On Saturday, the Boston College Eagles host the Clemson Tigers at Alumni Stadium for BC’s annual Red Bandana game to honor 9/11 hero Welles Crowther.
Clemson comes into the game on a hot streak to start the year, sitting undefeated, ranked #5 in the country, and coming off of a huge win against #10 NC State. Boston College, on the other hand, has had a slew of problems this season, chiefly their inexperienced and injured offensive line. Those problems have dragged them down from lofty preseason expectations to a measly 2-3 record on the season so far.
Boston College has a middling record on Red Bandana night historically, going 4-4 overall since the tradition began in 2014 when the Eagles upset #9 USC. They’re on a 1-game Red Bandana winning streak, though, after QB Phil Jurkovec made his surprise return from injury to defeat Virginia Tech last season.
Clemson is 1-0 when playing against BC on Red Bandana night, winning 56-10 in 2016 after Deshaun Watson dropped nearly 500 passing yards on the Eagles.
What to Watch For
- Early Clemson scoring. If Clemson starts to put the game out of reach early, this could turn into a snoozefest. BC will struggle to score, so any sort of deficit they face will be difficult to overcome. And if Clemson is able to play a heavy pass defense with a big lead? There goes BC’s passing game, their strongest offensive asset. The Boston College defense needs to hold Clemson to a respectable amount of points in the first half (21 or less) if they want to even be close to upset territory.
- Zay Flowers. Flowers has become the star of the show in Chestnut Hill. Last week against Louisville, he amassed 151 yards receiving, 22 yards rushing, 2 receiving TDs, and came just a yard shy of a rushing TD. Clemson has been inconsistent against elite WRs, letting Wake Forest take them to 2OT after they dropped 6 passing TDs on the Tigers. If Zay can take advantage of those flaws, then he’ll put on a show for BC’s big night.
- BC’s offensive line. Again. Despite early OL struggles, BC has been slowly progressing each week in the trenches. This became more obvious against Louisville on Saturday, when Phil Jurkovec finally got some clean pockets to hit his WRs downfield and the Eagles were able to put up 144 total yards rushing on the day. Clemson’s DL is a lot better than Louisville’s, especially with some Tigers returning from injury, so it will be important to see how well the Eagles’ OL holds up against fiercer competition.
Tailgate Treat of the Week
It’s time to get wild, Superfans and Sickos. Boston College football is on national TV for a Saturday night match-up with powerhouse Clemson for the Red Bandana game. Alumni Stadium needs to be ROCKING. Boot up your Four Loko and get LOUD. This is your moment.
Prediction: Clemson 38 Boston College 14
Not much hope for Boston College in this one, unfortunately. Zay Flowers might individually be able to make a few big plays, but the BC offense isn’t consistent enough to establish scoring drives against Clemson’s scary front 7. Meanwhile, DJ Uiagalelei and the Tigers offense have been steamrolling opponents. BC should be no different.
This difficult match-up comes at a bad time for BC, as it looked like last week they were finally able to put some things together on offense. The #5 team in the country is going to be an awful tough roadblock to continue that improvement.
Nonetheless, if a miracle happens this year, it’s coming on Red Bandana night. Roll Eags.
Who’s your pick?
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