Tennessee football vs. Clemson in Orange Bowl: Score prediction, scouting report

Welcome to Miami, Tennessee football.

The Vols (10-2) will face Clemson (11-2) in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 30 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). It is Tennessee's fifth Orange Bowl appearance. It has a 1-3 record with the lone win being a 17-0 victory against Oklahoma in 1939.

Here is what to know about the matchup:

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How Clemson reached the Orange Bowl

Clemson dominated North Carolina 39-10 on Saturday in the ACC Championship Game to secure an automatic spot in the Orange Bowl. The Tigers went 10-2 during the regular season with both losses in November. They lost 35-14 at Notre Dame on Nov. 5 and fell 31-30 to South Carolina on Nov. 26.

The Gamecocks bashed Tennessee 63-38 a week prior, ending UT's College Football Playoff hopes. They did the same to Clemson, snapping a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry.

Clemson has a quarterback situation with Cade Klubnik, DJ Uiagalelei

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has a quarterback situation on his hands. DJ Uiagalelei has been the starter all season, but hasn't been consistent. Swinney turned to freshman Cade Klubnik early against UNC and he was stellar. Klubnik was 20-for-24 passing for 279 yards with a touchdown in his first extended action.

Uiagalelei has completed 61.9% of his passes for 2,521 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Uiagalelei and Klubik are former five-star prospects.

Dabo Swinney, Tennessee football and spatulas

Swinney commented on Tennessee's loss to South Carolina on his call-in radio show before the Tigers also lost to the Gamecocks.

“When you’re in Tennessee’s position, and they’re like, ‘OK, we beat South Carolina, we beat Vandy,’ and they’re in the playoffs," Swinney said. "They’re flipping burgers at the house, having a cold drink watching the championship weekend, ‘What are we? Are we 3 or 4? Where are we going? Are we in Arizona or are we in Atlanta?’ And the next thing you know, you forget you’ve gotta go play.”

Swinney later claimed his comments were attempting to get his own team’s attention prior to facing South Carolina and stated he has "got all the respect in the world for Tennessee."

Tennessee's offensive line has a challenge with Clemson's defense

Clemson's defensive front has been a problem for opponents all season. The Tigers rank No. 4 nationally with 40 sacks and No. 2 nationally with 103 tackles for loss.

UT has allowed 49 tackles for loss, the 14th-fewest in the country.

Clemson's entire defensive line earned All-ACC honors this season. Defensive end Myles Murphy and defensive tackle Tyler Davis were first-team selections, while defensive end K.J. Henry and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee earned second-team honors.

Linebacker Trenton Simpson was a third-team pick and is a highly regarded NFL Draft prospect.

The history between Tennessee and Clemson

Tennessee has an 11-6-2 record against Clemson, but it has little recent history. The Vols and Tigers have played once since 1976. The Vols lost to Clemson 27-14 in the 2004 Peach Bowl.

UT hosted Clemson in Knoxville twice in the 1970s, winning both matchups.

All other matchups were prior to 1944. UT and Clemson played 12 times between 1901 and 1920.

Score prediction

Tennessee 44, Clemson 38: Clemson's offense has had its struggles, at times, especially with Uiagalelei. Tennessee's defense has likewise had its struggles. Tennessee's offense has the edge.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee vs Clemson in Orange Bowl: Score prediction, scouting report