The Game of the Week will come to you from Blacksburg, Virginia on Saturday night. Louisville didn’t provide any challenge, and we’ll see tonight if Virginia Tech can move the needle against the Tigers. For Clemson, they get both of their challenges on the read early in the schedule. Well, Louisville was supposed to be a challenge but it was anything than a challenge. Clemson flexed their muscles against the Cardinals, making it look easy for a big blowout of 47-21.
Louisville didn’t have any answers on either side of the ball. The defense showed that they are for real, and Kelly Bryant showcased why Clemson shouldn’t have to worry about the departure of Deshaun Watson. Watson was good, no doubt about it, but Bryant looks like he’s going to fill-in without too many growing pains. Is he on Watson’s level at the moment? Heck no, but Clemson is hoping he develops into the same quarterback.
Clemson is 4-0, with their most recent win coming against Boston College. Not the stingiest test, but it could have been one of those trap games with Virginia Tech on deck. Clemson didn’t fall into a trap and won 34-7. They didn’t, however, cover the spread which is what is most important to some folks. The Tigers weren’t playing for a big blowout, nor did they open up the playbook with Virginia Tech on tap the following week.
Clemson is ranked 2nd in the country, a spot behind Alabama. There is no controversy there, as Bama 1 and Clemson 2 is where everyone has them. I’m not going to argue with people who believe Clemson is the best team in the nation. I can’t disagree, a case can be made for that. The defense is just as good, if not better than last year, and Kelly Bryant is showing promise. We’ll see if Virginia Tech can spring the upset tonight. Head below for our free Clemson vs. Virginia Tech pick.
Clemson Tigers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Betting Odds:
vs. Virginia Tech +7.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Pick:
Virginia Tech hasn’t faced a challenge since Week 1 against West Virginia. It’s been a while since they’ve had to really buckle down and get ready for a battle. In the last three weeks, the Hokies have played Delaware, East Carolina, and Old Dominion. Old Dominion was playing with a 17-year-old freshman at quarterback. In other words, they will see a big jump in competition level against Clemson. Their matchup against West Virginia was an entertaining one, which turned into a 31-24 win for the Hokies off a touchdown with around 6 minutes remaining. That is the last time Virginia Tech had to play clutch football.
This will be the biggest test the offense has had this season. West Virginia have a good defense, but isn’t anything compared to Clemson. The Tigers rank 3rd in yards allowed per game, and this is after playing Lamar Jackson and Louisville. The defensive line can be unblockable at times. They are 12th against the run and 17th against the pass. Swap out Louisville with the competition Virginia Tech has played, and they would be near 1st in every category.
The points look attractive with Virginia Tech at home, and you will see plenty of people take the Hokies. However, Josh Jackson is going to be overwhelmed with this Clemson defense. He has thrown 11 touchdowns and just 1 interceptions to this point. Jackson has also rushed for 144 yards and another touchdown. But with the level of competition they’ve played, I don’t feel comfortable saying they are a great team. Delaware, East Carolina, Old Dominion? Come on. Virginia Tech may be really good, but anyone who claims they are, is basing their opinion off those four games. I don’t know if that’s sufficient enough for me. Clemson proves the doubters wrong again, and win by 10-14 points in a tough environment on Saturday night.
PICK: CLEMSON -7.5 (-110)