3 Keys to Victory

CLEMSON - The play of the offensive line, James Davis and special teams highlight our three keys this week.

CLOSE THE TURNSTILES: The Clemson offensive line gave up six sacks last weekend in a 13-3 loss at Georgia Tech, the most in one game since 2003. Against Virginia Tech, the same team that provided the blue print to beat Clemson last season, the line has to sustain and finish its blocks to give the Tigers a chance to win. That means giving up two sacks or less while also opening running lanes for running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller. Virginia Tech's defensive line hasn't been as productive as it has in recent years- there's no reason why significant improvement can't be seen here Saturday night.

RUN JAMES, RUN: Through the first five games of the season, running back James Davis is averaging 14 carries a game. That needs to change on Saturday. The bottom line is Davis needs to touch the ball at least 20 times and go over 100 yards rushing to make this offense work. While he enters the game somewhat banged up, expect a Herculean type effort against the Hokies. The more times Davis touches the ball, the better.

NOT EVEN SPECIAL: Let's be honest, with special teams mishaps in nearly every game this season, the Tigers just need to be average here Saturday night to show improvement. That means no high snaps, no blocked punts, no missed field goals and no turnovers on returns. Do those five things and that would have to be considered a moral victory. It won't be easy however as Virginia Tech is known as one of the top special teams units in the country under Frank Beamer.

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