Boston College has played some good teams so far this year, each of whom have had their strengths. Whether it was the pass rush of Duke, the rushing attack of Virginia Tech, or the defense of Pitt, these teams have brought some real challenges to the Eagles. But on Saturday, Jeff Hafley’s squad is going to face a team that is playing on a whole other level, a team that has been near perfect, as the Clemson Tigers host BC at Death Valley.
Clemson’s resume speaks for themselves. Dabo Swinney has gone to the College Football Playoff’s five years in a row. They have two Heisman Trophy candidates on offense in quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne.
Lawrence is a precision passer, who has played almost flawlessly since he became the starter two seasons ago. After announcing this would be his final collegiate season before becoming the projected number one pick in the NFL Draft, he has thrown the ball for 1833 yards, 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Mistakes come few and far between for the young quarterback.
Rushing the ball is Travis Etienne, a player Hafley praised as possibly the best player in college football right now. He can beat teams in a variety of ways. While he hasn’t needed to be a workhorse type back, he is electric every time he touches the ball, and already has eight touchdowns running the ball this season. On top of that he can beat you catching the ball as well, with 22 receptions already including a touchdown.
Then you look at the defense. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables is the complete opposite of Hafley in the way he approaches the game. He is the definition of intensity as he screams and yells on the sideline endlessly throughout the game. After his defense allowed an 83 yard touchdown last weekend to Syracuse, he explained that it upset him so much that he wanted to go home and “punch myself in the face”. Regardless of how he approaches the game, the results speak for themselves. Clemson has only allowed 13.5 points per game this season, and are third in the country in total turnovers (13).
We could go on and on about the talent on the Tigers. But that is what happens when a program has one of the top ranked recruiting class year after year. Blue chip prospects are everywhere and talent is never in short supply.
The level of talent, and the superb way the team has been coached as lead to some truly frightening stats. Clemson hasn’t lost at home since 2016 (Pitt). And this is a team that can turn it up to another level almost at will. Last weekend against Syracuse, Clemson had to battle, as they only had a seven point lead late in the third quarter. However, it was like the team flipped a switch, as they thrashed Syracuse for the final frame winning 47-21.
Boston College is going to need to play a