Brian: On a perfect day for college football, and with their backs up against the wall, the Eagles D came to play in a 16-10 victory over Clemson. The win puts an end to a five-game losing streak and allowed the Eagles (3-5, 1-4 ACC) to play spoiler to the Clemson Tigers (4-4, 2-3 ACC).
Kuechly had a game-high 14 tackles and an interception to pace the Eagles, while Montel had another big day, rushing for 142 yards on 36 carries and scoring the game-winning TD on a Chase Rettig pass. First, the likes. What did you see that you liked from the Eagles on Saturday?
Jeff: I like that the Eagles made some plays. Starting with Chris Fox, he batted down some balls that could have been some big completions that could have completely changed drives and therefore changed the game entirely. I like that Chase Rettig got first downs for us even on drives that still led to punts. I liked that the defensive line, led by Scafe got a little pressure on Parker and did better than we would have expected without Albright. I also really liked that Kyle Parker was never able to find and open man when BC dropped nine into coverage and only rush two.
Brian: I agree about Rettig. As ATL alluded to, I'm not sure BC wins on Saturday with Shinskie under center. The first possession pick-6 could have easily rattled Uncle Dave but Rettig was able to recover and lead the Eagles down the field. Even if he was only asked to throw one ball on the next drive (a 40-yard pass to Momah) and let Montel do the rest, that FG drive was huge to the Eagles chances on Saturday.
On to the dislikes. Despite a 16-10 win, this was far from a dominating performance. Neither team scored in the second half, and the Clemson O threatened for most of the second half. If not for two missed field goals from Clemson's Chandler Catanzaro and a fumbled kickoff from Jamie Harper recovered by BC, the Eagles probably don't pull out the victory. What didn't you like from the Eagles performance?
Jeff: I didn't like that we never got any insurance points. Getting the six point lead was nice but there was plenty of time to get another field goal which would've made the fourth quarter far less nerve wracking. BC is not always going to be able to shut out the opponent like it did Saturday where BC allowed the Clemson offense just 3 points. The conservative play calling in the second half could be criticized, but also, it worked. Even if Clemson had scored a touchdown at some point, BC would've only needed a field goal to win and Rettig moved the ball enough yesterday that I could see him orchestrating a game winning drive if that had been necessary.
Brian: On Sunday, it was announced that senior Wes Davis has decided to hang them up after suffering a second neck injury. Meanwhile, DeLeon Gause will undergo surgery on his right knee and miss a few weeks. That leaves the Eagles with a starting secondary of Donnie Fletcher, Chris Fox or C.J. Jones, Jim Noel and Okechukwu Okoroha. How much will the Eagles miss the play of Davis and Gause down the stretch?
Jeff: If Fox, Noel and Okoroka play as they have played in their limited opportunities to get some playing time, we have nothing to worry about. With the schedule easing up, BC can certainly hold our remaining opponents to very few points if we were able to do it to Clemson with those same guys on Saturday. Saturday made me more optimistic for BC's future on defense than I was before that game.