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Clemson 34 Boston College 7: Thumbs Up And Thumbs Down

NCAA Football: Boston College at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It was a tale of two different games on Saturday as Boston College’s defense allowed the Eagles to stick around for three quarters, but in the final act the Tigers wore down their opponents and scored at will. Let’s take a look at what went wrong and what went right in Saturday’s game:


Kevin Bletzer: With Connor Strachan out, and Max Richardson going down early in the game it was crucial that other linebackers step up for the Eagles. Bletzer certainly looked much more comfortable out there, making some big hits finishing with six tackles and a half a sack.

Mike Knoll: I personally thought trying to play field position with an explosive offense Clemson was a bad idea, but BC’s punter certainly made it work for three quarters. Knoll averaged 42 yards a punt, and consistently pinned the TIgers inside their own 10 yard line.

Harold Landry: After three games of limited play, Landry was unleashed against Clemson and boy did the results show. Landry was a force on every play, blowing up passing and running plays with ease. The senior finished with a tackle for a loss, but caused pressure issues throughout the game.

Lukas Denis: The sophomore has been moved over to safety, and has thrived at his new position. With his third interception in four games, Denis now leads the country in INTs. He is quickly becoming one of the more explosive players on the BC defense.


Again this week, there are going to be more Thumbs Up, because of individual performances than Thumbs Down, which are much more focused on entire parts of the game.

No Clear Workable Philosophy On Offense: Let’s call a spade a spade. Last week Addazio tripled down on his belief that he wanted to protect Anthony Brown from making a mistake in a close game, then this week he is put in the exact same position and he has Brown out there lobbing up Hail Mary’s and almost getting strip sacked. Which is it?

And just in terms of the play calling itself. It’s the same thing over and over again. But this year, it’s a faster paced race to nowhere. The runs are effectively sporadically, the passes seem to never go further than 5-6 yards, and seemingly don’t get them where they need to be in terms of first downs, and the overall scheme is so fragile that one false start, or one mistake torpedoes an entire drive. This hasn’t been, and isn’t working.

Conservative Play Calling: Look, at this point there are people who believe in Steve Addazio’s system and those that don’t. I clearly have made my point of view clear on numerous occasions. Saturday’s plan of “flipping the field” and winning the field position battle was doomed to fail and here is why. Before this game we already knew that BC’s defense could be worn down easily, as exemplified by the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Notre Dame Fighting Irish game. To expect BC to go out against an explosive Clemson offense, in 80+ heat and to make stop after stop while the offense continues to flounder, does anyone believe that is going to get you a win? It’s just delaying the inevitable, playing for a moral win, in order to even have a chance Addazio had to stop....

PUNTING FROM THE CLEMSON SIDE OF THE FIELD: BC had the ball if I remember correctly on the Clemson 36, 39, and a couple around the 40, and ended up punting it 6 times. Yes, Mike Knoll had a great game, but you have to take those chances when you have a shred of hope against Clemson. This is conservative play calling at it’s worse, “playing not to lose”, and gave BC no chance to actually play for a win. Addazio talks alot about his player’s psyches, but showing no faith in them, what message is he sending the team? Anthony Brown has shown that he can make a big play here and there, why not let him try it more often?