Virginia football ‘thrilled’ to face Clemson in ACC Championship Saturday

Cavaliers will square off against undefeated Tigers

Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia is coming off of an emotional win over Virginia Tech on Friday that clinched the Coastal title and set up a matchup against Clemson for the ACC title

There’s no question that the undefeated Tigers are good in all three phases of the game, but the Wahoos are excited for the challenge.

“27 straight wins. This is now the pinnacle, or one of the pinnacle programs, in college football," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said about Clemson. “So as we’re building, as we’re ascending, as we’re climbing, and as we’re becoming, man, where else would we rather be? And we’ve earned the chance to be there. So yeah, thrilled is how I would describe it.”

But with a secondary riddled with injuries, stopping Clemson’s high-powered offense will have to start upfront.

“The key to adjusting to the injuries we’ve had, and I think any team has to do this, it starts with leadership and vision so the position coach/coordinator has to do a really nice job of assessing what the existing players can do,” Mendenhall added.

“It just puts more pressure on the front seven to be able to get to the quarterback before you get the shot up where we don’t know if someone is going to make a play or not,” defensive end Mandy Alonso said. “The coaches have put an emphasis on getting back there and making the plays upfront and basically just play for our DB’s (defensive backs).”

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Charlotte on Saturday.

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