Overview: Former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall took over a horrible football situation in Charlottesville and has had a remarkable year – winning the Commonwealth Cup for the first time since 2003. To put things in perspective: I was in kindergarten, Coach Swinney was at his first year in Clemson, America had just invaded Iraq, and Linkin Park, Eminem, and Evanescence were in their primes. The cherry on top of this nine win year for the Cavs is the chance to defeat Clemson for the ACC Championship and a likely bid in the Orange Bowl. Virginia’s defense is a strong unit, but it could be even better without the injuries in the secondary. Bryce Perkins is the star of the offense, and how he plays will determine how competitive Virginia is. Stop Perkins, Clemson wins. Perkins starts off hot, and it could be an interesting game.
Talent: Cavalier Quarterback Bryce Perkins is the star of the Virginia offense, and he made second-team All-ACC for 2019. Linebacker Jordan Mount and Safety Joey Blount made third team all-ACC. Reciever Joe Reed made first-team All-ACC as an all-purpose offensive player and as a special teams player. Cornerback Bryce Hall was a top fifty prospect on The Draft Network’s Big Board, but he has been out for the season since the middle of October with an injury.
Oddshark: Oddshark’s projected score is Clemson 54.0 Virginia 13.2. Clemson is favored by 28.5 points, and 56% of bets have Clemson covering the spread. The over/under is 56.5 points, and 72% of bettors have taken the over. Clemson is given a 95% chance to win by ESPN’s FPI.
William’s Take: yada There is no definitive way to know how Venables will stop Perkins, but Clemson has the talent that other teams lacked to neutralize him. Isaiah Simmons is more than Perkins’ match athletically if that is the route he chooses. Clemson’s defensive line should prey on the Cavs offensive line. Virginia’s defense is good, but not good enough to stop Clemson’s offense if they have even an average day. UVA is a great story and a great institution, but Clemson has the clear advantage for a reason. Prediction: Clemson 54 Virginia 13 (Oddshark was on point this time).