CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Another game with Boston College, another overtime defeat for Clemson.
A blocked extra point in the second overtime proved to be the final undoing of the Tigers Saturday, as BC edged Tommy Bowden's team, 34-33, in the ACC opener for both squads. It was Clemson's third straight overtime loss, after at one time being 5-0 in extra periods.
Clemson overcame a second-and-26 situation in the second overtime to take the lead, 33-27, on a one-yard scoring run by James Davis. But on the point-after attempt, Jolonn Dunbar came free from the right side and blocked Jad Dean's kick to keep the deficit at six points.
The play was magnified moments later when L.V. Whitworth scored from six yards away on BC's possession to tie the game at 33. Ryan Ohliger then booted the extra point to give the Eagles (2-0, 1-0 ACC) the victory.
"I would say special teams hurt us," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. "I don't ever remember a game coming down to an extra point. (We didn't) cover kicks. I don't think it takes a genius to figure out how we'd win the game."
Clemson (1-1, 0-1) had taken a 24-17 lead with 8:20 remaining in the game when Davis capped an 80-yard drive with a one-yard scoring run.
The Tigers' defense appeared to make what could have been a game-saving play on the ensuing series, when Michael Hamlin seemingly intercepted a Matt Ryan pass intended for Kevin Challenger at the Clemson 14-yard line. Both players had hands on the ball while airborne, but officials ruled Hamlin had possession when the play was over.
However, a lengthy review by game officials in the booth resulted in the call being overturned. The replay official ruled Challenger had possession of the ball when he made contact with the ground, and awarded the ball to Boston College at the spot.
Three plays later Ryan made it in from the one on a sneak, and the game was tied at 24-24.
Until the two fourth-quarter scores, the only touchdown of the second half came on the opening kickoff when BC's Jeff Smith went 96 yards for the score.
The Tigers led 17-10 at the half thanks to some luck and the first real glimpse of C.J. Spiller's play-making ability.
Trailing 10-7, the Eagles appeared destined to take the lead after Andre Callender's 15-yard run to the Clemson two yard line. But on the next play Callender fumbled just short of the goal line, and Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams scooped up the loose ball and returned it out to the 18.
Two plays later, Proctor hit Spiller on a swing pass toward the right sideline. Spiller stopped short of the boundary and cut back toward the middle, slipped a tackle, bumped into one of his own linemen and then righted himself. Once he did, there was no catching the freshman.
The touchdown covered 82 yards and put the Tigers up 17-7.
Boston College answered with a 35-yard field goal by Ohlinger to make it 17-10.
Clemson had jumped out 10-0 in the first quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Jad Dean and Proctor's 22-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Grisham.