BC at Clemson: Analysis


Basic Info
-Kickoff at 12pm ET, Saturday, September 19, 2009
-Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Forecast high 79F; thundershowers
WSBK in Boston, Raycom in select markets, ESPN360 everywhere else

Point spread
Clemson -7

All-time series
-Clemson 8, Boston College 8, 2 ties (1953 & 1982)
-Last game: 2008; Clemson defeats Boston College 27-21 at Alumni Stadium

Clemson Tigers (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
-Last game: Defeated by Georgia Tech on the road, 30-27
-Starting quarterback: Kyle Parker (freshman); 24-51, 420 yd., 5 TD, 2 INT
-Offensive averages: 373.5 YPG; 210 passing, 163.5 rushing
-Defensive averages: 358.5 YPG allowed; 162 passing, 196.5 rushing

Boston College Eagles (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
-Last game: Defeated Kent State at home, 34-7
-Starting quarterback (one would imagine): Justin Tuggle (RS freshman); 9-17, 206 yd., 3 TD
-Offensive averages: 395 YPG; 214 passing, 181 rushing
-Defensive averages: 155 YPG allowed; 84 passing, 71 rushing

The Clemson Tigers have already had an ACC test early this season, facing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on the road. Clemson lost the game but showed resiliency in coming back from a 24-point deficit. Boston College, on the other hand, hasn’t faced any notable opposition as of yet, booting their marshmallow non-conference opponents by a combined score of 88-7. The Eagles will face a tough divisional opponent down in South Carolina on Saturday, who will no doubt be eager to wash the taste of the Tech game out of their mouths.

Clemson has some definite talent on both sides of the ball (did you also know they have speed? I know the media hasn’t spoken about it much, but…). CJ Spiller is certainly a very good running back, and one who had 156 all-purpose yards last week against Georgia Tech. Jacoby Ford at wide receiver is another threat. They’re going to be the key to Clemson’s offense, and stopping them will be the top order of business for the Boston College defense. Some has been made of the Tigers’ defense and the “aggressive blitzing schemes” (I read that on some Clemson site) that will be employed, but it is a defense that allowed Georgia Tech to run for over 300 yards last week. It is, however, also one that has only allowed three offensive touchdowns in two games and has forced five turnovers.

As for Boston College, we don’t have much real knowledge of what they’re capable of yet. Beating the crap out of Northeastern and Kent State are hardly good measuring sticks for an ACC program. We do know, however, what the Eagles must do to win, and part of that is to run the ball effectively. The Harris-Haden duo is certainly talented enough to make an impact. In the air, I don’t expect Tuggle to have a perfect game, but if he and his receivers make a lot of mistakes (e.g. turnovers), you can probably forget it.  It’s going to be a wet, stormy day in Clemson, so I figure that running game will get a lot of work. I expect a tight, back-and-forth contest, and the BC defense will have to rise to the occasion if they’re going to have a chance at winning.

Bottom Line
Eagles win a nail-biter and go to 3-0, but probably still won’t be ranked on Sunday. I’m not picking against BC until they give me a reason to do so.