Written By: Colby Wonacott
Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
Virginia, with 3 losses prior to playing Clemson was simply outmanned, outplayed and outcoached in last night’s ACC Championship game.
Call it “Clemson fatigue” but it seems as no one has really given the respect the Clemson Tigers deserve this entire season. I understand it too, they don’t have the underdog story of a Utah or the team that has been so close but can’t get over the ‘championship hill’ like an Oklahoma. There isn’t a strong hatered for Clemson like there is for Alabama; meaning people rejoice when they see Nick Saban get visibly flustered after losing a game. Clemson is not a historic powerhouse with a strong past of winning, they really are a boring championship juggernaut these past 5 years.
Well in the ACC Championship game, #3 Clemson was up against #23 Virgina, I don’t think anyone picked against Clemson because out of all the top conference games. This is one game that was not in question.
The Clemson Tigers received the ball in the 1st drive of the game, marched right down the field scoring a touchdown, confirming what everybody thought and knew…Clemson Is The Real Deal.
Virginia would later score in the 1st quarter, tying up the game 7-7. After that touchdown, Clemson would respond with scoring, scoring, and more scoring.
The Tigers would eventually score 62 points in a blowout with Trevor Lawrence reminding the country to not forget about him when discussing who is the best “quarterback in the country. “
Sophomore Trevor Lawrence would throw for 302 yards and 4 TD on only 22 attempts. He had a qbr rating of 96.2 out of 100 according to ESPN. If Trevor Lawrence had the ability to come out of college into the draft, I believe he would have been the top quarterback drafted. He is that good being a quarterback.
Not just the QB, but all of Clemson’s offensive weapons were on fire tonight. Travis Etienne ran for over 100 yards tonight scoring a touchdown. Etienne has a run average of 8.2 yards per rush, that is the 2nd best run average in the country.
Tee Higgins, Trevor Lawrence’s favorite receiver, caught 9 passes for 182 yards scoring an impressive 3 touchdowns. Watching Tee Higgins, he just makes the players trying to cover him, look like they are wearing ankle weights. Tee Higgins can flat out fly. Every catch he grabs, he averages an absurd 20 yards per catch posted by ESPN. He is a deep threat that every offensive coordinator wants on his team.
Clemson defense was stout, causing 4 takeaways, 2 interceptions and forcing 2 fumbles Keeping Virginia’s top rusher under 60 yards.
In the 4th quarter, I will say Virginia never gave up their fight against Clemson. Early in the 4th quarter, Virginia came up with a nice drive going down the field and then kicking a field goal giving their team 17 total points of the night. The Senior Bryce Perkins was giving his all, never letting up any effort until the final whistle.
Up Next For Clemson
#2 Clemson will play #3 Ohio State in the most entertaining semi-final college football playoff game since the play-off has been created on December 28th. Both teams are great, with NFL Talent all over the field. Clemson nor Ohio State has been tested as they will be in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.