The Clemson Tigers have been defending their national title this year with a supreme seriousness and muscularity, suggesting that they weren’t simply a one-hot wonder like Mark Morrison back in ’96. Indeed, their theme song this season could very well be the “Return of the Mack.”
After a 56-3 opening day romp over Kent State, they dispatched a tough No. 13 Auburn squad 14-6. They then flexed their superiority over No. 17 Louisville, 47-21, with their defense treating the Cardinals’ superflously talented Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Lamar Jackson like Chalky White’s homies did Dunn Pernsley when they first became acquainted with him.
Last week, after sleepwalking through the first three quarters, they scored 27 points in the final period in dispatching Boston College 34-7.
Clemson vs. Louisville: In a battle between two of the ACC’s best, QB Kelly Bryant and the Tigers came out with an impressive 47-21 win over the Cardinals. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson threw for three touchdowns in a losing effort.
This week’s opponent, No. 12 Virginia Tech, is much more dangerous than Boston College. And Clemson will be playing them on the road. But Dabo Swinney’s crew, with 11 straight road wins, will meet you anytime and any place, and they don’t care who’s around!
The Hokies are 7-1 in ther last eight games, with their sole loss coming to the Tigers last year.
This is the monster matchup of the weekend, as a Clemson victory would have the Tigers putting an Ol’ Man Otis choke hold on a supreme position in the early season race for a coveted playoff spot.
For the Hokies, a win would give the program some national top billin’ like Audio Two, and announce coach Justin Fuente’s rebuild as the most exciting and legit thing to hit Blacksburg since the Vick brothers.
Freshman quarteback Josh Jackson has been no doubt superb, so full of action his name should be a verb!
Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson: Hokies freshman quarterback Josh Jackson is beginning to make a name for himself in Blacksburg. Tied for the ACC lead in touchdown passes and 5th in total yards per game, Jackson has been a nightmare for opponents.
He’s connecting on 65% of his passes, has thrown for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns and has only had one pass intercepted. We’ll see what he’s truly made of when he crouches down across from that hellacious Clemson defensive front.
The Tigers’ D gives up fewer yards than a White House briefing disseminating truth and facts, and its 17 sacks are tied for second-most in the country.
Jackson ranks first in the ACC with a passer rating of 177.4 and he’s averaging 282 passing yards and almost three passing TD’s per game. His main weapon is senior Cam Phillips, who has 34 receptions for 523 yards and five touchdowns.
That’s pretty impressive stuff, but I guarantee you that the first time he sees and experiences the speed and ferociousness of Clemson’s front seven, his eyes will be in more need of help than Bennie Wilson’s in Harlem Nights!
Clemson’s D sends pressure from every possible angle and blitzes more than Stephen A. Smith screams. They made Lamar Jackson look like Jermaine Jackson, so don’t be surprised if this freshman Jackson eventually winds up whimpering, “Why did they do what they do when they did what they did to me?” too.
The Tigers’ defense tackle duo of Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins creates more havoc than a Presidential Tweet.
Christian Wilkins #42 Freshman and Sophomore Highlights Clemson Tigers Defense 2015 and 2016 If you are a Athlete and want clip @ClemsoNation
After its win over No. 22 West Virginia, the Hokies, led by a rugged running attack, are averaging 43 points per game. And now they welcome in the defending national champs in a rematch of last year’s ACC Championship game, in which they played inspired but lost 42-35 .
When Clemson has the ball, pay attention to the chess game going on between their receivers and Virginia Tech’s secondary. The Hokies might possibly boast the dopest defensive backfield in the country, and they’re adept at coverage, breaking up passes, intercepting the ball, making open-field tackles and attacking the line of scrimmage in run defense.
Watch out for the Tigers’ Deon Cain in the passing game. He’s got the speed to stretch the field and create opportunities for others because he needs to be accounted for. And once the ball is in his hands, he can slice and dice any secondary into minute rice.
The other certified weapon in Clemson’s passing game is Ray-Ray McCloud, whose game is so nice you gotta say his first name twice!
McCloud has 18 catches for 218 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown. Cain has 11 receptions for 151 yards, and his longest score covered 61 yards.
Hunter Renfrow went from being a walk-on wide receiver on the Clemson Tigers football team to being the walk-off hero in the Tigers’ Championship Game win over Alabama. Get an inside look at Renfrow’s time at Clemson and hear what quarterback Deshaun Watson has to say about his target on the game-winning touchdown pass right here!
They are complemented with the excellent hands and skills of slot man Hunter Renfrow, perhaps the best possession receiver in the country. Need a big catch, you best believe that Renfrow will eat you up underneath.
Alabama can tell you all you need to know about the guy who went from a walk-on to an ashy-to-classy phenomenon faster than Donald Trump can say “Yuge.”
In the 2016 national championship, he caught seven passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns in Clemson’s 45-40 loss.
Last year before the title game rematch against the Crimson Tide, I can visualize Dabo Swinney channeling Bobby Taylor’s thespian excellence, exhorting his dependable receiver to reach for his very best while chanting, “Renfrow!!! I wants revenge, baby!”
Renfrow proceeded to catch 10 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner, in their incredible 35-31 win to secure Clemson’s first national championship since 1981.
The Hokies and Tigers both walk into this critical matchup undefeated at 4-0. The difference is that Clemson is fo’real.
With Virginia Tech having played the likes of Old Dominion, East Carolina and Delaware the last three weeks, we’re about to find out if they’re nothing more than some over-hyped fake news.