College Football Preview: Clemson vs. Virginia
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ó Clemson and Virginia are both fighting to get the wins they need to qualify for a bowl game, but the situation is more dire for the Tigers. Lose again, they’re home for the holidays.
The Tigers (5-5, 3-4 ACC) have been one of the nation’s most disappointing teams. Picked to win the ACC, they instead faded quickly and saw coach Tommy Bowden resign after just six games.
The Tigers have won twice against teams in the Football Championship Subdivision once known as I-AA, and can only extend their season by beating Virginia and then winning next weekend against South Carolina.
Falling short is not something they care to think about.
Virginia (5-5, 3-3) will honor its 24 fourth- and fifth-year players before the game, their last at home.
The Cavaliers could wind up having far more to play for than bowl eligibility, too. Because of Georgia Tech’s victory Thursday night against Miami, a Virginia victory could find it playing at Virginia Tech for the Coastal Division title next week if Miami also loses at N.C. State.
The Tigers have split four games under interim coach Dabo Swinney, who is also in the running to take over the program on a permanent basis.
Watching Clemson on film highlights their talent on both sides of the ball, Virginia tight end John Phillips said, and makes an impression.
“They were ranked number nine in the country for a reason,” Phillips said. “They’ve got a lot of great players on their team.”