Watkins draws high praise

No. 10 Virginia Tech has its biggest test of the young season when No. 13 Clemson visits Blacksburg for a showdown of unbeaten teams.

With wins of Appalachian State, East Carolina, Arkansas State and Marshall, Frank Beamer's squad has the fourth-best defense in the country [231.25 yards/game]. The Hokies have allowed just 10 points a game, which is sixth-highest nationally.

Beamer knows those low numbers will be subject to abuse, starting around 6 p.m. Saturday night.

"All you have to do is turn the video on of Clemson and they really get your attention," Beamer said. "They have great athletes and this is a dynamic football team coming in here."

Through four games under first-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the Tigers have racked up 38 points and 506 yards per game.

"The goal is to slow this offense down," Beamer said. "I don't think you're going to stop it. You just try to slow it down. They've got tremendous players that are executing very well."

Tajh Boyd, a Hampton, Va. native, is the 11th most efficient passer in the country. He's thrown for 1,255 and 13 touchdowns, while completing 66 percent of his passes.

Sammy Watkins, who's caught 28 passes, is eighth in the country with 433 receiving yards.

"The Watkins kid is another Percy Harvin, except bigger -- what a threat he is," Beamer said. "They have a lot of dynamic players and they are a dynamic football team."

It's not just the offense that concerns the Virginia Tech head coach, who's in his 25th year in Blacksburg.

Despite ranking 90th nationally in total defense and 66th in scoring defense, Beamer thinks the Clemson defense is better than advertised.

"If they do get the defense in there quickly, they've got the confidence that they're going to do the job, and they should have confidence," he said. "I think this is a defense that is getting better all the time."

Beamer has called on the Virginia Tech faithful to come out in full force at Lane Stadium this weekend.

"I credit our fans. They're really knowledgeable. They feel like they help us win and I feel like they help us win," he said. "I can say this, we're going to need all the help we can get this week.

"We've got as talented, good, confident, playing at a high level team coming in here as I can remember. They're really, really good."

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