Tigers' Thunder and Lightning Too Much For Eagles


by - Senior Writer -
    |
Another game, another return for a touchdown for C.J. Spiller.

CLEMSON – Thunder and Lightning were together again in Death Valley this afternoon, with Lightning stealing the show and Thunder kicking for dough as the Tigers (2-1 overall, 1-1 ACC) defeated ACC foe Boston College (2-1, 0-1) 25-7 in a game delayed twice by real lightning at Clemson Memorial Stadium on Saturday.


C.J. Spiller [Lightning] returned a punt for Clemson’s lone touchdown, and Thunder [kicker Richard Jackson] kicked six field goals to tie a Clemson all-time record as the Tigers fought through injuries to Spiller and offensive lineman Chris Hairston, offensive inconsistency and the two delays to pick up the win.


The Clemson defense also brought a storm of their own as they limited Boston College to just 55 total yards on 49 plays, gave up just four first downs, and forced the Eagles into 13 three-and-outs in a game in which they gave up the fewest-ever yards against an ACC opponent.


“This day goes down in my book,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “I think this is one of the longest games in Clemson history. It’s a Clemson commandment that we play hard for 60 minutes, however long the 60 minutes takes.


“It was a sloppy day, combined with sloppy weather, but we came out and showed resilience to get this win. Great play by the defense and special teams. The offense had its ups and downs, but they got the job done when they needed to.”


For the second time in two home games, Spiller electrified the Death Valley crowd with a return for a touchdown. The teams had swapped one possession each, and Spiller gathered in a Boston College punt at his own 23-yard line and raced up the seam for a 77-yard touchdown and 7-0 Clemson lead barely four minutes into the game.


Spiller ended the day with 77 yards on 17 carries, but re-injured the toes on his right foot [the same injury he suffered in the opener] late in the third quarter and did not return after the second delay. He was limping noticeably after the game, but said he would be fine for next week’s contest against TCU.


The teams then settled into a game of back of forth, but another long Spiller punt return, this one for 27 yards, set up a 23-yard Richard Jackson field goal that gave Clemson a 10-0 lead with 10:48 remaining in the half.


Boston College inserted freshman Dave Shinskie in at quarterback on their ensuing possession, and a bad snap caused a fumble that Clemson recovered at the Eagle eight-yard line. The Tigers were unable to punch the ball into the end zone, however, and settled for a 33-yard Jackson field goal and a 13-0 lead with 7:46 remaining.


The Tigers continued their conservative play calling throughout the second quarter, and Jackson hit his third field of the quarter when he nailed a 32-yarder for a 16-0 Tiger lead that they would carry into the half.


The first half statistics told the dominance of the Clemson defense – Boston College had just one first down, and had run 25 plays for a grand total of two yards.


Jackson added to his impressive afternoon on the first Tiger drive of the second half. The rain started pouring down during the drive, but Jackson calmly drilled a 52-yarder that put Clemson up 19-0 six minutes into the quarter.


The thunder in Jackson’s leg was followed by actual lightning from the sky, and the officials cleared the field at 2:15 p.m., and the play did not resume until 3:10, a delay of 55 minutes.


Early in the fourth quarter, Clemson running back Andre Ellington was stripped of the football and the Eagles recovered at the Tiger 13-yard line. One play later, quarterback Justin Tuggle hit a wide-open Justin Jarvis in the end zone for the first Boston College score of the day, and Clemson led 19-7 with 13:56 remaining in the game.


The Eagles tried an onside kick that failed, but before the Tigers could run a play, the game was delayed for a second time because of the weather, a delay that would last 48 minutes.


Jackson added two more field goals, from 42 and 35 yards, to round out the scoring for Clemson, which had problems moving the football all afternoon against a stubborn Boston College defense, but it was the Clemson defense that stood out and earned Swinney’s praise after the game.


“Hats off to the defense,” Swinney said. “I am definitely proud of the defensive coaches for preparing these men today. We’ve played three different styles of defense this season, and it has proven to be a great combination. Again, the defense played excellent the entire game.”


Jackson’s six field goals tied the record for field goals in a game by a Clemson kicker with six, accomplished previously only by Jad Dean against Texas A&M back in 2005, and he said it was a new personal record as well.


“I have never kicked six, and I don’t if I’ve ever tried six, extra points included,” said Jackson, who earned the Leather Helmet as Clemson’s MVP against the Eagles. “Just had a lot of fun out there today. It was a sloppy day today. There was wind, there was rain, everything was wet and Michael [holder Michael Wade] and Matt [snapper Matt Skinner] and the offensive line were perfect today. When they can do that, it makes my job easier.”



Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani said his team was simply overwhelmed by the Tigers.


“I have to give them their due, they have good people over there,” Spaziani said. “They man-handled us, and I would like to think we are better than that. We have to get it corrected and do better. Once again, Clemson, they are what they are and did a great job.”


NOTES:


*Spiller’s punt return for touchdown in the first quarter was his first career punt return for a score. It was also his 15th career touchdown of 50 yards or more, and the 5th time he has returned a kick for a score, tying him with Justin Miller for the most in Clemson history.


*Spiller’s second quarter carry that netted him 12 yards gave him 2500 yards rushing in his Clemson career.


*Chris Hairston injured his left knee on a failed fourth down conversion in the fourth quarter and did not return. He had an MRI during one of the weather delays, and the results showed a sprained MCL. He will be re-evaluated this week.


*Ricky Sapp had two sacks, his second career multiple-sack game. He and Da’Quan Bowers both lined up as linebackers on two separate plays on Saturday in a new formation that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele thought up this week. The formation is called “Bamberg” in honor of the hometown of the two players, and Sapp promised more of it next week.


*Linebacker Kavell Conner had nine tackles in one his best games, while safety DeAndre McDaniel chipped in seven tackles and his fourth interception of the season.


Attendance: 77000

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Boston College......  0  0  0  7  -  7
Clemson.............  7  9  3  6  - 25

Scoring Summary:
1st 11:33 CU - Spiller, C 77 yd punt return (Jackson, R kick)
                                                                                 BC 0 - CU 7
2nd 10:48 CU - Jackson, R 23 yd field goal
                                                   7 plays, 36 yards, TOP 2:29, BC 0 - CU 10
    07:46 CU - Jackson, R 33 yd field goal
                                                   4 plays, -8 yards, TOP 2:07, BC 0 - CU 13
    01:57 CU - Jackson, R 32 yd field goal
                                                  10 plays, 40 yards, TOP 3:18, BC 0 - CU 16
3rd 09:16 CU - Jackson, R 52 yd field goal
                                                   8 plays, 18 yards, TOP 4:05, BC 0 - CU 19
4th 13:56 BC - Jarvis, J 13 yd pass from Tuggle, J (Aponavicius, S kick)
                                                    1 play, 13 yards, TOP 0:05, BC 7 - CU 19
    10:56 CU - Jackson, R 42 yd field goal
                                                   7 plays, 33 yards, TOP 3:00, BC 7 - CU 22
    02:01 CU - Jackson, R 35 yd field goal
                                                    4 plays, 0 yards, TOP 1:58, BC 7 - CU 25

Kickoff time: 12:08 PM  End of Game: 4:54 PM   Total elapsed time: 4:46
Officials: Referee: Brad Allen; Umpire: Mike Webster; Linesman: Michael Kelley;
Line judge: Sterling Allen; Back judge: James Cole; Field judge: David Meslow;
Side judge: Jim Corpora;
Temperature: 75 deg    Wind: Calm      Weather: Cloudy skies

Team Statistics 

                                     BC       CU

FIRST DOWNS...................        4       15
  Rushing.....................        2       10
  Passing.....................        1        5
  Penalty.....................        1        0
NET YARDS RUSHING.............       29      151
  Rushing Attempts............       28       50
  Average Per Rush............      1.0      3.0
  Rushing Touchdowns..........        0        0
  Yards Gained Rushing........       70      177
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       41       26
NET YARDS PASSING.............       25      102
  Completions-Attempts-Int....   5-21-3  14-28-2
  Average Per Attempt.........      1.2      3.6
  Average Per Completion......      5.0      7.3
  Passing Touchdowns..........        1        0
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........       54      253
  Total offense plays.........       49       78
  Average Gain Per Play.......      1.1      3.2
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      2-1      2-1
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     3-22     5-46
PUNTS-YARDS...................   10-391    5-224
  Average Yards Per Punt......     39.1     44.8
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     26.4     39.2
  Inside 20...................        3        1
  50+ Yards...................        1        1
  Touchbacks..................        0        1
  Fair catch..................        1        2
KICKOFFS-YARDS................     2-89    8-515
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     44.5     64.4
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     31.0     43.2
  Touchbacks..................        0        0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.    1-8-0  4-127-1
  Average Per Return..........      8.0     31.8
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD  8-169-0   1-27-0
  Average Per Return..........     21.1     27.0
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..   2-19-0   3-22-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    25:49    34:11
  1st Quarter.................     9:46     5:14
  2nd Quarter.................     6:32     8:28
  3rd Quarter.................     6:17     8:43
  4th Quarter.................     3:14    11:46
Third-Down Conversions........  1 of 12  6 of 20
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 1   1 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-1      4-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........      2-7     4-25
PAT Kicks.....................      1-1      1-1
Field Goals...................      0-0      6-6

Individual Statistics 

Boston College

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
Tuggle, J             5   37   16   21  0 20  4.2
Harris, M            12   17    4   13  0  5  1.1
Haden, J              7   15    8    7  0  6  1.0
Smith, J              1    1    0    1  0  1  1.0
TEAM                  1    0    1   -1  0  0 -1.0
Shinskie, D           2    0   12  -12  0  0 -6.0
Totals...            28   70   41   29  0 20  1.0

Passing              Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Tuggle, J              20-4-3     23  1   13    3
Shinskie, D             1-1-0      2  0    2    1
Totals...              21-5-3     25  1   13    4

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Anderson, L             2   10    0    8
Jarvis, J               1   13    1   13
Pantale, C              1    9    0    9
Harris, M               1   -7    0    0
Totals...               5   25    1   13

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Quigley, R             10  391  39.1   55    3    0
Totals...              10  391  39.1   55    3    0

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
Gunnell, R            1   8  8  0   0  0  0   0  0
Fox, C                0   0  0  1  20 20  0   0  0
LeGrande, D           0   0  0  0   0  0  1   4  4
Davis, W              0   0  0  0   0  0  1  15 15
Smith, J              0   0  0  7 149 26  0   0  0
Totals...             1   8  8  8 169 26  2  19 15

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Quigley, R         2   89   0   1  44.5

Clemson

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
Spiller, C           17   83    6   77  0 13  4.5
Ellington, A          9   46    1   45  0 15  5.0
Ford, J               2   17    0   17  0  9  8.5
Harper, J            13   20    3   17  0  5  1.3
Parker, K             4   11    2    9  0  9  2.2
Jones, M              1    0    2   -2  0  0 -2.0
Korn, W               2    0    6   -6  0  0 -3.0
TEAM                  2    0    6   -6  0  0 -3.0
Totals...            50  177   26  151  0 15  3.0

Passing              Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Parker, K              27-13-2   103  0   29    1
Korn, W                 1-1-0     -1  0    0    1
Totals...              28-14-2   102  0   29    2

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Ford, J                 6   36    0   29
Palmer, M               3   21    0    9
Jones, M                1   26    0   26
Ellington, A            1    8    0    8
Ashe, T                 1    6    0    6
Harper, J               1    3    0    3
Spiller, C              1    2    0    2
Totals...              14  102    0   29

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Zimmerman, D            5  224  44.8   55    1    1
Totals...               5  224  44.8   55    1    1

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
Ford, J               1   8  8  0   0  0  0   0  0
Spiller, C            3 119 77  1  27 27  0   0  0
Meeks, J              0   0  0  0   0  0  1  17 17
Hall, R               0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
McDaniel, D           0   0  0  0   0  0  1   5  5
Totals...             4 127 77  1  27 27  3  22 17

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Jackson, R           2nd 10:48  23 yds - Good
Jackson, R           2nd 07:46  33 yds - Good
Jackson, R           2nd 01:57  32 yds - Good
Jackson, R           3rd 09:16  52 yds - Good
Jackson, R           4th 10:56  42 yds - Good
Jackson, R           4th 02:01  35 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Benton, S          8  515   0   0  64.4

FUMBLES: Boston College-Shinskie, D 2-1. Clemson-Spiller, C 1-0; 
Ellington, A 1-1.

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