Preview and Prediction: Clemson at Virginia Tech

After wrapping up a perfect 6-0 home slate in 2020 on Senior Day in Death Valley last week, Clemson returns to the road this week for a matchup with the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, Dec. 5. Kickoff at Lane Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Author:
Publish date:

After wrapping up a perfect 6-0 home slate in 2020 on Senior Day in Death Valley last week, Clemson returns to the road this week for a matchup with the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, Dec. 5. Kickoff at Lane Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. 

Clemson has played 1,218 regular season games in its 125-season history, posting a 734-439-45 record in those contests. However, only six of those 1,218 regular season games have been contested in the month of December. 

Clemson is 3-3 all-time in December regular season games, dropping its first three in 1922, 1928 and 1945. Clemson has won its three most recent December regular season games, including wins by Frank Howard's squads in 1948 and 1956 and a win by Tommy Bowden's 2001 team against Duke. Clemson's 59-31 win against Duke on Dec. 1 was played on that date as a function of postponement following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

What to Watch For:

-Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (32-1 as a starter) attempting to break the school record for wins as a starting quarterback. Lawrence is presently tied with Rodney Williams, Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson at 32 wins each. 

- Lawrence attempting to post his third career 400- yard passing game to tie Tajh Boyd for the second-most in school history. 

- Lawrence attempting to become the first player in school history with back-to-back 400-yard passing games. 

- Lawrence (11) attempting to post his 12th career 300-yard passing game. He, Tajh Boyd (18) and Deshaun Watson (13) are the only players in school history to record double-digit career 300-yard passing games. 

- Lawrence attempting to record back-to-back 300- yard passing games for the first time since the end of the 2018 season in the College Football Playoff against Notre Dame and Alabama. 

- Lawrence (9,181) needing 485 passing yards to pass Charlie Whitehurst (9,665) for third-most career passing yards in Clemson history. 

- Lawrence (99) needing one touchdown of any kind to join Tajh Boyd (133), Lamar Jackson (119), Deshaun Watson (116) and Philip Rivers (112) as the only players in ACC history to be responsible for 100 career touchdowns (scored and/or thrown). 

Predictions:

Zach Lentz: 

Clemson 49, Virginia Tech 17

The Tigers continue their Grave Digger tour after the cancellation at FSU, with this week's victim being the Hokies of VPI. The Tigers continue to make a statement that they are a different team than the banged-up group that lost the Notre Dame game. Trevor Lawrence continues his late-season Heisman push and the defense is dominant.

Brad Senkiw:

Clemson 45, Virginia Tech 17


The Hokies have a strong running game, but one-dimensional teams never seem to fair well against Brent Venables' defenses, so it could get out of hand if VT can't move the ball consistently. The Clemson offense appears to be on track after last week's big burst against Pitt, and the Hokies' stop unit isn't nearly as good so look for Lawrence and company to keep it rolling. The biggest issue in this game might be what a blowout loss to the Tigers means for VT coach Justin Fuente.

Jason Priester:

Clemson 42 Va Tech 13

This is every bit the mismatch that it appears to be. Trevor Lawrence needs a big game to give the Heisman voters something to think about. But Travis Etienne is due for a big game and against a Va Tech defense giving up just under 200 rushing yards per game I think he has that kind of night. Clemson rolls and punches their ticket to Charlotte.

Christopher Hall:

Clemson 54 Virginia Tech 23

Tigers strike early and often as they leave a wet and chilly Lane Stadium with their sixth straight win in the series and a ticket to Charlotte in two weeks. Clemson builds a big first half lead with a balanced attack and cruises in the second half. Tech finds a few sympathy scores against the reserves but this one is never really in question.