It hasn’t been quite the start Clemson fans were hoping for.
The Tigers offense has been pretty inefficient. It has stalled, sputtered, and been downright inept. The offensive line has been bad, the receivers haven’t been what the coaching staff built them up to be and the quarterback play definitely hasn’t been what anyone expected.
With Clemson now having suffered two losses and dropping to No. 25 in the polls, playoff aspirations are dead, meaning some of the pressure is now off. With a struggling offense and all three games against Power-5 competition being one score affairs, the plans have been super conservative.
With some of this pressure now off, maybe this coaching staff eases up on the reigns a little bit. Open it up a little more. These players need to get back to having fun, because right now, it doesn’t appear the first four games have been a whole lot of fun for the guys on offense.
However, opening it up a little more doesn’t mean this team will suddenly start clicking on all cylinders. It’ still going to be a struggle. Let’s face it, the offensive line is what it is right now and there is no quick fix.
That means this team will once against have to rely on Brent Venables and that defense. Two weeks ago, that seemed far more realistic, but now Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee have both gone down with injuries. That is two of the best interior defensive linemen in the country, the run defense will take a hit.
Boston College comes in averaging more than 220 yards per game on the ground. Running back Patrick Garwo is averaging more than 100 yards per game and over six yards per carry. Ruke Orhorhoro, Tre Williams, and Justin Foster, who you will now see inside more, will have to step up. They will.
With BC missing Phil Jurkovec, Venables will make backup Dennis Grosel beat the Tigers with his arm. Against Missouri, the only team Boston College has played with a pulse, Grosel was a serviceable 18-29 for 175 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Those numbers will not get it done this week.
The defense will not completely shut this BC rushing attack down without its starting defensive tackles, but it will slow it down enough to keep Grosel in some third and long situations. Especially early on, and this pass rush will get after him, rattle him earl, in turn having an effect on the entire game.
After watching Emeka Emezie find the soft spots in his defense far to often in Raleigh, Venables will have a plan to keep BC’s star wideout Zay Flowers from having a huge day. In other words, the backend of this defense will hold up.
Again, don’t expect the offense to suddenly “get right” this weekend. Maybe they can take a small step forward. At this point, any improvement is good.
Either way, this Boston College team just isn’t the same without Jurkovec. This Clemson defense still has plenty of pieces in place. Enough to keep a guy like Grosel from beating the Tigers with his arm.
While they may still have issues finishing off drives, Uiagalelei and the offense will do just enough to get it done. Maybe even eclipse the 300 yard mark on offense. Phil Mafah, while he may not have a huge day, will make a couple of plays.
The defense, while not quite as stout as it was in the first three weeks, also gets it done. B.T. Potter’s leg makes a difference.
Clemson 16 Boston College 10
Junkies Team Predictions
Sam Clemons: There comes a point where the you’ve just got to believe. The Tigers, uncharacteristically, have looked lost. The fingers are pointing in a thousand different directions looking to lay blame on someone, anyone. Boston College has always been a thorn in Clemson’s side even in the best of years. BC, at 4-0, they come in to the valley a confident, capable foe. However, I have got to believe this week, the Tigers will be fighting, not for Trophies nor championships but for self-respect. This will be their week.
Clemson 24 Boston College 10
Ted Jackson: With this being a home game, I think Clemson finds a way to squeeze out a narrow victory. I’m not sure that we should expect great things from the offense just yet, but it’s not a stretch to say that we should do much better than 13 penalties for 94 yards, having home field advantage. It’s easy to forget that last week’s game was the first true regular season road game Clemson had played in nearly 2 years. That alone should make a difference, and should give Clemson the advantage.
Clemson 20 Boston College 17
Freddie Huth: The Tigers have gone through more adversity than most Clemson fans are familiar during the playoff run and now the offense finds itself having to find a way to quiet the outspoken and score points. One thing that can always help that is a game at home. Especially when it’s homecoming weekend. expect it to be a good game through the first half but the offense finally shows signs of life and pulls it out in the second half.
Clemson 27 Boston College 10
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