Virginia Cavaliers at Clemson Tigers 9/26/20: Early Look College Football GOY free preview, analysis, prediction, odds and pick against the spread.
2020-05-20 17:33:00 EDT
The Virginia Cavaliers and the Clemson Tigers meet Saturday, September 26th in college football action from Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Virginia is coming off a 9-5 record overall in 2019 with a 6-2 mark in ACC play. The Cavaliers fell big to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, then lost to Florida in the Orange Bowl. Meanwhile, Clemson rolled through the entire regular season, the conference championship and the Fiesta Bowl without a loss but fell to LSU in the CFP National Championship 42-25. Needless to say, this ACC Championship rematch looks pretty interesting. Get Free College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for every game all season long at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at both teams and see if we can get an idea of how things might play out when the Cavaliers take on the Tigers on September 26th.
Virginia won the division by the skin of their proverbial teeth last year, staying one game ahead of a pesky Virginia Tech team. The Cavaliers were pretty solid the whole campaign outside of a 1-3 stretch in the middle of the season. During that run, Virginia lost two close road games versus Miami-FL and Louisville; had a couple of things broken differently the Cavaliers’ record would have been even better. In any case, fifth-year head coach Bronco Mendenhall will have his hands full in 2020 trying to replace departed QB Bryce Perkins, who accounted for around 78 percent of Virginia’s offensive production last season. There are a lot of talented schools on the Cavaliers’ schedule this season, and most people believe they’ll be fighting to make six wins tops. It just feels like a rebuilding year, and Virginia will likely get lost in the fray of a competitive ACC.
As for Clemson, the 14-1 campaign last year was certainly a thing of beauty; it just didn’t end well considering the defeat in the CFP National Championship. There are a few potential areas for the Tigers to address in order to optimize their chances this season, however. Head coach Dabo Swinney and the gang are expected to dominate the ACC once again in 2020, and will probably be double-digit favorites with every ACC opponent. If QB Trevor Lawrence can take another developmental step this year, and if the team can replace the production of wide receiver Tee Higgins, Clemson will have more than enough offense to win the national title.
Pick: I have to go with Clemson. Even though I don’t generally like these thick lines, this one is pretty well justified. Clemson is entering a season where anything less than a national championship would be a disappointment, and Virginia is entering a season where they’ll be fighting for bowl eligibility. That sentiment stretches across the entire conference as well; there’s Clemson, then there’s everybody else. Were this spread to go much past 30 (and it very well may) I’d be a little less interested but for now it seems reasonable considering the impressions we have of the offenses involved right now.