October 7, 2011

Through the eyes of a Tiger - Clemson vs. Boston College prediction

5-0 after playing three highly ranked opponents was only seen through the eyes of head Tiger Dabo Swinney and 135 of his players.

Clemson- Florida State (36)
After beating the big boys of college football- Auburn, Florida State, and Virginia Tech- the Tigers will have to prove that they continue their attention to detail and focus on improvement against an opponent who is seemingly on the brink of disaster.

The Clemson Tigers look to continue their winning ways against Atlantic division foe Boston College in a Homecoming contest at 3:00pm EST on Saturday in Death Valley.

Let’s take a look at the matchups.


The Boston College offense is led by senior running back Montel Harris, who a year ago gave Clemson defenders nightmares rushing for 143 yards; however, this year the Eagles will be without Harris. Harris injured his knee in Fall camp and after playing two games, swelling in the knee has become an issues and he will be held out of this weekend’s contest. Next in line to handle rushing duties is Andre Williams who is averaging 65 yards per game but, again, injuries will be a factor. Williams is listed as doubtful for the game in the Boston College injury report. Without a healthy running back, the Eagles will look to quarterback Chase Rettig to control the offense. Rettig who was very good last season, is completing only 52 percent of his passes and has thrown for five touchdowns and four interceptions against much lesser defenses than he will face Saturday at Clemson. Look for defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s game plan to be very similar to last week’s at Virginia Tech- take away the run and let the defensive line go after the quarterback. The key for defense is to make Boston College’s offense one dimensional and make Rettig, who has been shaky at times, beat them through the air. If Clemson can take away the run, and allow Andre Branch, Rennie Moore, and company to pressure Rettig the entire game, then he will have to throw the ball quickly, which will likely lead to turnovers. It will be key for Clemson’s young secondary to continue its improvement and have another solid game and limit the big plays. ADVANTAGE - CLEMSON

Clemson has not scored an offensive touchdown against Boston College since 2008. In 2009, the game conditions were down right miserable with two lightning delays and torrential downpours and the game was won off of kicker Richard Jackson’s leg. In 2010, the only touchdown scored was a pick six by safety Rashard Hall. Quarterback Tajh Boyd will need to have a good game through the air and make more accurate throws than last week with the weather conditions much better than they were a week ago in Blacksburg. This week needs to be the week that the running game finally makes an appearance. Andre Ellington is finally close to being healthy after pulling a hamstring and suffering a deep thigh bruise at the hands- or should I say the helmet- of Tajh Boyd. DJ Howard, Demont Buice, and Rod McDowell should all be able to contribute this week as well. Look for freshman running back Mike Bellamy to have a breakout game as well, after showing signs of his speed and flashiness against Virginia Tech. The Tiger offense will have to operate around Boston College All-American linebacker Luke Kuechly who is one of the best linebacker in the country. Kuechly has double digit tackles in 27 consecutive games. He just has a knack for getting to the ball. Look for offensive coordinator Chad Morris to use some misdirection to try and keep Kuechly off balance and away from the ball.

The Clemson special teams unit has been a work in progress this season trying to get some consistency in the kicking game. Dawson Zimmerman was injured two weeks ago against Florida State when they tried to block a punt, but he was back and did a very good job against Virginia Tech in wet and windy conditions. The saga continues, though, with kickoff specialist Spencer Benton breaking his shoulder blade against the Hokies. Benton was used on kickoffs and was the holder for Catanzaro. Coach Dabo Swinney said after practice on Thursday that Zimmerman will hold on kicks and that Catanzaro will handle kickoffs. Boston College kicker Nate Freese is 9-for-12 with a long of 52-yarder a week ago against Wake Forest. Even with all of the injuries, the Tigers should have the edge. ADVANTAGE - CLEMSON

Clemson has played three ranked opponents in the last three weeks requiring a lot of attention and focus. If this was any ordinary Boston College team with a healthy Montel Harris and without an injury ridden defense, I would say look out for the potential upset. But, Clemson’s offense should be able to put up some points on the Eagle’s defense. And, if the Clemson defense plays like it did against the Hokies, it could be a long day for Chase Rettig and co. The Tigers attention to detail, focus on each opponent, and workman-like attitude will pay off against a 1-4 Boston College team.


Post written by Clemson Girl sports blogger, Nikki Steele.


1 comment :

Meghan @ Southern Belle Secrets said...

Very close to the score prediction! If poor Tajh hadn't been injured we would have ran up the points!

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