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2016 ACC Championship: Virginia Tech vs. Clemson

“Tale Of The Tape”

 

Virginia Tech:

The Hokies are averaging 35 points per game and are rushing yards per game along with passing for 261 yards through the air this season.

Quarterback Jerrod Evans has shown great progression in the passing game over the last 6 games and has completed 63% of his passes for 3,045 yards with 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Evans is a big quarterback that is very difficult to bring down in the open field and has rushed for 713 yards on the ground this year with 8 rushing touchdowns.

Running back Travon McMillan has rushed for 600 yards on the ground this year and has 4 scores. He is a slashing running back that hits running lanes with great speed and can take it to the house every time he touches the rock.

Virginia Tech has big play wide receivers that can put pressure on the Tiger’s secondary vertically in this match-up. Cam Phillips, Isiah Ford and Bucky Hodges have combined for 169 receptions for 2,323 yards with 18 touchdowns. Hodges is 6’6 and can be utilized in red zone opportunities against smaller nickel backs and linebackers.

Defensively, the Hokies are allowing 21 points per game and are giving up 146 rushing yards per game along with 186 passing yards to opposing offenses this season.

The unit is very good in creating three and outs and is holding opposing offenses to 26% on their third down conversions. The defense has recorded 26 sacks and is -2 in turnover margin entering this game.

Virginia Tech is 4-2 on the road this year and has defeated North Carolina, Duke, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame away from Blacksburg.

 

Clemson:

The Tigers are averaging 40 points per game this year and are rushing for 172 yards per game on the ground and are passing for 336 yards per game through the air this season.

Quarterback DeShaun Watson is completing 67% of his passes for 3,626 yards with 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. On the ground, Watson has rushed for 444 yards with 4 rushing touchdowns.

Compared to last season, the Tigers rushing attack is the biggest difference from this year to last season in 2015. Last year, the Tigers rushed for over 200 yards per game in 11 of the team’s 15 games.

Entering this game, the offense has rushed for over 200 yards per game in 5 of the team’s 12 contests. Watson last season rushed for 1,104 yards averaging 5.5 yards per carry with 12 rushing touchdowns.

Clemson has rushed for over 200 yards in the team’s last two wins against Wake Forest and South Carolina.

Running back Wayne Gallman leads the team with 943 yards with 14 touchdowns. He must have a big night in Charlotte to take the pressure off of Watson to make every play against a speed Hokies defense.

Wide receiver Mike Williams leads a fast group wide outs and leads the team with 79 receptions for 1,114 yards with 10 touchdowns.

Defensively, the Tigers are allowing 17 points per game and are giving up 127 rushing yards per game along with 180 passing yards per game. The unit has been excellent in in third down defense and is holding opposing offenses to 28% conversions this season.

The Tigers have held 10 of 12 opponents to under 60% completion percentage this year with the only two teams to complete more than 60% were Louisville (61%) and Syracuse (60%).

In the ten remaining games outside Louisville and Syracuse, the defense allowed 146 of 298 attempts which was 48%.

Clemson recorded 16 interceptions on the season and allowed 11 passing touchdowns.

Entering this game, the Tigers are -2 in turnover margin.

 

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About Joseph Lisi

Joseph Lisi is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), the Maxwell Football Club and the National Football Foundation. He is the owner of the website: www.goforthe2.com and hosts a weekly college football radio show on SB Nation Radio and FNSTY Sports Radio from 10-12pm EST every Saturday morning. Listen live at: www.sbnationradio.com or www.fntsy.com/radio. Joseph is a former college football researcher for ABC Sports and has been featured on: SportsXRadio with Ken Thomson, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Radio, FNTSY Sports Network, the Sid Rosenberg Show (640 AM Sports-South Florida), 1560 AM CBS Sports Melbourne, FL and multiple media outlets throughout the nation. Joe appears every Friday with Ken Thomson on SportsXRadio for the Football Fiasco in which every game on the college board is broken down during the show. Follow Joe on Twitter: @goforthe2

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