ACC Championship Game Preview: Which Team Bounces Back?

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IDecember 5, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Anthony Allen #18 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets against the Clemson Tigers at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 10, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Even though both teams lost last week to their in-state rivals, this game still means a lot to both of them...I think.

There is precedence of this for Georgia Tech. Back in 2006 they had a similar season, yet lost to an underwhelming (but favored) Georgia team, and then went on to lose the ACC Championship Game to Wake Forest the following week.

Can the Yellow Jackets respond better than they did three years ago? This and some other keys I asked in 4 Questions for Georgia Tech .

Clemson faces a similar predicament after a 17-point beating by South Carolina last week, a team they have beaten five of the last seven years. How will Clemson respond and what are the Tigers other keys (4 Questions For Clemson post) ?

Like the SEC Championship, these two teams are very evenly matched, so much so that Vegas has installed this game as a pick'em most places.

I think this game comes down to turnovers, big plays, and who can stop the run.

Both teams will see ample film time of the offenses running the ball down the others throat last week and try to mimic that this week. The defense that steps up the best against the run gives their team a huge boost.

Big plays is another key area. Both teams had them in the last meeting (30-27 GT) and I expect to see a few more this time around.

I think if a team has an advantage coming into this game, it may be Paul Johnson's offense. Last time, Clemson did a pretty good job of containing the rushing attack not allowing a TD scoring drive.

I think the Tigers go with a similar game plan as in September, but Georgia Tech makes more adjustments seeing DC Kevin Steele's game plan for the second time.

Those adjustments, especially in the second half, are enough for Georgia Tech to pull out the win.

Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 27