Boston College at #4 Clemson
Memorial Stadium, Clemson SC
7:30 PM ACC Network
Last week this Clemson (7-0, 5-0) team went out on the road, defeated a 4-2 Louisville team by 35 points, and fell a spot in the AP Poll. Again. However, if the Tigers continue to take care of the things they can control, all of that will work itself out, and they will undoubtedly be one of the four teams vying for the national title. Saturday is the next step in that journey.
Boston College (4-3, 2-2) comes into Clemson fresh off of an impressive beatdown of NC State at home, but this is still the same BC team that lost at home to Kansas and struggled against lowly Rutgers. Since then they have lost starting QB Anthony Brown for the season to injury, and backup Dennis Grosel has been less than stellar. There is a reason why the Tigers are 34.5 point favorites and favored so heavily by the FPI.
Without Brown, Boston College is forced to rely even more heavily on their potent ground game, featuring future NFL RB AJ Dillon. Expect them to feed him the ball early and often, and when they aren’t handing it to him, they will probably be feeding it to backup RB David Bailey. That plan worked well for them last week, as they rushed for 429 yards, despite the fact that the Wolfpack knew it was coming.
NC State might have had the ACC’s best run defense statistically going into that game, but the Wolfpack D bears no resemblance to what Boston College is about to see on Saturday night, There is no one better than Brent Venables when it comes to taking away what a one dimensional team can do. The interior of this Clemson front will not be pushed around the way the NCST defensive tackles were.
The only hope this BC team has is forcing the Clemson offense into making some mistakes, and taking advantage of them. The Eagles are the ACC’s best team in regards to turnover margin and come in having picked off nine passes already. However, no ACC team has allowed more plays of over 10, 20, 50, and 70 yards than Boston College. Their pass defense has been less than stellar, and that should pay dividends for Clemson. If QB Trevor Lawrence is patient, the downfield throws will be there, but when they aren’t he needs to find his checkdowns and use them. They are the worst in the league as far sacks go and 120th nationally, so Lawrence should have plenty of time.
The Eagles probably come in feeling pretty good after last weeks win. Those feelings won’t last long once this game kicks off. This Clemson defense has the corners to match up man to man against the BC receivers and that will allow Venables to stack the box and contain their ground game. If they are to have any shot at competing in this one, QB Dennis Grosel is going to have to beat this Clemson team with his arm, in the rain no less, and he has shown no signs of being capable of doing so.
Clemson 42 Boston College 7
We asked for some of your predictions over on the Facebook page and again, the participation was great. We chose some to share here as well. As has been the case every week of this season to date, no one is picking the upset. Shocking.
- Lorraine Dixon 38-7
- Esley Pendelton Jr 45-20
- Chris Matney 42-10
- Russell Smith 55-13
- Eric White 63-17
- Stephanie Brooks 45-17
- Anne Cabaniss 45-17
- Crystal Dearring 48-32
- Keith Sprouse 56-10
- Phyllis Gracely 35-21
- Carolyn Knight 37-10
- Raymond Davis 45-21
- Cecil Arrowood 48-10 (One of our Tshirt winners last week)
Anyone who predicts the final score correctly will be entered into a random drawing for a free clemsonjunkies.com tshirt that will be held sometime next week.
***Predictions must be posted in the predictions thread on the Clemson Tiger Junkies Facebook group page.