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Clemson 34 Boston College 28: Grading the Eagles

Grading out Boston College's effort against Clemson on Saturday
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Boston College valiantly battled the undefeated the Clemson Tigers on Saturday, but fell short 34-28. Here are our grades for the positional play for each group. 

Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed. We did the best we could to evaluate what was visible. Also for grading: A: Great Game, B:Good Game, C: Average Game D: Below Average F: Poor Game)

(Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed)

Quarterback: B-. When grading the team you have to put into account that they basically played two completely different games yesterday. The first half and second. Jurkovec was a solid A in the first half, but fell down to about a C in the second half. He only completed three passes in the second half, and mailed a few throws including the biggest throw of the game. Ended the game 12-24 for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Have to include Dennis Grosel in this conversation too, who came in and made a gutsy throw on 4th down. 

Running Backs: C. David Bailey had a nice two yard touchdown run, but for the most part the pair of Bailey and Travis Levy were held in check. Levy averaged 4.0 yards a carry while Bailey averaged 2.3.

Offensive Line: B. The reason the Eagles were so successful in the first half was the play of the offensive line. They had a good push and were able to keep the pressure off Jurkovec. Second half the pressure increased substantially, and Jurkovec was off balance for most of the end of the game. Four sacks allowed, and a handful of penalties. But against a ferocious Clemson front seven they played well. 

Wide Receivers: B. CJ Lewis led the squad with five catches for 66 yards and one of the craziest catches you will see this year. Zay Flowers also had a touchdown, but also had a few catches come his way that he didn't bring in. Jaelen Gill had a huge 48 yard reception as well. 

Tight End: C.  (Remember C is for average). Long only brought in three catches out of the six targets that came his way.  Was blanketed for most of the game, which mitigated his explosiveness. 

Defensive Line: B. They only had one sack the entire game, but they had were strong against the run. They allowed an 11 yard touchdown run to Etienne, and sold out to stop the back on the 4th and 1 30 yard run by DJ Uiagalelei, but other than that they shut down the running game. 

Linebackers: B. Prevented the big plays from Etienne in the run, had no chance against him in the passing game (to be fair secondary didn't either). On the start of the comeback, John Lamot bit on the 30 yard run by Uiagalelei, but it looked clear they were trying to stop Etienne. 

Secondary: C+. Definitely not their best game, as Uiagalelei threw for 342 yards, but they prevented explosives to players not named Etienne. Brandon Sebastian had the fumble recovery for a touchdown which looked like the play of the game at that point. 

Special Teams: C. Here is where there is a clear delineation between the good and the mistakes. First, Grant Carlson deserves an A for an endless stream of great punts in the second half (almost all negated by penalties). Jaelen Gill also looked to have a kick return for a touchdown, but that too was negated by penalties. John Tessitore's hard count on what looked like a fake kick was an amazing moment as well. There were so many good plays, but there were also so many mistakes. Averages out to a C. 

Coaching: B.  Credit to Jeff Hafley and his staff, they had BC playing aggressive and doing everything they could to win the game. And even when the Eagles lead was disappearing they continued to try and play for the win. After Jurkovec went down with an injury, they could have easily tried to punt the ball and "let the defense win". But BC not only went for it, but had Grosel throw the ball. Sometimes another team has more talent, and it takes four quarters for that to shine through. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that is what happened on Saturday. 



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