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Virginia Tech Defense in Spotlight

By BJ Bennett
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Defensively, Virginia Tech is ready to compete with Clemson's high-powered attack.

Clemson's offense enters the ACC Championship Game with star power and big numbers; the Tigers have topped 620 yards of total offense in two of their past three games and, with the likes of Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman and Mike Williams, have one of the most dynamic attacks in all of college football. As good as Clemson is, Bud Foster's Virginia Tech defense will have his unit ready to play.

The Hokies currently rank third in the league, allowing just 21.1 points per game. Virginia Tech slots sixth nationally with 98 tackles for loss and fourth in the country with an allowed completion percentage of just 47.8%. With a 52-10 rivalry week win over Virginia last Saturday, the Hokies enter the weekend off of one of their best performances of the season. Defensively, Virginia Tech is ready to compete with Clemson's high-powered attack.

There is great balance on defense for the Hokies as senior tackle Woody Baron, sophomore linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, junior linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka, senior end Ken Ekanem, senior safety Chuck Clark and sophomore safety Terrell Edmunds each recently earned some all-conference recognition of some type, with Barron, 17.5 tackles for loss, claiming first-team honors. Motuapuaka has over 100 total tackles.  

Pressuring and frustrating Watson has to be considered priority number one for Virginia Tech, which recorded eight sacks in one game in a win over Miami earlier in the fall. Ekanem, with 21.5 sacks and 31 quarterback hurries in three years, is the catalyst on the edge. Expect Foster to use Edmunds a number of different ways at linebacker, taking advantage of his versatility in an attempt to set him up to make big plays. Talented cornerback Brandon Facyson may often be matched up with Williams downfield.      

Though the ACC Championship Game will be a new opportunity for Justin Fuente, the league coach of the year, and the Hokies, Foster has been here before. Saturday will mark his sixth conference title bout. The upcoming challenge is an immense one, but Virginia Tech's defense should not be overlooked.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports