Clemson vs. Boston College prediction
|Friday, October 17, 2014 1:58 PM- -|
Clemson and Boston College play each season for the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy, a tradition started in 2008 by the Boston Gridiron Club. Clemson has won five of the six years the trophy has been awarded.
But there is more than a trophy at stake in Saturday’s contest on The Heights – Clemson is riding a three-game winning streak and the Tigers are looking to continue a strong finish to the post-season. The Eagles are also playing well, and a win over the Tigers would be their second over a ranked team at home this season. This one promises to be a slugfest between two good defenses.
But there is more than a trophy at stake in Saturday’s contest on The Heights – Clemson is riding a three-game winning streak and the Tigers are looking to continue a strong finish to the post-season. The Eagles are also playing well, and a win over the Tigers would be their second over a ranked team at home this season.
This one promises to be a slugfest between two good defenses.
WHAT: No. 22 Clemson at Boston College
WHERE:Alumni Stadium - Chesnut Hill, Mass. (44,500)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 18 (3:30 p.m.)
SPREAD: Clemson by 5
TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, Anthony Becht)
WHY BOSTON COLLEGE MIGHT WIN
They can run the football and Clemson can’t - Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy has 86 carries for 711 yards this season, a stat this is even more impressive when you look at Clemson’s entire team by comparison – the Tigers have 260 carries (174 more carries than Murphy) for 874 yards (just 136 more than Murphy).
The Eagles have also rushed for 20 touchdowns on the season, and they have five graduate students on the offensive line. Clemson is struggling to find any success on the ground, and with both defenses playing at a high level the team that manages to control the ball and the clock might have the advantage.
Throw out the records, BC always plays Clemson tough - Clemson holds the advantage, 12-9, in the all-time series between the two schools. There have been two ties as well in the 23 meetings between the two squads, but in Chestnut Hill, each team has won six times and tied once in 1953. When Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005, they had the Tigers’ number to start the league rivalry. BC won the first three meetings, all in nail biters. However, since 2009 Clemson has won four of the last five meetings, including the last three, as BC’s only victory came in 2010.
Clemson’s offense is struggling against good defenses -Starting quarterback
Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
#4 6-3, 204
View Full Profile is out for the next month or so, and ESPN tweeted out a stat Thursday that the Tigers are scoring touchdowns on just 12 percent of drives started by Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
#18 6-4, 231
View Full Profile . Stoudt will take the snaps Saturday, and he’s coming off a shoulder injury that limited his practice reps the week before the Louisville game. As mentioned earlier, Clemson is having trouble running the football and if the Eagles load up the box and force Stoudt to beat them through the air, it could be a long afternoon for Clemson’s offense. Really long.
WHY CLEMSON MIGHT WIN THE GAME
About that defense - The Tigers are 11th in rushing defense, allowing 100.5 yards per game. Clemson has allowed just 275 total rushing yards over the last five games, an average of just 55 yards per game. That is the fewest rushing yards allowed over a five-game period since the 1991 season. That 1991 Clemson defense finished the year first in the nation in rushing defense. Clemson has had one bad quarter in terms of rushing defense or the Tigers would be near the top nationally in that category. Georgia had 212 rushing yards in the fourth quarter against the Tigers behind Todd Gurley. Clemson has played 24 quarters this year and allowed 603 net yards rushing, 212 on one quarter and 391 in the other 23 combined. That’s not bad. Overall, the Tigers have moved up to sixth nationally in total defense, and when a team goes to the air it doesn’t get much easier because Clemson is ranked 18th nationally in passing defense. The good news for Clemson is that Boston College head coach Steve Addazio gets a little stubborn in his playcalling at times – he’s going to run it regardless – and that has led to criticism.
Boston College is unranked - Clemson has won 22 straight games against unranked opponents, the longest streak of its kind in school history. All 22 wins have been by at least six points, the longest active streak in the nation.
If Clemson stops the run, can BC win through the air? - Murphy has completed 67-of-120 passes for just 761 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions. The Eagles are also last in the conference in passing offense (127.8 yards per game). The Eagles’ leading receivers are Josh Bordner (16 catches for 242 yards) and Dan Crimmins (17-156), and there just aren’t many threats on the outside. Clemson’s secondary – still full of youth – is getting better every week. Don’t forget that Clemson also has defensive end
Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-2, 236
View Full Profile , who leads the conference with eight sacks and is now Clemson’s all-time sack leader. He told us earlier this week that his goal for the season is 20, and he isn’t going to slow down at this point.
Throw out last week’s offensive showing -Clemson fans saw what happened last week – when the Tigers failed to score an offensive touchdown – and figure that they might see more of the same this week. Nope. Stoudt didn’t take any snaps last week, and
Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
View Full Profile told me that he had built the entire gameplan around Deshaun Watson and his running ability. All of a sudden, a hurt Stoudt is trying to run Watson’s gameplan behind a thin offensive line, and oh by the way it was against Louisville’s top defense, and it just didn’t work. Expect Clemson to go to the air a little more this week, and Stoudt has had a full week of work built around his strengths. The offense will be better this week.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
This one will be a tight affair early on, in what you have to expect will be a fairly lifeless atmosphere. Clemson is used to playing in front of big crowds, and despite the fact that it’s homecoming there won’t be more than 40,000 people in the stands. However, corner
Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 194
View Full Profile told us this week that Clemson’s senior leadership won’t let them get down, and that Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile will make sure the defense is ready to play. And that’s the difference…..Clemson’s defense is playing at a high level right now, and Venables looks like a man on a mission. Boston College will have some success running the football, and Murphy might have a few long gains when he gets out of the pocket, but Clemson’s defense will do what it does. Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS Jr. Kicker
#36 5-10, 200
View Full Profile will kick his road woes and hit a big field goal or two, and Stoudt will find receivers Mike WilliamsMike Williams
So. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 208
View Full Profile and Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
Fr. Wide Receiver
#3 5-11, 190
View Full Profile for big gains. A lot of people expect this one to be low-scoring, and it might be. But I think there are a few more points than people might expect.
CLEMSON 27, BOSTON COLLEGE 21
Mickey Plyler - 6AM-9AM EST on WCCP 105.5FM - 24-23 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - TigerNet's Associate Editor - 24-17 Clemson
Nikki Steele - TigerNet Writer - 28-10 Clemson
Lawton Swann - Clemson Sports Talk / TigerNet Talk - 34-20 Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 27-23 Clemson
Dutch Coleman - 9AM-12PM EST on WCCP 105.5FM - Coming Soon
|Game||Actual||David Hood||Mickey Plyler||Tony Crumpton||Nikki Steele||Lawton Swann||Pigskin Prophet||Dutch Coleman|
|UGA||45-21 UGA||27-24 CU||27-23 CU||28-27 CU||24-21 UGA||31-23 CU||23-16 CU||31-20 CU|
|SC St||73-7 CU||44-10 CU||45-10 CU||49-13 CU||52-10 CU||43-7 CU||44-10 CU||52-13 CU|
|FSU||23-17 FSU||27-23 FSU||31-23 FSU||31-21 FSU||30-24 FSU||35-31 CU||31-28 CU||27-24 CU|
|UNC||50-35 CU||45-17 CU||48-20 CU||42-24 CU||42-17 CU||51-27 CU||41-21 CU||49-17 CU|
|NCSU||41-0 CU||37-23 CU||41-27 CU||48-25 CU||42-28 CU||42-27 CU||38-28 CU||42-21 CU|
|LOU||23-17 CU||37-20 CU||31-17 CU||35-17 CU||38-14 CU||45-18 CU||27-17 CU||38-17 CU|
* Points: 3 pts for best prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson score), 1pt for picking the correct winner