It wasn’t all pretty but a win is a win.
Clemson knocked off Boston College 19-13 on Saturday night under the lights in Death Valley. Once again, Brent Venables defense needed a stop on the games final drive and they got it.
- Make that 31 in a row at home. While the Tigers might not be the caliber of team fans have become accustomed to seeing over the past few years, Death Valley is still one of the toughest places to play. Kudos to those in attendance, that place got LOUD at times on Saturday night. Despite the fact that there were far fewer people than you would typically see. Especially on Homecoming. The raucous environment was responsible for the BC offense being flagged for several false starts. If you were there, take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back.
- Phil Mafah is going to be a star. The freshman made his debut in this one and he is the kind of back the Tigers have not had in quite some time. He’s got a little bit of everything. Will Shipley might get all of the publicity but Mafah takes a backseat to no one in that running back room when it comes to sheer potential. Seven carries for 58 yards with a 28-yard run that was a thing of beauty.
- Kobe Pace didn’t have a bad night at the office himself. 19 carries, 125 yards and a touchdown run. Not to mention showing off his hands, reeling in two catches for another 41 yards.
- No Tyler Davis, no Bryan Bresee, no Mario Goodrich, no problem for this Clemson defense. Even without its two best interior defensive linemen, the Tigers just shut down the BC running game. The Eagles averaged just 1.4 yards per carry.
- James Skalski, Baylon Spector and Trenton Simpson were flying all over the place in this game.
- Xavier Thomas is off to some kind of start. The senior pass rusher picked up a sack against BC, giving him 3.5 on the season. He also had two tackles for loss. It isn’t hard to see the talented defensive end has been putting in the work, and it’s starting to finally pay off.
- Andrew Booth Jr is going to be a first round pick. After struggling with nagging injuries a season ago, Booth is absolutely living up to his five-star status this season. And one thing that doesn’t get talked about enough is his tackling. He doesn’t miss many.
- Braden Galloway got hurt. Davis Allen was ejected. Insert Sage Ennis. While he did have one catch for eight yards, what really stood out was his effort when it came to blocking. He looked like a guy that actually likes to get in there and mix it up a little. A stark contrast to both Galloway and Allen. Speaking of Allen, he had another drop. He and Galloway both probably have more drops than catches, and fans wonder why the tight ends are rarely targeted in the passing game.
- Can’t say enough about Hunter Rayburn. While there is definitely room for improvement in some areas, after watching him tonight, you wonder why he wasn’t starting at center all along. You just might see that two weeks from now in Syracuse.
- Speaking of the offensive line, it was by far their best performance of the season. The Tigers rushed for 231 yards and averaged almost six yards per carry. Could not punch it in on three straight runs from inside the five, but all in all, something to build on. Oh, and they did it without starting RG Will Putnam.
- D.J. Uiagalelei also had his best night throwing the ball, and still completed less than 50% of his passes. He’s still having accuracy issues on some of his throws. But how about the big guy rushing the ball a dozen times and he finally hit the 200 yard mark in a game this season.
- What is going on with the receivers. There were maybe half a dozen drops by pass catchers on balls that hit them squarely in the hands. At least one that would have been a touchdown. When you have a quarterback already experiencing growing pains and having some issues with accuracy, you have to make those plays and help your guy out.
- Man, can you imagine the pacing Monte Lee must have been doing after watching Will Turner be helped off the field. They are planning on the freshman having a major role the the baseball program. Hopefully it’s not a major injury and he’s back sooner rather than later. And that it doesn’t affect the baseball season in any way.
- Nolan Turner won the leather helmet that is awarded annually to the MVP of the game. Turner was second on the team with seven tackles and had the one interception.
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