No. 3 Clemson vs Virginia Tech

No. 3 Clemson vs Virginia Tech | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 4, 2020

Third-ranked Clemson will clinch a spot in yet another ACC Championship Game – and would earn a rematch with Notre Dame – with a victory at a struggling Virginia Tech side on Saturday. The Tigers are heavy favorites on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Clemson at Virginia Tech NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Lane Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Clemson -22 (total 67)

Last Meeting

The schools last met in the 2017 season at Virginia Tech and Clemson won 31-17. Essentially no key players on either side remain from back then. These schools have met 35 times with the Hokies seeking to halt a five-game Clemson winning streak in the series dating back to 2011. Tech previously won five straight vs. Clemson from 1998-2007. The Tigers lead all time 22-12-1. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies are 2-5 against the Tigers, which includes losses in the ACC Championship in 2011 and 2016.

Why Bet on Clemson? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Tigers (8-1) come off a 52-17 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday in their home finale. Trevor Lawrence threw for 403 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in five weeks and his final home game even though he’s a junior – Lawrence is going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence hadn’t seen the field on game day since beating Syracuse on Oct. 24. He tested positive for the coronavirus the following week.

Lawrence finished 26-of-37 passing and improved to 32-1 as a starter to tie Rodney Williams, Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson for the school record for wins as a starting quarterback and improving his career winning percentage to .970, the best by an FBS quarterback with at least 30 starts since Division I split in 1978.

The Panthers were the last team to win at Clemson, 43-42 in 2016. But Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett threw four interceptions, three in the first eight minutes that all led to Clemson touchdowns, and the Panthers could not recover as the Tigers won their 28th straight at home.

Cornell Powell recorded six receptions for a career-high 176 receiving yards against Pitt, registering his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game to tie a school record shared by Charlie Waters (1969), Tony Horne (1997), Rod Gardner (2000), DeAndre Hopkins (2012) and Sammy Watkins (2013).

Cornerback Mario Goodrich recorded two interceptions, becoming the first Clemson player to pick off two passes in a single game since Cordrea Tankersley in the 2016 ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech.

In this one, Clemson is attempting to win its 13th consecutive December game, dating to Clemson’s 2011 ACC Championship Game victory against Virginia Tech. Clemson (12-0) is one of four schools to be undefeated in December since 2011.

The Tigers enter having won 26 of their 28 true road games since the start of the 2015 season. Clemson is one of only two teams ranked in the top 10 in the nation in both total offense (ninth, 512.2 yards per game) and total defense (eighth, 298.6), alongside BYU. Clemson, which has scored at least 34 points in each of its first nine games, attempting to join 2013 Florida State as the only ACC teams ever to score 34 or more points in each of the first 10 games of a season.

Why Bet on Virginia Tech? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Hokies (4-5) lost their third in a row last time out, 47-14 at Pittsburgh on Nov. 21 – Virginia Tech does have a regular-season game left after this one, hosting rival Virginia next Saturday.

Against Pitt, Tech trailed 23-14 at halftime, but on its first drive of the second half, quarterback Hendon Hooker threw an interception. The Panthers capitalized, scoring on a 53-yard field goal by Alex Kessman that made the score 26-14 with 12:25 left in the third quarter. The turning point in the game occurred on the Hokies’ next possession. Tech drove all the way to the Pittsburgh 1, but couldn’t get in the end zone on three straight plays, turning the ball over on downs.

Hooker completed 13 of 22 for a season-high 260 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Hooker’s two touchdown passes marked his eighth and ninth passing touchdowns this season and the 16th and 17th of his career. The redshirt junior now has rushed for or thrown for a touchdown in all seven games that he’s played in this season.

The Hokies played without standout left tackle Christian Darrisaw, who missed the game with an injury. His streak of 30 consecutive games started came to an end.

RB Khalil “Juice” Herbert is averaging 167.8 all-purpose ypg, the top ACC mark & the second-highest average in the nation among players seeing duty in five or more games behind Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim (184.0 all-purpose ypg in five games). Herbert’s 1,510 all-purpose yards lead all FBS players

Virginia Tech owns a 32-4 all-time mark under coach Justin Fuente when leading at half. Tech has led at the half in all four of its wins in 2020, outscoring those foes by a 79-38 margin in the first half. VT is 27-7 when scoring 30+ points under Fuente and 13-1 when scoring 40+ points.

Tech has produced four 40-point games in 2020. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies are 25-2 in ACC play when scoring 40 points or more. Tech is 32-2 when holding foes to 21 points or fewer dating back to the start of the 2015 season.

Game Trends

  • Tigers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games in December.
  • Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
  • Tigers are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 conference games.
  • Hokies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
  • Hokies are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games following a ATS loss.
  • Hokies are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
  • Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Clemson 48, Virginia Tech 21
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