Clemson vs. Boston College prediction

by - Senior Writer -
Saturday's game will feature plenty of defense
Saturday's game will feature plenty of defense

It’s Clemson and Boston College, the week that used to give Clemson fans a lot of angst.

For the eighth time, Clemson and Boston College will play for a trophy. The Boston College Gridiron Club began sponsoring the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy in 2008. Clemson has won six of the seven years the trophy has been awarded. The trophy features a leather helmet replica of those used by Charlie O’Rourke of Boston College and Banks McFadden of Clemson, when they competed against each other in the 1940 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. In addition to the trophy presentation, the Boston College Gridiron Club will present a replica leather helmet to the MVP of the winning school. Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Quarterback (2011 - 2014)
#18 6-4, 225
Dublin, OH

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won the award last season.

Clemson has a 13-9-2 lead in the series with Boston College that dates to the 1940 Cotton Bowl. However, Clemson has won each of the last four games and six of seven since Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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became Clemson’s head coach.

Of note - Two of Clemson’s victories in the series took place during undefeated Tiger seasons. Clemson won 26-19 in 1948 on the way to a perfect 11-0 season, and won 35-14 in 1950 on the way to a 9-0-1 season. Clemson is 5-0 this season.

This one promises to be a defensive affair, featuring two teams ranked in the Top 13 nationally in total defense. The two schools both rank in the top 25 in seven different statistical categories, including first and second, respectively, in first downs allowed, and second and third, respectively in third-down conversion defense. They are both in the top five in the country in tackles for loss per game and in the top 13 in total defense. Boston College allows just 140.3 yards per game, less than half as many yards as Clemson allows this year and 120 yards per game less than what Clemson allowed last year when the Tigers led the nation in total defense (260 yards per game).

Clemson has won 13 consecutive games over three seasons, tied for the longest home winning streak in school history. Clemson’s last home loss was against Florida State on October 19, 2013. Clemson won 13 in a row from the start of the 2011 season and into the first six home games of 2012 before South Carolina broke the streak. Those are the longest winning streaks in Memorial Stadium. Can the Tigers make it 14 for the record?

BOSTON COLLEGE (3-3, 0-3) AT NO. 6 CLEMSON (5-0, 2-0)


Memorial Stadium (81,500) Clemson, S.C.

Kickoff: 7:02 p.m. Sold Out

TV: ESPNU (Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks, Tiffany Greene)

CLEMSON RADIO NETWORK (Don Munson, Rodney Williams, Michael PalmerMichael Palmer
Tight End (2006 - 2009)
# 6-4, 228
Lilburn, GA

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Overall Record: Clemson leads 13-9-2

at Clemson: Clemson Leads 5-3-1

In Boston: Clemson leads 7-6-1

at Neutral: Clemson leads 1-0

First Meeting: Clemson 6-3, ‘40 Cotton Bowl

Last Meeting: Clemson 17-13 at B.C.

Last Meeting at Clemson: Clemson won 24-14

Streak: Clemson won 4 in row, 6 of 7


We don’t know who will be playing quarterback for Boston College Saturday, but my best guess is Jeff Smith. Starter Darius Wade suffered a fractured left ankle in the second quarter of a 14-0 loss to Florida State on Sept. 18th. Since then, the job has been a platoon of redshirt freshman Troy Flutie and true freshman Smith. Neither player has gained separation, and the Eagles have scored just seven points in three ACC games. Flutie is the better passer – he’s 20-of-37 for 336 yards – while Smith is just 9-of-30 for 86 yards. However, Smith is the team’s leading rusher with 38 carries for 257 yards and runs the read-option better. Running back Tyler Rouse is the second-leading rusher with 54 carries for 240 yards. The Eagles could see the return this week of running back Myles Willis, who has been out since early September. Willis is from Conyers (GA) and had a 38-yard touchdown run two years ago for his first collegiate score. Back to the passing game – Clemson has seven receivers with six or more catches and the leader has 29 ( Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
So. Wide Receiver
#3 5-10, 191
Oldsmar, FL

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). Boston College has just three receivers in that category and two have six catches while leader Bobby Woolford has eight. The Eagles will need to see if they can solve Clemson’s front seven and run the ball enough to open up some kind of passing lanes down the field. Right now, no matter who is at quarterback, that doesn’t look likely.



The Tigers have scored at least 20 points in all five games—something the Eagles defense has yet to allow an opposing offense to accomplish. How good has Boston College’s defense been? The Eagles defense ranks in the Top 5 in seven categories: total defense (first), pass defense (first), rush defense (first), opponent first downs (first), opponent third down conversions (first), scoring defense (second), tackles for loss (fourth) and opponent red zone conversions (fifth). BC has held seven consecutive regular-season opponents to 10 or fewer points in the first half. The Eagles haven't allowed more than four third-down conversions in six-straight regular-season games, holding opponents to just 17-of-95 on such conversions during that span. Sophomore defensive lineman Harold Landry ranks tied for 12th in the nation with 9.5 tackles for loss, and the Boston College defense has not allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters.

However, the totals have come against Maine (FCS), Howard (FCS), Northern Illinois (55th nationally), Duke (57th nationally) and Florida St. (47th).

Something will have to give Saturday against a Clemson offense that found itself last week in ringing up over 500 yards of total offense against Georgia Tech. The Tigers will likely use Scott on the jet sweep to the outside while hammering Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS So. Running Back
#9 6-1, 210
Loganville, GA

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on the inside. Add in the fact that Zac BrooksZac Brooks
Running Back (2012 - 2015)
#24 6-0, 200
Jonesboro, AR

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looks to finally be healthy and tight end Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Jr. Tight End
#16 6-5, 252
Navarre, FL

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is making plays and the Tigers have more weapons than Boston College has faced this season. Maybe even cumulatively. Don’t expect the Tigers to throw up 40 points, but they will score.



Sherman Alston and Michael Walker are dangerous return men for the Eagles, but the rest of the unit looks like a mess. The two field goal kickers are a combined 2-for-8 and they’ve allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown. Punter Alex Howell is decent, averaging over 41 yards per punt. The Tigers have gotten better each week on special teams, and punter Andy TeasdallAndy Teasdall
RS Jr. Punter
#32 5-11, 188
Winston-Salem, NC

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has been averaging over 41 yards per punt over the last two games. Artavis Scott and Ray-Ray McCloudRay-Ray McCloud
Fr. Wide Receiver
#34 5-9, 181
Land O' Lakes, FL

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have given a spark in the return game, and kicker Greg HuegelGreg Huegel
Fr. Punter / Kicker
#92 5-11, 180
Blythewood, SC

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looks solid. The kickoff coverage team was better last week, but is still a concern.



There won’t be a lot of fireworks in this one. The Tigers have a couple of streaks on the line – 31 straight wins over unranked foes, the 13 straight home wins and nine consecutive wins overall – and all of those will be kept alive Saturday. Boston College’s defense will help keep things interesting for a half, but the Tigers have too much firepower to be kept out of the endzone for very long. As long as the Tigers don’t get turnover happy and make special teams mistakes, they can manage the game conservatively and still come away with the win.


Mickey Plyler - 6AM-9AM EST on WCCP 105.5FM - 31-7 Clemson

Tony Crumpton - Associate Editor - 32-9 Clemson

Nikki Steele - Staff writer - 29-0 Clemson

Lawton Swann - Clemson Sports Talk / TigerNet Talk - 31-7 Clemson

Pigskin Prophet - 27-0 Clemson

Game Actual David Hood Mickey Plyler Tony Crumpton Nikki Steele Lawton Swann Pigskin Prophet
Wofford 49-10 CU 41-13 CU 41-17 CU 52-13 CU 42-17 CU 47-13 CU 47-13 CU
App St 41-10 CU 37-17 CU 42-17 CU 41-14 CU 45-13 CU 45-17 CU 42-17 CU
Lou 20-17 CU 28-20 CU 34-24 CU 31-20 CU 28-17 CU 35-20 CU 34-21 CU
ND 24-22 CU 24-21 CU 27-24 CU 28-24 CU 20-14 CU 26-17 CU 23-20 CU
GT 43-24 CU 30-21 CU 35-17 CU 31-17 CU 38-17 CU 31-17 CU 33-21 CU
Points - 7 5 7 9 7 7

* Points: 3 pts for best prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson score), 1pt for picking the correct winner

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