oklahoma wins, they’ll move past the Tigers. After their win on Saturday, Swinney had choice words about the lack of respect for his team.

“Today’s win is huge from a national standpoint, because obviously if we lose this game, they are going to kick us out of the playoffs,” Swinney said. “They don’t want us there anyway. We’d drop to No. 20, you know? Georgia loses to this very same team, and the very next day it’s, how do we keep Georgia in it? We win to the team North Carolina that beat South Carolina and it’s, how do we get Clemson out?’”

The Battle Royal

If UVA wins the Coastal division, it would be their first win since the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2010. But, it will be an uphill battle for Virginia’s defense. It gave up 116 points in November contests.

While Clemson has allowed 121 points thus far this season, against Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers gave up 483 yards. Trever Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers are on a whole different level. Takeaways suggest setting up Bryce Perkins with a short field and keeping the ball away from Lawrence are critical. Virginia has forced 17 turnovers.

Clemson’s front seven may not be as good as last season, but it’s still one of the best in the nation. The leader of the defense is Isaiah Simmons. He has 74 tackles and five sacks.

Clemson’s pass rush does not bode well for Virginia’s offense. They must get off to a fast start to build confidence they can win. If Perkins struggles, the Cavaliers won’t be able to keep up with Clemson.

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