While the No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies lost to No. 21 Clemson Tigers 23-3 earlier this year, the Hokies will not let that happen again, as the ACC Championship and a possible BCS National Championship Game berth are on the line.
The Hokies (11-1, 7-1 ACC) were possible national title contenders before the Tigers derailed them on Oct. 1. Since then, Virginia Tech has been playing driven football, and has won their last seven games, including an impressive 38-0 road victory over the Virginia Cavaliers (8-4, 5-3 ACC).
Meanwhile, the Tigers (9-3, 6-2 ACC) haven't been the same since losing 31-17 to Georgia Tech after an 8-0 start. Clemson has since gone 1-2, and had a horrible 37-13 loss to the North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-5, 4-4 ACC).
The Tigers' offense has particularly struggled the past four games. The unit's first eight games produced 40.6 points per game. During the Tigers' 1-3 streak, Clemson has mustered just 18.5 points per contest.
The Hokies have a tough defense that could slow down Clemson. The defense held the Tigers to 23 points and 323 total yards of offense. Virginia Tech has allowed 15.5 points a game (seventh) and 302 yards of total offense (12th).
Clemson likes to pass to freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, the Hokies stopped the standout receiver in October, limiting him to three catches for 38 yards.
Virginia Tech's secondary is really tough, with cornerbacks Jayron Hosley (11 passes defended, three interceptions) and Kyle Fuller (five passes defended, 4.5 sacks). Safeties Antone Exum (75 tackles, 11 passes defended) and Eddie Whitley (66 tackles, five passes defended, two interceptions) give receivers fits.
With a win, the Hokies would be guaranteed a BCS Bowl berth. Virginia Tech would also be lined up for the national title game if the LSU Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowboys both lose.
The motivation for revenge, coupled with Clemson's lapsing defense and the Hokies' title hopes, should propel Virginia Tech to a victory.