Clemson vs. Boston College Prediction


by - Senior Writer -
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Is it really game four, and the third home game of the season?

In typical fashion, the season is flying by and the end of Saturday’s game means one-third of the regular season is over. And, even though it’s still September, there will be only four more home games between now and the end November.

Clemson hosts Boston College Saturday afternoon in Death Valley, and for the 10th time the teams will play for a trophy. The Boston College Gridiron Club began sponsoring the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy in 2008. Clemson has won eight of the nine 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 in the locker room.

GAME 4, NO. 2 CLEMSON (3-0) VS. BOSTON COLLEGE (1-2)

WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2017
WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC (81,500), Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. Family Weekend/Hall of Fame Day
TV: ESPN2 (Dave LaMont, Kelly Stouffer, Kris Budden)
CLEMSON RADIO NETWORK: (Don Munson, Rodney Williams, Sideline: Reggie Merriweather)
SATELLITE RADIO: XM Radio Ch. 193

SERIES HISTORY

Clemson Leads 15-9-2
at Clemson: Clemson leads 6-3-1
at Boston: Clemson leads 8-6-1
at Fenway Park: 1-1-1
at Alumni Stadium: 4-4
First Meeting: Clemson 6-3 in 1939
Last Meeting: Clemson 56-10 in 2016
Streak: Clemson won 6 in a row
Last Boston College Win: 16-10 in 2010 at BC
Last Boston College win at Clemson: 20-17 in 2007

*Clemson has a 15-9-2 lead in the series with Boston College that dates to the 1940 Cotton Bowl. Clemson has won each of the last six games, including 56-10 last year in Boston the most points Clemson has scored against BC and the largest margin of victory in the series.

*Clemson won the last time the two teams met in Clemson by a 34-17 score in 2015. Boston College’s last win in the series took place in 2010, a 16-10 Boston College in Boston. The Eagles have not won at Clemson since 2007, a 20-17 Eagles win that determined the ACC Atlantic championship.

*The Tigers have won eight of the nine games played since Dabo Swinney became Clemson head coach on an interim basis on October 13, 2008. Clemson won 27-21 in Chestnut Hill on November 1, 2008, and 25-7 at Clemson in 2009. The 2008 win in Boston was Swinney’s first career win as a head coach. Clemson’s only loss in the Swinney era to the Eagles as the head coach came in 2010 in Boston.

Boston College Update

Boston College enters Saturday’s game with Clemson with a 1-2 record, but their victory was an overtime thriller on the road against Northern Illinois, the team that won at Nebraska last weekend. The Eagles are coming off a 49-20 loss to Notre Dame.

The Irish, who have two Associated Press Preseason All-Americans in the offensive line, were able to run the ball against the Eagles, as Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush had 207 yards on the ground, most ever by a Notre Dame quarterback. The Irish had over 500 yards rushing.

Boston College’s defense features a consensus preseason All-American in Harold Landry, who led ACC in nation in sacks last year with 16.5. The matchup between Landry and Clemson tackle Mitch Hyatt should attract a lot of NFL scouts tothe game. Offensively, Jon Hilliman is one of the top backs in the ACC with 203 yards through the first three games. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Brown has completed 61 of 111 passes for 525 yards in the first three games. He is coming off his best passing performance as he hit 24-40 passes for 215 yards and two scores vs. Notre Dame. Both touchdowns went to receiver Charlie Callinan.

WHY BOSTON COLLEGE CAN WIN

Clemson is coming off of two emotional wins, both of them over ranked teams. It’s hard to be “up” the third week in a row, especially when the game is against an opponent you’re supposed to beat handily. The Eagles feel like they found some offensive consistency last week, and with nothing to lose, they will be primed for the upset.

For only the second time in the Steve Addazio era, Boston College had a quarterback with 20-plus completions along with a 100-yard rusher in the same game last week against Notre Dame. Quarterback Anthony Brown finished 24-of-40 passing for 215 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Fighting Irish, while junior running back Jon Hilliman rushed for 122 yards on 22 carries.

We learned Thursday that Clemson will be without kicker Greg Huegel for the rest of the season, while Boston College brings a strong kicking game to town. Junior place-kicker Colton Lichtenberg is tied for the national lead by going 6-for-6 on field goals this season and ranks seventh nationally with 2.0 field goals per game. Senior kicker Max Schulze-Geisthovel (say that with a mouth full of tailgate food) has 10 touchbacks on 14 kickoffs this season. The 71.4% rate for touchbacks is tied for 15th nationally. BC ranks 16th nationally allowing just 16.0 yards per kick return.

WHY CLEMSON CAN WIN

This Clemson team is once again among the nation’s best, and Swinney has proven to be a master of motivation. Boston College always has a tough defense, but Clemson scored 56 last season and should have similar success this time around, and success on third down might be a big part of that if the Eagles try to shut down the running game.

In the win over Louisville, his first road start and first ACC start, quarterback Kelly Bryant completed 22-32 passes for a career-high 316 yards and a touchdown. He added 26 yards rushing and two scores for 342 yards of total offense, his career high. Most importantly, Bryant was 6-of-9 for 99 yards on third down plays and is 12-16 over his last two games on third down.

Clemson is averaging 249 yards a game rushing and 271 passing. The Tigers are one of four schools averaging at least 240 yards of each. The others are South Florida, Oregon, and Duke. Through three games Clemson has averaged 519.7 yards per game of total offense, ahead of the 504 yards per game by the 2016 team. This team averages 6.9 yards per offensive play, ahead of the 6.2 of last year’s team, and has scored 39 points per game, just below the 39.2 of the 2016 team.

This Clemson defense is also among the nation’s best. Through three quarters against Louisville’s high-powered offense last week, against Clemson’s No. 1 defense, allowed Louisville to score just seven points. With Clemson leading 33-7 entering the fourth period, Lamar Jackson hit his stride against Clemson’s reserves, throwing for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the final 15 minutes. He had 201 of his 381 yards of total offense in the fourth period when Clemson was ahead by at least 20 points. The Tigers finished with five sacks by five different players.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

Many Clemson fans still have scar tissue from the early years of this series. But that was when Boston College had NFL talent and Clemson was more of a finesse team and would get whipped at the lines of scrimmage. Clemson now has NFL talent all over the roster, and Boston College isn’t close to the program it once was.

Sure, the Tigers might have a little bit of a hangover from the last few weeks, and it might take a few series to get rolling, but speed and talent will eventually take over. The Eagles have been changed their offensive mindset – they like to go up-tempo – but might slow it down a bit Saturday to help their defense.

In the end, it wont matter.

FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 47, BOSTON COLLEGE 6


GUEST PREDICTIONS

Mickey Plyler - 6-9 AM on WCCP 105.5FM - 38-10 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - Associate Editor - 45-14 Clemson
Nikki Hood - Staff writer - 38-10 Clemson
Brandon Rink - Staff writer 48-10 Clemson
Daniel Shirley - Sports Editor, Macon Telegraph 40-10 Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 47-10 Clemson

GameActualDavid HoodMickey PlylerTony CrumptonNikki HoodBrandon RinkDaniel ShirleyPigskin Prophet
Kent St56-3 CU47-6 CU56-7 CU49-14 CU47-13 CU52-3 CU51-10 CU55-10 CU
Auburn14-6 CU24-20 CU27-20 CU28-21 CU28-20 CU27-24 CU24-10 CU27-17 CU
Lou47-21 CU31-23 CU27-24 CU31-21 CU27-20 CU34-27 CU28-17 CU34-20 CU
Points - 3533355

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

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