FOLLOW THE TIGERS
Catch the latest news, notes and nuggets on Clemson sports from Post and Courier beat writer Aaron Brenner on Twitter.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – They served turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, sweet potato casserole, rolls and cranberry sauce in the press box here at Scott Stadium.
And now we’re all ready for a nap while we watch some football.
Happy Thanksgiving … 26 days early.
Since the media can’t actually fall asleep on the job, yet another afternoon of ACC football will have to suffice. No. 8 Clemson is prepping for its fifth 3:30 p.m. kickoff in seven ACC games, with Virginia hosting the Tigers in Charlottesville.
If the Tigers come through with a victory, this will mark the first season in 18 years they swept their ACC road opponents. Clemson is a 17.5-point favorite, given its history against the hosting Cavaliers (16-5 in Charlottesville) and the Hoos’ five-game losing streak.
A few players and positions to keep your eye on today:
- TIGHT END: Jordan Leggett caused a few chuckles from the media and eyebrow-raising from his coaches when he readily admitted he’s lazy in practice, but can flip the switch on gameday. He also casually tossed in he feels he deserves more playing time, after catching his second career touchdown last Saturday at Maryland. These comments came about a half-hour after offensive coordinator Chad Morris insisted Leggett would be playing more, and one day before Dabo Swinney maintained this group of tight ends will develop into some of the best in the country. So, is today a day where Leggett breaks out and proves his worth? Or does he take a seat as a consequence for his blunt remarks?
- OFFENSIVE LINE: Left guard Kalon Davis should get the start Saturday, but we’ll see David Beasley as well. Right tackle Gifford Timothy probably starts at right tackle, but given freshman Shaq Anthony’s inconsistency, Isaiah Battle is (again) a name to file away. Dubbed as Clemson’s left tackle of the future, he could be that of the present if the coaches opt to insert him and flip Brandon Thomas over to the right side. Since Battle was suspended for the Wake Forest game after punching an NC State player, he’s played just 32 snaps in four games since.
- SAFETY: Robert Smith is entrenched as one starter, and Travis Blanks is still his other half … for now. Jayron Kearse continues to get chances, especially after Blanks missed an assignment at Maryland leading to a 71-yard catch-and-run touchdown off a simple slant. However, Swinney said the following three things about Kearse and Blanks on Wednesday: “He’s still really not able to play like he’s going to be able to because he’s still thinking a lot.” … “Travis and Robert without a doubt are our best two guys right now.” … “There’s nobody more committed to this team than Travis Blanks. The guy won’t even tell you when he’s hurting because he loves to play, and he’s still not 100 percent with his knee, not 100 percent with his shoulder.”
It’s a bright and sunny day here in Virginia, and kickoff temperature is expected to hover in the mid-60s. Check back here on PostandCourier.com at the end of halftime for some quick-hit thoughts, as well as late tonight for complete Clemson-Virginia coverage.
Enjoy the game, everybody.
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