Boston College vs. #1 Clemson: Weekly Kickoff

A.J. Black

Boston College has played some good teams so far this year, each of whom have had their strengths. Whether it was the pass rush of Duke, the rushing attack of Virginia Tech, or the defense of Pitt, these teams have brought some real challenges to the Eagles. But on Saturday, Jeff Hafley's squad is going to face a team that is playing on a whole other level, a team that has been near perfect, as the Clemson Tigers host BC at Death Valley. 

Clemson's resume speaks for themselves. Dabo Swinney has gone to the College Football Playoff's five years in a row. They have two Heisman Trophy candidates on offense in quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. 

Lawrence is a precision passer, who has played almost flawlessly since he became the starter two seasons ago. After announcing this would be his final collegiate season before becoming the projected number one pick in the NFL Draft, he has thrown the ball for 1833 yards, 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Mistakes come few and far between for the young quarterback.

Rushing the ball is Travis Etienne, a player Hafley praised as possibly the best player in college football right now. He can beat teams in a variety of ways. While he hasn't needed to be a workhorse type back, he is electric every time he touches the ball, and already has eight touchdowns running the ball this season. On top of that he can beat you catching the ball as well, with 22 receptions already including a touchdown. 

Then you look at the defense. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables is the complete opposite of Hafley in the way he approaches the game. He is the definition of intensity as he screams and yells on the sideline endlessly throughout the game. After his defense allowed an 83 yard touchdown last weekend to Syracuse, he explained that it upset him so much that he wanted to go home and "punch myself in the face". Regardless of how he approaches the game, the results speak for themselves. Clemson has only allowed 13.5 points per game this season, and are third in the country in total turnovers (13). 

We could go on and on about the talent on the Tigers. But that is what happens when a program has one of the top ranked recruiting class year after year. Blue chip prospects are everywhere and talent is never in short supply. 

The level of talent, and the superb way the team has been coached as lead to some truly frightening stats. Clemson hasn't lost at home since 2016 (Pitt). And this is a team that can turn it up to another level almost at will. Last weekend against Syracuse, Clemson had to battle, as they only had a seven point lead late in the third quarter. However, it was like the team flipped a switch, as they thrashed Syracuse for the final frame winning 47-21.

Boston College is going to need to play a near perfect game in all three phases on Saturday if they want to have a chance at the historic upset. The defense will need to make tackles, and prevent explosives, something that doomed them against VT. The offense will need to play a clean game, and the offensive line will need to play like they did against Georgia Tech. On top of that, the mistakes that have creeped into almost every game will need to vanish. The careless penalties, and giving teams a free down can not happen, because if they do the Tigers will make them pay. 

Saturday's game is going to a be the biggest challenge Jeff Hafley will face all season. How will his team react? We will have full coverage all week. 

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Comments (8)
No. 1-5

BC may have faced better D-lines against Pitt and Duke than what Clemson has. They may be able to move the ball. If they can score they can compete. Saw a top 40 list of NFL prospects on CBS. The SEC had nine the ACC had 14. So much for SEC dominance and superiority. Plus the ACC has produced much better QBs in the NFL over the last 16 years than the SEC. Additionally the SEC has produced one NFL defensive player of the year in the last 21 years ( Gilmore). ACC schools have produced 8 followed by the Big 10 with 5. Much like Bellichik and Kraft the SEC is over rated.


AJ, any recent news on Drew Kendall? I heard from Brian Dohn that he took a visit to Stanford over the weekend and is moving toward a decision. What are your thoughts?


let's be honest we're not gonna win but this team been underrated all year nationally. as long as were not -5 in the turnover battle like at va tech (which would've been competitive otherwise imo) I think we cover the 32 easy. if we play a clean game maybe even give em a scare in the 2nd half? heres hopin

Thomas Rayam
Thomas Rayam

The sun shines on a Eagles Butt too! On any given day a team Can be beaten! Clemson has lost before that’s nothing new in Dabo’s mind and he know it!
BC is a sleeping Dog ready to Bite! Looking for that signature win Could happen! Clemson is ripe for the picking riding high on good gains!
But will the mission be Easy!Heck no! Can BC do it! Yes! But to do it they got to match production for production! And don’t let a lucky catch or a lucky recovery get Clemson motivated! A mistake free game is must for BC and then some add luck to the pot is always good! Hope practice is still about the basics and not flash!


The one good thing is zero outside expectations. Besides, they’ll EVENTUALLY lose a conference game at home; who’s to say we can’t do it? Hopefully they pick this game to fully open up the playbook and bring some trickery in.