Tuesday, October 24, 2006

James Davis 50/50 for Va Tech Game

#12 Clemson 7-1 @ Virginia Tech 6-2 (+4, 42) Thurs 7:45 ESPN
Keys for Virginia Tech:
1. Watch Out for Thunder and Lightning
In 2000, Va Tech's opening game with Ga Tech was canceled due to thunder and lightning. If thunder (James Davis) and lightning (CJ Spiller) show up again, then the Hokies may have wished this game was canceled too. Davis has a sore shoulder, but I will be surprised is he doesn't start. The Tigers will likely line up with seven or eight men on the o-line and pound the ball with their RB tandem. The Hokie d-line is small and quick much like Ga Tech's is, so that does not bode well for Beamer. Also, don't sleep on these two catching balls out of the backfield. Spiller pulled two jukes last seen in NCAA Football 07 last week on the way to paydirt.
2. Glennon or Whitaker, Does It Matter?
Sean Glennon has been the starter for much of the season, but his poor play in both of the Hokies losses has caused Beamer to insert Ike Whitaker more and more. Whitaker gives the Hokies more a running option. Of course the Tigers had no problem with the dangerous Reggie Ball last week. Whomever the Hokies trot onto the field, they have to get better play out of this positon if they want to win. I am gonna say that the Hokies can have no more than one turnover from the QB position and throw at least one TD.
3. Make the Special Teams Special Again
The Hokies special teams has not been as effective this year in big games as in the past. In fact, the Hokies had a kick blocked of their own this season by one team's walk on place kicker (GT's Troy Garside). This is an area you could count on the Hokies dominating and with Clemson's troubles kicking the ball and covering kicks, Va Tech needs to return to its old form. Watch out for Josh Morgan in the middle on punt blocks.

Keys for Clemson:
1. Run Until You Can't
If you were a Clemson fan last week, you were probably yelling "why throw the ball" as Clemson did 16 times. The Tigers o-line has been dominant this year and that is an understatement. The Hokies allow under 100 yrpg, but they have not faced an attack like this. Just like Ga Tech, Clemson faces an undersized line that can be worn down.
2. Take Your Gaines With Your Losses
Gaines Adams was unreal coming of the edge last week letting the country know why he is a likely first round pick in April. If the Tigers can get pressure with their front four, their next seven is good enough to shut down the speedy Va Tech receivers and slow the running game.
3. Strike Early
Blacksburg will be rocking for this Thursday night game in what should be chilly temperatures. Ga Tech struck early with 21 unanswered and took the crowd and the Hokie team out of their game. A Lightning strike early would make the Hokies play from behind, which does not play to their strength on offense. Also, both teams have a five day turnaround to this game, but Clemson will be traveling on Thurs morning. If they get behind, those tired legs may get more tired.

Clemson Notes:
Common Opp: UNC 52-7, Ga Tech 31-7, @BC 33-34
ATS: 6-2-0 Away: 2-1 (1-2-0 ATS) O/U: 5-3-0
Tommy Bowden ATS: 45-40-2, Away Fav: 5-8-1 (thru 2005)

Va Tech Notes:
Common Opp: @UNC 35-10, Ga Tech 27-38, @BC 3-22
ATS: 3-3-0 Home: 4-1 (2-2-0 ATS) O/U: 3-3-0
Va Tech won last 3 meetings by at least 20 pts(1998, 1999, 2001)
Frank Beamer ATS: 122-89-7, Home Dog: 12-6-1 (thru 2005)

Prediction: Clemson 24 Virginia Tech 17 (Clemson Covers, Under)

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