No. 1 Clemson, Virginia in rematch of ACC championship game

Virginia Preview Football
Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 14:26:41-04

Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) at No. 1 Clemson (2-0, 1-0), Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (ACC Network).

Line: Clemson by 28.

Series record: Clemson leads 39-8-1.


Clemson hopes to continue its status as ACC front-runner as it looks for a sixth-straight league title and sixth consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff. For Virginia, it’s a chance for a measure of revenge after the Tigers’ 62-17 win over the Cavaliers in the ACC title game last December where Clemson put a championship game record for points and 617 yards of offense.


Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence vs. Virginia’s secondary: Lawrence threw for four touchdowns when these teams met last December. Three of them went to Tee Higgins, now with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Cavaliers’ secondary is led by safety Brenton Nelson, who missed the title game a season ago and had two interceptions in his team’s opening victory over Duke last week.


Virginia: WR Lavel Davis Jr. had four catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns in his college debut. He’s the first Cavalier to finish with 100-plus yards in his first college game.

Clemson: RB Travis Etienne will look to get going as he tries for a third straight ACC player of the year award. Etienne, like most Clemson starters, has not played a ton as the Tigers have beaten their two opponents by a combined score of 86-13. Etienne has 170 yards and a touchdown rushing so far.


Clemson won the first 29 games of the series before Virginia got more competitive. It’s been 10-8-1 in Clemson’s favor since Virginia broke the streak with a win in 1990. ... Virginia is facing a No. 1 team for the first time in 21 years since losing to top-ranked Florida State 35-10 in 1999. ... Clemson has won 23 straight games at home and its 42-1 record at Memorial Stadium since 2014 leads the nation. ... Virginia forced seven turnovers in beating Duke last week. That’s the most by the Cavaliers since a win over Richmond in 2014. ... Clemson has gotten at least four sacks a game over its last four contests. It’s the longest streak since the 1990-91 Tigers did it in six straight games. ... Virginia has won twice in 17 series games when Clemson has been ranked. The only time at Clemson came in 2001 with a 26-24 win over the 19th-ranked Tigers.


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