After an early season bye, Clemson returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Virginia looking to extend its winning run on home soil to 24 games.
The Tigers have won both of their first two games and remain top of the AP Top 25 Poll, while the Cavaliers kicked off their season last week with a 38-20 win over Duke.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the Tigers’ third game of the season.
- Kickoff time—Clemson hosts Virginia at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 3.
- TV channel—ACC Network
- Live stream—ACCN’s digital platforms and fuboTV.
- Odds—Clemson is a 28.5-point favorite with FanDuel and 9/10 to cover the spread, while the over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 54.5. In moneyline terms, the Tigers are 1/50 favorite, while Virginia is a 16/1 underdog.
- Series history—Clemson leads the all-time series 39-8-1 and hasn’t lost to Virginia in over a decade.
Ten months after dismantling Virginia 62-17 in the ACC Championship Game, the paths of Clemson and its conference rival cross again this weekend in the first of two primetime games in Death Valley in as many weeks, with the Tigers hosting Miami on October 10 in a top-10 matchup that could have major implications on the College Football Playoff.
The first two games of the season have offered precious little insight over whether Clemson deserves the top spot in the AP Rankings. The Tigers disposed of Wake Forest 37-13 in their season opener, before sweeping away The Citadel 49-0 the following week in their only non-conference game of the season. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has passed for 519 yards and four touchdowns despite attempting just 37 passes in two games, while fellow Heisman Trophy candidate Travis Etienne averages 85 yards per game and both Amari Rodgers and Frank Ladson have racked up over 100 receiving yards.
With the Tigers’ offense already up and running, the game against Virginia could offer more valuable insight on Clemson defense, which faces its toughest test of the season to date. The Tigers allowed Virginia to convert 10 of its 18 third-downs in the ACC Championship Game in December and defensive coordinator Brent Venables will be eager to fine-tune his units ahead of Miami’s visit next week.
“We’re excited, excited about getting back at it for a fun night in the [Death] Valley,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said this week. “[Virginia is] Just a really good team that’s playing with a lot of confidence, very well coached team that we know we’ll get the very best effort from them. So we got to be ready to match that.”
While Virginia’s chances of avenging the 62-17 shellacking they suffered last year are slim, the Cavaliers will be desperate to give a better account of themselves on Saturday. Virginia’s season-opener was a roller-coaster affair, with the Cavaliers erasing a 10-point deficit, racking up 450 yards of total offense and preventing Duke from scoring in the second and fourth quarter. On the other side of the coin, the Cavaliers were kept scoreless themselves in the first and third period and quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw two interceptions to go with his two touchdowns, completing only 24 of his 45 attempted passes.