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Friday mailblog: Title game edition

12/1/2011

News conference at 1 p.m. ET today here in Charlotte. Game tomorrow. Love it.

Ben in Va. writes: HD, The Virginia Tech defense has snagged 15 interceptions so far this season, good for 17th in the country. No big deal, pretty standard for Bud Foster's crew. But what's different this year is that no single player is racking up huge numbers of picks. What does it say about this group that Hosley leads the team with only three interceptions and eleven different players have caught a pass from opposing quarterbacks?

HD: It says that Tajh Boyd should be concerned. Despite the injuries to three starters on defense, Virginia Tech has still found a way to generate pressure on QBs. It all starts up front. Those are the guys who are flustering the quarterbacks into those mistakes. I didn't expect Hosley to repeat his numbers from a year ago. Offenses have become wise to him. It happens. But what makes the Hokies so good, is that they've proven Hosley isn't the only one to be wary of.


Garrett in Roanoke, Va. writes: Do you think Clemson's defense can stop VT's offense if Tech keeps a balanced offense with Wilson and Thomas?

HD: It would be MORE difficult for Clemson to stop VT if they continue to be balanced. Part of Virginia Tech's success this season -- a large part of it -- has stemmed from the fact that the Hokies have two outstanding playmakers in David Wilson and Logan Thomas. Thomas is so big and physical he's tough to bring down when he runs. If Clemson can make VT one-dimensional, it would work in their favor. Clemson played its best defense of the year against the Hokies so far, so they've proven capable, but I don't see it happening again.


Brian in Norfolk, Va. writes: Is it just me, or has Logan Thomas made noticeable improvements every week since the loss to Clemson? Seems to have motivated him to work harder week in and week out. Your opinion?

HD: No doubt. To me, it happened against Miami. He only threw two incompletions in that game and was the difference in the win. That began his maturation process and it has snowballed ever since.


Chris (in Charlotte N.C.) writes: You should know this game is staged perfectly for Clemson to "Pull a Clemson" - When all looks bleak - no chance to win - thats when MY Tigers rise from the ashes. Thats I why I hate to love this team GO TIGERS

HD: HA! You are absolutely right, Chris. Maybe the best thing Clemson has going for it in this game is that few people are expecting the Tigers to win it.


Will in Charlotte, N.C. writes: You seem to be writing off Clemson completely in all of your posts. We haven't had a healthy offensive line in a while without Price and there's a good chance he will be back this week. Don't be so sure of LT, he's young, just like Tajh.

HD: You're right about the O-line, but of the five sacks that occurred against South Carolina, only two were the fault of the offensive line. Boyd has to make some better decisions in this game, and he and offensive coordinator Chad Morris would both tell you that. I haven't written off Clemson, but the Tigers have changed the outlook on it, though, with the way they have played recently.