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INSTANT REACTION: Eagles Can't Handle Clemson, Fall To Tigers 34-17

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Defense cracks for first time all season

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody really thought that BC would have a chance in this game, and they never truly did.

The Eagles converted on an early turnover to take a 7-0 lead down in Death Valley, but it was all Clemson after that. The 5th ranked Tigers clamped down on the Eagles struggling offense and broke through BC's vaunted defense on their way to a big home win by a score of 34-17.

It started out so well. BC won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half, and the defense came out and handed Clemson a 3 and out right out of the gate. BC matched with it with their completely-expected three and out, but Clemson's next drive ended with an interception that the Eagles returned all the way to the red zone. Incredibly, Jeff Smith led the Eagles to their first touchdown since the Carter administration, and even the extra point sailed through the uprights.

Suddenly, it looked possible.

But the game went cascading downhill from there.

Clemson's next drive was a three and out, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave Clemson the ball right back. A 50 yard pass and a couple plays later and Clemson had the game tied.

The Tigers rolled from there, with only timely BC turnovers keeping the Eagles in the game until Clemson put the game away in the third quarter.

Steve Addazio once against botched the clock management at the end of the half, giving BC only a field goal after alternating needlessly burning timeouts and inexplicably letting the clock run, when a touchdown would have brought the Eagles to within 3 with the ball to start the 2nd half.

Clemson big plays in the 3rd and 4th quarters brought garbage time early, and at the end of the day, the Tigers had well over 400 yards passing and 100 yards rushing—torching a BC defense that came in a number one in the country.

QUICK HITS:

  • I had no issues with Jeff Smith at quarterback and given the team he was facing thought he did about as well as anyone could have reasonably expected. In fact, Smith showed on a few throws that he has quite an arm. Flutie would have done no better and keeping with one quarterback at least allowed the Eagles to get some points.
  • Anyone freaking out about Smith not getting pulled from this game apparently has a short memory and doesn't recall the Flutie's inability to move the ball against lesser teams.
  • We made an extra point and a field goal yayyyyyyyyyyyy
  • I try to avoid complaining about refereeing, especially in a blowout, but some of those calls made you scratch your head. I couldn't understand a couple of those pass interference calls, the refs missed a holding in the end zone, and a couple of completed passes were either reviewed and not overturned when they should have been or weren't reviewed at all. But whatever, we sure didn't lose this game because of the referees. Clemson is pretty goddamn good.
  • Judging this entirely on how they massacred BC's defense, Clemson might actually make it into the college football playoff. Good for them. You don't get that I-want-to-throw-up-a-little-bit supporting them in games other than BC. Good luck to them the rest of the way.