Boston College vs. #1 Clemson: Weekly Kickoff

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

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Boston College vs. Georgia Tech: Weekly Kickoff

Boston College (3-2) returns to Alumni Stadium this Saturday to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket (2-3). This is an intriguing matchup because the two teams are very similar in where they currently sit as a program. GT is just over a year removed from Paul Johnson and the triple option offense. New head coach Geoff Collins has revamped the offense, led by quarterback Jeff Sims, but there has been a learning curve. While Boston College, and new head coach Jeff Hafley have worked to implement a pro style offense, while leaving the ground and pound offense of Steve Addazio in the rearview. 

The records may favor the Eagles, but don’t let that fool you. Georgia Tech has had a tough schedule to start the season playing Florida State, UCF, Louisville and Clemson. Escaping with a .500 record out of that group is a big feat for a team that went 3-9 last season. However, the the game against the Tigers resulted in one of the worst losses to Yellow Jackets history, and they were also blasted by a very poor Syracuse team. Which team will actually show up to Alumni Stadium is a mystery.

This is a team that can run the ball. Now they certainly won’t be as explosive as Hendon Hooker & Khalil Herbert of VT were, but Simms and true freshman Jahmyr Gibbs are a one two combo to watch out for. The pair have combined for 528 yards this season. For a Boston College defense looking to show they can stop a mobile quarterback and running back combo, this should be a great test to see how they have improved.

Simms is a high upside quarterback, but he is only a true freshman. Through the first five games he has thrown for 1025 yards, but has also turned the ball over nine times. Against a defense like Boston College that lives on turnovers, this could be a big factor heading into this game. 

The defense looked like a force to be reckoned with when they shut down the Florida State offense and held them to 13 points in the season opener. However since then,  the Yellow Jackets defense has allowed 35+ points in three of four games. Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker will need to have his unit playing better, as they are currently 68th out of 77 teams in passing yards allowed, and 57th out 77 in rushing. 

For Boston College, the key to practice this week will have to be cleaning up their game. Against Virginia Tech, the Eagles had five turnovers, and were sloppy tackling the ball carrier. Georgia Tech is a young team, but will be hungry to get back in the win column after getting thrashed by Clemson 73-7 on Saturday. Which team will get that much needed victory? We will get that answer on Saturday evening.

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