Seeking an upset vs. Clemson, Hokies look to erase past disappointment

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Hokies know they’re the underdog against Clemson. The Tigers have won the last five meetings with Virginia Tech.

“Clemson is one of the best teams in the country. Without a doubt. Can’t argue it,” Hokies senior defensive lineman Jarrod Hewitt said.

But the players aren’t intimidated by the defending ACC champions.

Behind two Heisman Trophy candidates in quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne, the fourth-ranked Tigers are by far the biggest challenge the Hokies will face during this unpredictable season.

“As an older guy, I try to echo that every game is the same and not one game is bigger than the other,” Hewitt said. “You can’t deny the talent that is coming to our place on Saturday.”

Virginia Tech is coming off a much-needed bye week after nine straight weeks of games, with the latter three ending in losses. The stretch of action has taken a physical toll on the players.

Hewitt said the break boosted the team mentally while giving their bodies some rest.

“The stretch we’ve had these past few games — I think mentally we kinda needed a break and we’re all able to enjoy Thanksgiving,” Hewitt said. “I think it was very important.”

Now the Hokies look to salvage what’s left of the season, starting with an upset over the two-time College Football Playoff champions.

“I feel like this is a great opportunity for us to go and showcase our talent and showcase all the hard work that we’ve been putting in over the weeks,” junior quarterback Hendon Hooker said. “Just showing everyone we are a good offense, we are efficient. We can move the ball and score points.”

Tech will try to stop a quarterback who hasn’t shown any rust, despite not playing for five straight weeks. Lawrence threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s win over Pitt.

“It’s going to be fun. I’m excited, just to be able to play another week honestly,” Lawrence said. “It doesn’t matter where to me. It is a cool place. I wish it was going to be packed out because I heard it’s going to be a really cool environment.”

A cool environment, literally, with temperatures hovering in the 40s for Saturday’s primetime kickoff.

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