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Three Reasons Why Virginia Tech Could Beat Clemson

By Robert Irby | December 03
VT vs Clemson
Photo Courtesy: USA Today

I know what you’re thinking: how could Virginia Tech possibly win this game? The Hokies have lost three straight and are going up against #3 Clemson, who hasn’t lost to a team outside the top-four since October 13, 2017.

The Tigers have a roster riddled with five-star players, including Heisman Hopeful and Definite Future #1 Overall NFL Draft Pick Trevor Lawrence. They have one of the best head coaches in all of football, and they have won five consecutive ACC Championships.

It’s ludicrous to think the Hokies have anything close to a chance to win this game. But you know what? This is COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Anything is possible!

So let’s look at three completely realistic reasons why Virginia Tech could beat Clemson:

Virginia Tech Decides to Dress in All Orange Uniforms, Confusing Trevor Lawrence and Causing Him To Accidentally Suit Up for the Hokies And Lead Them to Victory.

Can you imagine Trevor Lawrence running this Hokie offense? He would have a spectacular offensive line protecting him, and I think he’d get along very well with Tre Turner and James Mitchell. Not even Clemson could stop that!

Half of Clemson’s Team Decides to Order Some Late-Night Benny’s Pizza on Friday Night. A Suspicious Number of Delivery Drivers Arrive, and the Players Eat All of the Pizza. Every Player Wakes Up with a Vicious Case of Food Poisoning, and They Each Have to Attempt to Put Together A “Flu Game” Performance.

Clemson is good, but they’re not Michael Jordan-good, right?

Jordan pizza

Travis Etienne Has it Made as Clemson’s Star Running Back, but He Dreams of Greener Pastures. With the Help of Four Rambunctious Penguins, Travis Hatches a Plan to Escape, Dragging Along His Three Best Friends: Trevor “The King of New York” Lawrence (known for his luscious, flowing mane), the Rough, Tough, No-Nonsense James Skalski, and the Tall, Shy and Lanky D.J. Uiagelelei. Through a Series of Hijinks, the Gang Ends Up Shipwrecked on the Island of Madagascar, Unable to Make it Home in Time for the Football Game.

On a completely unrelated note, Madagascar is a fantastic movie.

Madagascar gif

There you have it! Three entirely plausible reasons why Virginia Tech could pull off the upset of the year in Blacksburg on Saturday. Go Hokies!

Just kidding.

This is college football, and crazier things have happened. So let's look at three ACTUAL reasons why Virginia Tech could upset the Tigers.

The Hokies Control the Line of Scrimmage

Clemson is known for its brutal defensive line, as they constantly rotate five-star athletes in the trenches. However, the Tigers have had their fair share of injury/COVID issues this season, and that could leave them vulnerable.

Virginia Tech has one of the best offensive lines in the country, as they were rated as fourth-best in the FBS by Pro Football Focus earlier this week. This could be a great opportunity for the offensive line to create some holes for Khalil Herbert to run through.

Clemson's offensive line, on the other hand, is probably their greatest weakness.

They have struggled to run the ball effectively this season despite having the best running back in the country, and the Hokies could help continue that trend. They will likely not be able to control Etienne's impact in the passing game, but they could severely limit his impact between the tackles.

If the Hokies could pull these things off, it would give them a good chance to control the pace of the game, which is the key to pulling off any upset.

Tre Turner Breaks Loose for a Couple of Big Plays

The lone bright spot in the Hokies' most recent loss to Pittsburgh was WR Tre Turner.

He scored both of the team's touchdowns, including a 55-yard bomb where he blew by the Pittsburgh secondary. Clemson has had their fair share of trouble staying locked in against deep passes, and that could work out in Turner's favor.

If the Hokies lull the Tiger secondary to sleep by consistently grinding out chunk run plays, Big Play Tre could get loose once or twice and really make his presence felt in this game.

Trevor Lawrence Struggles in the Cold Weather

Lawrence is without a doubt the best QB in the country, and he is perhaps the best draft prospect since Peyton Manning.

But what Lawrence is not used to doing is playing in the cold weather. The Georgia native has only played in one game with sub-40 temperatures in his career, a win in 2018 at Boston College.

It is going to be below freezing in Blacksburg this weekend, and it will be the only time Lawrence has played in a game that cold. Many of the best QBs to ever do it have struggled in the cold (*cough* Drew Brees *cough*), and we have yet to see what will happen with Lawrence throwing a freezing football.

Lawrence is the heart and soul of this Clemson team, and if he is not playing his best and is making uncharacteristic mistakes, the Hokies could capitalize.

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Born and raised in Radford, Virginia (hometown of the man himself, Mike Young), I am a lifelong Hokie. A member of Virginia Tech's Class of 2019, I currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. Two of my greatest loves are writing and Hokie athletics, so an opportunity to be a Scribe of Saturday was exactly what I needed. I have written for the Independent Tribune in Concord, NC, as well as Joe Gibbs Racing, the Tech Lunch Pail and Fansided. I hope one day to write for ESPN, The Athletic, Fox Sports, The Ringer or one of the like. In addition to watching/writing about sports, I enjoy drinking craft beer and playing golf.

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