College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech 12/5/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Clemson visits Virginia Tech on 12/5/2020 at 7:30PM.

Clemson and Virginia Tech face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Clemson has a record of 8-1 this season. Virginia Tech is 4-5 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Clemson Team Defense Preview

Clemson has had 95 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.49 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Clemson is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Clemson opponents pass the football 55.50% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Clemson opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Clemson can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.27 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Clemson has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Clemson should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Clemson is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Clemson Team Offense Preview

Clemson has had 101 total drives this season and they generate 5.42 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Any defense is in for a challenge with Clemson, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Passing plays make up 57.77% of their play calls.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Clemson has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Clemson can take credit for 2.92 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Clemson this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Clemson is a better passing team than running team this season.

Virginia Tech Team Defense Preview

Virginia Tech has had 108 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.75 plays per drive. Virginia Tech lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Virginia Tech has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. Passing plays make up 51.53% of their opponents’ play calls.Virginia Tech tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Virginia Tech is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.26 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. They are capable of giving up a long run, which is really demoralizing when the opposing team has the ball deep in their own territory.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Virginia Tech has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Virginia Tech Team Offense Preview

Virginia Tech has had 109 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.17 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Virginia Tech is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Any defense is in for a challenge with Virginia Tech, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Passing plays make up 39.18% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Virginia Tech has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Virginia Tech can take credit for 3.39 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Virginia Tech this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Virginia Tech has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Clemson Roster

The Players to Watch for Clemson

Trevor Lawrence QB 6-6 220

This season, Trevor Lawrence has put up 2236 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 178.7thus far this season. Trevor Lawrence has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Trevor Lawrence has 80.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 73.49 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 37.0 times this season, which puts him in the 76.03 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 4.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Travis Etienne RB 5-10 210

This season, Travis Etienne has 692 rushing yards on 132 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 12 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Travis Etienne picked up 511 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 40 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Amari Rodgers WR 5-10 210

This season, Amari Rodgers picked up 813 yards. He caught the ball 58 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 6 receiving touchdowns this season.

Nyles Pinckney DT 6-1 295

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Clemson, Nyles Pinckney has 19 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 3 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 83.03 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 75.92 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Myles Murphy DE 6-5 265

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Clemson, Myles Murphy has 26 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 96.73 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 94.33 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 2 fumbles this season.

Nolan Turner S 6-1 205.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Clemson, Nolan Turner had 32 tackles which puts him in the 84.59 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 94.61 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Nolan Turner as a ball hawker was able to pick off 3 passes this season, which puts him in the 98.42 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Andrew Booth Jr. CB 6-0 190

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Clemson, Andrew Booth Jr. had 24 tackles which puts him in the 86.51 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 98.09 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 1 times this season. Andrew Booth Jr. as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes this season, which puts him in the 94.13 percentile among Corners this season.

The Virginia Tech Roster

The Players to Watch for Virginia Tech

Hendon Hooker QB 6-4 228

This season, Hendon Hooker has put up 1332 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has thrown 5 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 153.4thus far this season. Hendon Hooker has thrown 5 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Hendon Hooker has 627.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 99.37 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 117.0 times this season, which puts him in the 98.73 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 9.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Khalil Herbert RB 5-9 205

This season, Khalil Herbert has 925 rushing yards on 114 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Khalil Herbert picked up 178 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 9 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Tre Turner WR 6-2 190

This season, Tre Turner picked up 504 yards. He caught the ball 31 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Amare Barno DL 6-6 235

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Virginia Tech, Amare Barno has 34 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 12 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 99.38 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 6 times this season, which put him in the 98.23 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 2 fumbles this season.

Chamarri Conner DB 6-0 211.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Virginia Tech, Chamarri Conner had 70 tackles which puts him in the 99.21 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 97.02 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Chamarri Conner as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes this season, which puts him in the 94.96 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Devin Taylor CB 6-1 200

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Virginia Tech, Devin Taylor had 45 tackles which puts him in the 98.24 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 92.38 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Devin Taylor as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes this season, which puts him in the 94.13 percentile among Corners this season.

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Clemson 37 Virginia Tech 23

Spread Pick: Virginia Tech +22.5 -110 Bovada
Moneyline Pick: Clemson -1200 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 67 -102 Pinnacle Sports