Well, last week was quite the ride for the Boston College football team as they were able to squeak by Louisville to secure their first ACC win of the season with a 34-33 win.
Like a responsible gambler, I stayed the hell away from this one and boy was that the right decision. The ending results of the match was a gambler’s worst nightmare as the Eagles were able to cover the 15.5 spread, obviously, and absolutely destroy the Over of 51 which I originally guessed was set a tad bit too high.
Nonethless, not betting on the game allowed me to simply watch the game as a true fan and Alum and enjoy the spoils of victory.
A few quick observations going forward: The run game looked significantly improved, the O-line looked surprisingly improved (?) despite there being an additional lineman added to the injury report prior to kick-off, and Big Play Zay is practically unstoppable.
Now, moving forward, the Eagles will have their biggest test to date as they welcome in the #5 Clemson Tigers Saturday night for the annual Red Bandana game. As to be expected, the Eagles are coming into their own home game as a +20.5 underdog and O/U at 48.5.
Now, at first glance, I thought that Vegas was being a tad bit generous in giving BC a three touchdown cushion. Against most teams in the ACC I would say take the points, but this is Clemson that we are talking about.
Dabo Sweeny continues to mold and shape is team into national championship contenders despite whomever is under center. So far, he is done an excellent job with Trevor Lawrence’s replacement, DJ Uiagalelei, who now in second year as the starter is starting to put up numbers akin to what we are used to seeing Clemson QBs do. He has thrown for 1,242 yards with an 11/1 TD to INT ratio putting him at a 152.6 Pass Rating. Of course, he is no T-Law, but this will certainly be the most high-powered offense BC’s defense will have to date. That is a scary statemenet especially what happened down in Tallahassee a few weeks prior…
Clemson is currently averaging 41 points per contest and has had their share of tough ACC opponents to which we can get a solid sample size of the competition they have had to endure. A nail-biting finish last week against NC State along with a double overtime win on the road against Wake Forest were certainly the two games that jump off the page the most. In years past, those would have been somewhat concerning contests, but this year’s ACC is stacked with talent and NC State and Wake Forest have proven that they can compete with the best and are worthy of Top 25 rankings making Clemson’s victories in those environments all the more noteworthy.
Getting in to the numbers, the Tigers go into their match against the Eagles averaging 437 yards of total offense split between 261 through the air and 175.8 on the ground. Will Shippley continues to be a menace on the ground as he ranks 39th in the FBS in yards at 413 on the season to go along with 7 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers are one of the most resilient rushing defenses in FBS. To date, they have only given up 69.6 yards on average on the ground. That is a mind boggling stat. Through the air, they are a bit mor susceptible allowing 263 yards per game.
So, what does this all mean for the Eagles who are looking to snap an 11 game losing streak to the Tigers? Well, not a whole lot. BC has tried to establish some type of run game all season to no avail aside from last week against Louisville. With this Clemson defensive front, I forsee a lot of no-gain carries and quite a few pressured pockets that Jurkovec will try to throw out of.
With all this said, it is really going to come down on how our defense can perform throughout this contest and allow our offense to break off some trickey and big plays that we have seen in years past. BC has proven to have a sturdy defense this season allowing just 218 passing yards per game and 154 on the ground.
My prediction will be that, despite all this, I would take Clemson -20.5 this week along with the Over. Like I have seen time and again, it really is only a matter of time before the levee breaks with this defense. As a loose gamescript, I think that BC’s defense has a few solid stops in the first two quarters of play, our offense cannot get anything going and eventually it becomes too much weight for our defense to carry. The game ultimately collapses come the second half. Expect the final score to end up somewhere around 45-17.
Prediction: Clemson -20.5 | Over 48.5 | Clemson (-1600)