ACC Championship Preview: Clemson Vs. #10 Georgia Tech

John ThomasCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Josh Nesbitt #9 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 17, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Last week's slate of games took a bit of the appeal away from this Saturday's ACC Championship Game between the Clemson Tigers (8-4) and the 10th ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-2). Both teams fell to in-state rivals. Unranked South Carolina defeated #18 Clemson 34-17 and Georgia defeated #7 Georgia Tech 30-24.

South Carolina rushed the ball for 223 yards against the Tiger defense. Coming into that game, the Gamecock rushing attack averaged just 125 yards per game, 91st in the country. This was the second-most yards the Tigers had given up on the ground this year.

A fluke? Not likely.

Clemson's defense gives up just about 135 rushing yards per game. This sounds like a good run defense. However, this year, Clemson has played just two top-50 rushing offenses. TCU (5th) and Georgia Tech (2nd). The Tigers lost both these games.

The Yellow Jackets, as previously stated, have the 3rd-best rushing attack in the country, thanks to head coach Paul Johnson's option offense. Georgia Tech averages 305 yards rushing per game, thanks to quarterback Josh Nesbitt (888 yards, 17 TDs) and running back Jonathan Dwyer (1236 yards, 12 TDs). There are also countless other backs that the Jackets throw in their rushing attack.

In the previous meeting between these two teams, Georgia Tech defeated Clemson 30-27. A Scott Blair field goal with 57 seconds to go gave the Jackets the win. Georgia Tech rushed the ball for 301 yards in that victory.

Even though the Tiger defense will make some adjustments to the Georgia Tech option attack, their has yet to be a team this year that has been able to stop the Jackets on the ground. Georgia Tech should come away with the victory over the Clemson Tigers, clinching a BCS Bowl berth. Final score: Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 24.

The game will be played on Saturday, December 5th, in Tampa, Florida at 8:00 ET on ESPN.