Clemson vs. Boston College prediction
|Friday, October 7, 2016, 12:01 PM- -|
Clemson and Boston College renew acquaintance tonight in Alumni Stadium on a night when the Eagles honor a real American hero and both schools honor football heroes from the past.
Third-ranked Clemson travels up to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College in an ACC matchup, and Boston College will honor Welles Crowther. Crowther, known as “The Man with the Red Bandana,” saved at least a dozen people in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Friday night, Crowther’s alma mater will once again honor him. Crowther, who played lacrosse for BC, had a signature red bandana, and he was wearing it when he died after the South Tower collapsed. When the Eagles play the Tigers under the lights, they’ll be wearing uniforms inspired by Crowther’s famous bandana.
For the ninth 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 seven of the eight 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.
NO. 3 CLEMSON (5-0) AT BOSTON COLLEGE (3-2)
WHEN: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2016, Kickoff: 7:32 p.m. (EST)
WHERE: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
TV: ESPN (Adam Amin, Mack Brown, Molly McGrath)
RADIO: CLEMSON RADIO NETWORK (Don Munson, Rodney Williams, Michael Palmer)
SATELLITE RADIO: (Sirius Radio ch. 84, XM Radio ch. 84)
Overall Record: Clemson leads 14-9-2
At Boston: Clemson Leads 7-6-1
at Fenway Park: Tied 1-1-1
at Braves Field: Clemson leads 3-1
At Alumni Stadium: BC Leads 4-3
At Clemson: Clemson leads 5-3-1
First Meeting: Clemson 6-3 in 1939
Last Year: Clemson 34-17 at Clemson
Last Meeting in Boston: Clemson, 17-13, 2014
Streak: Clemson won 5 in a row
Last Clemson segular season Win on a Friday: Clemson won 13-0 on Oct. 31st, 1952 at Braves Field in Boston.
WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL
Clemson’s offense took a step forward last week against Louisville, rolling up over 500 yards of offense and scoring 42 points. However, the Tigers also turned the ball over five times – three interceptions and two fumbles. My buddy Jim Hardin also pointed out that Clemson scored all 42 points in just 14:53 of game time – the Tigers scored their first points with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter and scored 21 more points before the half, then were held scoreless until scoring 14 points in the final 7:05 of the game. Friday’s game will require a little more consistent production over an Eagle defense that is ranked first nationally in total defense. However, Boston College also hasn’t faced an offense with much of a pulse – Georgia Tech is ranked 113th nationally in total offense, and then there’s UMass (126th), Virginia Tech (48th), Wagner (FCS) and Buffalo (127th).
The BC defense has allowed 174 total yards of the last two games and has only allowed one touchdown and one field goal. They have also recorded 16 sacks this season with junior DE Harold Landry at the top of the leaderboard with 5.5 sacks. Clemson players and coaches alike say that Boston College is physical and big and hard to move off the line of scrimmage, but the Tigers have a decided advantage in speed and athleticism. In last year’s 34-17 Clemson win, quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns, but Wayne Gallman had 17 carries for just 48 yards. The difference maker was Artavis Scott, who had 10 receptions for 162 yards and Clemson will once again use that outside speed to make a difference. ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON
WHEN BOSTON COLLEGE HAS THE BALL
In their five games, Clemson's defense has only allowed nine touchdowns, six on the ground and three in the air. Graduate QB Patrick Towles (Kentucky) is coming off of a game where he amassed a Boston College career-high 234 passing yards and threw for two touchdowns. The wide receiver trio of sophomore Jeff Smith, sophomore Michael Walker and junior Charlie Callinan have all recorded at least 125 yards and have a combined total of six touchdowns, while redshirt freshman RB Davon Jones has rushed for 143 yards in his past two games which is the most yards in that span.
However, the Eagles are just 113th nationally in total offense (at 335 yards per game, tied with Georgia Tech) and sit 110th in passing offense at just over 172 yards per game. The Eagles will have to have balance if they want to pull off the upset, and they’ve had success in the past against Brent Venables and company with running wide receivers in orbit motion and hitting them over the middle, and their misdirection has caused Clemson problems as well. What they lack this time around, however, is a proven playmaker. They will get yards and use their physicality on a beat-up Clemson defense (99 plays against Louisville just six days prior), but it won’t be enough as Carlos Watkins, Scott Pagano, Albert Huggins and Dexter Lawrence shut down the middle runs. The Eagles will win some battles in the flat – Clemson’s linebackers have trouble in coverage – but not enough wins will equate to about 13 points. ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON
Tyler Rouse is dangerous in the return game for Boston College, averaging 14.86 yards per punt return and 37 yards per kickoff return. Punter Mike Knoll has been average (37.76 yards per punt), but it seems like every punter Clemson faces turns into Ray Guy for the weekend. The Eagles have just three touchbacks in 23 attempts but they’ve done a good job in coverage. Kicker Knoll is 2-2 on field goals and 13-14 on extra points.
Ray-Ray McCloud is eighth nationally in punt return at 16.80 yards per return, and Scott had a 77-yard kickoff return last week that sparked Clemson’s win over Louisville. Clemson’s kickoff coverage has been excellent – the Tigers rank first nationally in allowing just 13.58 yards per return. Greg Huegel has 16 touchbacks in 30 attempts, and he’s 7-9 on field goals. Andy Teasdall is averaging just under 40 yards per punt. If this one comes down to a return, you have to like Clemson’s chances. Barely. ADVANTAGE: SLIGHT TO CLEMSON
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
No matter how much the fans want it to happen, it’s hard for Clemson to just blow the doors off Boston College despite the talent discrepancy. The Eagles play hard, play physical and are well-coached. They have proven they can control the clock and limit Clemson’s possessions, and Friday night won’t be much different. They are honoring Crowther and they’re excited about playing on Friday night, while Clemson has to shake off the hangover of the Louisville game. That might take a half. Clemson’s speed and athleticism begin to make a difference in the third quarter, and the Tigers start to feel comfortable in the fourth on the way to another win.
FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 30, BOSTON COLLEGE 14
Mickey Plyler - 6-9 AM on WCCP 105.5FM - 31-14 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - Associate Editor - 35-21 Clemson
Nikki Steele - Staff writer - 38-10 Clemson
Lawton Swann - 6-8 PM on Fox Sports Radio 1400 and iHeart Radio - 34-10 Clemson
Scott Cole - 12-3 PM on WCCP 105.5FM - 31-9 Clemson
Tom Meares - Staff writer - 38-13 Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 27-9 Clemson
|Game||Actual||David Hood||Mickey Plyler||Tony Crumpton||Nikki Steele||Lawton Swann||Scott Cole||Tom Meares||Pigskin Prophet|
|Auburn||19-13 CU||37-20 CU||31-17 CU||31-21 CU||35-24 CU||38-17 CU||31-17 CU||38-13 CU||44-17 CU|
|Troy||30-24 CU||47-13 CU||41-17 CU||44-10 CU||51-17 CU||45-14 CU||35-13 CU||55-10 CU||55-13 CU|
|SCST||59-0 CU||52-10 CU||48-0 CU||45-10 CU||49-3 CU||52-10 CU||56-10 CU||48-10 CU||55-13 CU|
|GT||26-7 CU||28-17 CU||34-24 CU||31-21 CU||31-17 CU||34-22 CU||31-17 CU||38-24 CU||27-24 CU|
|LOU||42-36 CU||31-27 CU||31-30 CU||27-24 CU||35-30 CU||38-34 CU||27-24 CU||41-38 CU||34-27 CU|
* Points: 3 pts for best prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson score), 1pt for picking the correct winner