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Clemson 19 Boston College 13: Observations on the Defense

A look at BC's defense against Clemson on Saturday evenin
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Boston College lost a heartbreaker on Saturday, 19-13 to Clemson in Death Valley. A game that easily could have gone BC's way was marred with mistakes and turnovers. Here are some takeaways from the defensive performance

* Going into this game Jeff Hafley said at his press conference this week that yards are a meaningless stats, that points are how he measures the play of a unit. This game was a perfect example of that philosophy. Sure Clemson was able to put together 438 yards, and had some chunk play and explosives, but time and time again the defense clamped down in big situations. It didn't really matter that the Tigers ripped off a 20 yard play here, or got a few first downs, BC was able to gunk up the works and make stops, and that is a sign of a good defense. 

* Overall look at what the defense did, they had the broken play touchdown by Clemson, and that was basically it. Clemson moved the ball at times, but when they needed to BC made stops, over and over again. If you were to say that BC would allow a touchdown and a handful of field goals before the game, would you have been happy? Excellent game by this unit. 

* The secondary had a terrific game. Talk about technique, they were on receivers and over and over again they were able to disrupt passes. Excellent job, as this group completely dominated the Tigers throughout the game. Saw excellent coverage plays by Josh DeBerry, Elijah Jones and Brandon Sebastian.

* Can see why Clemson nation is frustrated in offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and his play calling. This power running, RPO with DJ Uiagalelei was clearly not working, and BC's defense was all over it all game. He also seemed more snakebit than expected, with absolutely little confidence in his arm. No play was bigger than Kam Arnold sniffing out the option and stopping Clemson on a 3rd and short. DJ looks like a completely different quarterback than BC saw last season, but credit to the BC defense they game planned him perfectly. 

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* Been talking about defensive end Neto Okpala all season, a former track star from Georgia. Got to see the first glimpses Saturday on what he can do. He flew through the Clemson blockers on that punt to get to the ball. Think there could be big things for this freshman moving forward. 

* Concerns moving forward? Speedy running backs. Kobe Pace had the 50 yard touchdown on a defense that had three players out of place. Thought Clemson found something in Phil Mafah, but inexplicably only gave him seven touches. Think if BC runs in to a team that commits to the running game (Georgia Tech, NC State), they could be in trouble. 

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