All week, we have known that the Boston College Eagles have their work cut out for them in Saturday’s football game against the #17 Clemson Tigers. The visitors will be one of the best teams to visit Chestnut Hill all year, and they won’t want to take “no” for an answer.
While Boston College has a potentially more even matchup between their offense and the Clemson defense, they definitely fall short in the matchup between the Eagle defense and Tiger offense, even as Sammy Watkins sits this game out. The game is not played on paper, yada yada yada, insert other cover-my-bases stuff here, but there is currently every reason to fear that this defense will still get torched. Clemson’s offense, including a game against a dominant Florida State team, averages 39 points and almost 500 yards of offense per game. Lesser offenses have put up that kind of yardage on the Eagles already.
When you boil everything else away, Clemson’s offense and their key playmakers are better than Boston College’s defense and their playmakers. The Tigers have game-changing talents like Tajh Boyd and Andre Ellington. BC’s defense has a lot of roleplayers, but no real standouts, and so far, the results have been disappointing.
Even if BC’s offense has a good day, especially with Bobby Swigert’s return, keeping up with the Tigers will be difficult. The Eagles getting somewhere into the 20s seems like a best-case scenario, with the clear problem being that there’s little stopping Clemson from getting into the 30s or even 40s. Without Sammy Watkins, the latter seems a little more difficult but this will probably be an example in why having depth is good (and why us not having it is bad).
BC fans also remember the Clemson upset at Alumni in 2010, but both the Tigers and Eagles were mediocre that year, which Clemson is not this year. I know our fans want to win this one, but the situation is different now than then.
Even if Clemson doesn’t “get up” for this game, Boston College is still going to have to play much better than they have in any game yet to win. To date, they have played well enough to win one game, Maine, and even at that, it was a C+ sort of effort. Meanwhile, the fact is, BC hasn’t sprung an upset like this in years – four to be exact. Frank Spaziani is 0-6 against ranked teams in his head coaching career.
Short of BC playing their best game since 2008, or Clemson playing their worst, Clemson is going to win this football game. BC will probably be able to score some points, but I don’t hold out much hope for the defense. With Watkins, I was thinking about a three-touchdown Clemson win, but now I’ll notch that down to two. To me, this feels like a 34-20 kind of game.