Football

ACC Championship game: Watch for QBs, defensive plays

North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams rushes for 27 yards against Georgia Tech on Oct. 3 in Atlanta. The Tar Heels’ 38-31 come-from-behind win was a turning point in their season.
North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams rushes for 27 yards against Georgia Tech on Oct. 3 in Atlanta. The Tar Heels’ 38-31 come-from-behind win was a turning point in their season. rwillett@newsobserver.com

The spotlight Saturday will be on quarterbacks Marquise Williams and Deshaun Watson. Williams has 2,605 passing yards and 786 rushing yards this season compared to 3,223 passing yards and 756 rushing yards from Watson.

Here are three things to watch – including these two quarterbacks – in the ACC championship game:

Contain the QBs

Each team is led by a talented, dual-threat quarterback – Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and North Carolina’s Marquise Williams, who have shown they can win games with either their arms or legs. Slowing down the quarterback is job No. 1 for both defenses.

Limiting the mistakes

While the Clemson and North Carolina offenses are among the best in the country, both have had issues with turnovers. The Tar Heels nearly gave away games against Virginia Tech and N.C. State with late mistakes. Clemson, despite its offensive prowess, has a minus-three turnover margin.

Big plays on defense

Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson leads the country with 20.5 tackles-for-loss and has eight sacks. North Carolina’s M.J. Stewart has four interceptions and averages an ACC-best 1.7 pass breakups per game. With plenty of points likely to be scored, it might come down to a singular play on defense from a player like Lawson or Stewart to decide it.

North Carolina vs. Clemson

Where:

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

When:

Saturday, 8 p.m.

Watch:

WTVD

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