October 17, 2014

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Boston College

The Clemson Tigers have enjoyed success by winning three consecutive games in the friendly confines of Death Valley but now they have to show that they can win on the road, something they have yet to do in 2014.

Clemson played at Georgia to open the season and only mustered 21 points and then lost at top-ranked Florida State three weeks later.

With three of the final six games on the road, Clemson must channel its road warrior mentality and it starts this week in cool and overcast Boston, Massachusetts.

WHAT: No. 22 Clemson at Boston College
WHERE: Alumni Stadium
WHEN: Saturday, October 18th (3:30 p.m.)


Boston College is 2-2 at home this season with wins over the University of Southern California and the Maine Bears. In the game against No. 9 USC, Boston College rushed for 452 yards, while holding the Trojans to 337 total yards in the 37-31 victory. Clemson, on the other hand, is 0-2 away from Memorial Stadium in 2014. The Clemson defense has held up on its end - except for the fourth quarter at Georgia - in the two road losses but the offense sputtered, and there were critical breakdowns on special teams – Todd Gurley’s kickoff return for a touchdown and a combined three missed field goals in the games against Georgia and Florida State.

*EAGLES CAN RUN: Boston College’s rushing offense leads the ACC and is fourth in nation, averaging 315 yards per game. Eagles quarterback Tyler Murphy has 86 carries for 711 yards this season, a stat this is even more impressive when you look at Clemson’s entire team by comparison – the Tigers have 260 carries (174 more carries than Murphy) for 874 yards (just 136 more than Murphy).

The Eagles have also rushed for 20 touchdowns on the season, and they have five graduate students on the offensive line.

*DEFENSE WINS BALLGAMES: Clemson’s defense showed last week that they have matured this season and despite what the offense does on the field, they are fully capable of winning games on their own. A fumble recovery for a touchdown and a goal line stand with seconds left on the clock were enough for the Tigers to get the win over Louisville. The Tigers rank sixth in total defense giving up 286 yards per game, 11th in rushing defense giving up just over 100 yards on the ground and 17th in passing defense giving up 185 yards through the air. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables will have a challenge on his hands this weekend with Murphy and the Eagles ground attack but if defensive ends Vic Beasley and Corey Crawford and linebackers B.J. Goodson, Tony Steward and Ben Boulware can set the edge, the defense will be successful.

*WIN THE GAMES YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WIN: Clemson has won 22 consecutive games over unranked opponents under head coach Dabo Swinney. All of the wins have come by at least six points. The streak is the longest in the nation. Florida State is second in terms of consecutive wins by at least six points over unranked teams with 20.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Clemson’s offense has struggled against good defenses, especially last week against Louisville’s top-ranked defense but offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ group should improve this week. Quarterback Cole Stoudt has had a full week of practice – after not taking any practice snaps before the Louisville game – and a very thin offensive line might get Joe Gore back this week. Boston College’s strength is running the ball whether it be with Murphy or running back Myles Willis, while Clemson’s defensive strength is against the run. I like Clemson’s defensive line, especially with Grady Jarrett manning the middle of the line in this matchup. Clemson’s offense will build off of the success they had late in the game against Louisville and will find a rhythm early.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Steele

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