Game News and Notes
Undefeated Boston College heads back down to Death Valley for the third straight year to take on #25 Clemson. The Tigers have of course had quite the trouble to start the season, specifically on the offensive end. They’ve already dropped two games, including a conference tilt against NC State last week.
On the other hand will be BC’s first conference game of the season, after downing Missouri in a OT thriller. BC had a two score lead at halftime in last season’s contest, but a scoreless second half saw to a tenth straight victory for the Tigers over the Eagles.
As mentioned, Clemson’s offense has the been the bane of every Tigers fan’s existence these past few weeks. A combination of subpar quarterback play, lack of receiver separation, poor run blocking, and an outdated offensive scheme have all coalesced to spell nightmare for Dabo Swinney’s normally rock-solid program. But might all of the negative national attention fuel this Clemson side to show them who the kings of the conference still are? BC hasn’t had the best luck against ranked opponents (31-116-1).
Injuries for Clemson will play a big impact for Clemson. Already down one starting defensive tackle, they lost another in Brian Bresee, who closed out last year’s game with a safety score. The defense is by far and away the strength of Clemson, and these are big hits to the interior. The season’s starting running back entered the transfer portal a couple of weeks ago and the next man up, five-star Will Shipley, picked up an injury against the Wolfpack. With the injuries and offensive woes, BC’s best chance may be to wear down the Clemson defense.
Matchup to Watch
The key matchup to me is going to be how well the Eagles defense can contain DJ Uiagalelei. With Clemson struggling on offense, an easy way to get things moving is for DJ to make plays with his feet. He opened up the second half last season on a scamper, and that looming threat really changed the dynamic of the game. Isaiah Graham-Mobley has played exceptionally well this season sideline to sideline. He’s fast and hits hard, and will be expected to really keep Uiagalelei at bay. Safety Jaiden Woodbey gets a chance to take on his old high school quarterback, and should play a role in the containment. It’d be great to see him have his breakout game. If BC can force the same issues that have been plaguing the Clemson offense, then things should work in our favor — and I’m sure the Clemson faithful will let the team hear it in the team’s first home game. In our weekly Q&A column, Clemson’s staff writer made note of Uiagalelei lacking confidence and being antsy in the pocket, comparing it to Sam Darnold’s ‘seeing ghosts’ moment against the Patriots two seasons ago. Forcing him to make tight throws should work well for the Eagles.
The strength of Clemson’s defense lies in the front, but injuries have made that inside of the line thin. They’ll likely try and force Grosel to drop back himself. BC will need to take care of the ball and wear them down. Grosel will hope to get in a good rhythm, dinking and dunking down the field a la Mizzou, and a la NC State in the win against Clemson. We likely won’t see another unstoppable Garwo game, but a steady mix and with an offensive line going against a much less experienced Clemson front, they could still dictate terms. Protect Grosel and avoid turnovers.
BC +500 / Clemson -720
The line has come back down after initially shooting up to 16.5
BC 17 - Clemson 27
But that’s just a nonsense prediction. You gotta Believe in Believe.
Make that 11 straight wins for Clemson over BC. Clemson’s offense may not be clicking yet, but DJ Uiagalelei consistently made plays with his legs to keep drives alive on pivotal third downs. BC put up a really good showing, but were too limited in the passing game to get over the hump. They may have lost the game, but the ACC is still wide open. A bye week, and then a return home to face NC State.]