Clemson at Boston College Final Score: On Saturday evening at Alumni Stadium in Massachusetts, the #24 Clemson Tigers defeated the Boston College Eagles, 17-13.
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With the loss, the Eagles fall to 4-3 (1-2) on the season, and also now have a losing record at Alumni Stadium this year at 2-3. They have lost back-to-back home games dating back to Colorado State.
Clemson at Boston College Final: Early Defense
Boston College and Clemson traded early three-and-outs on offense, and neither team scored in the first quarter. Both defenses asserted themselves early, and though Clemson was having a bit more success moving the football, the Eagles did not break. Nor did Clemson, which was to be expected.
Though the Tigers looked good, in the first, Eagles wide receiver Josh Bordner dropped what could have been an easy touchdown catch.
Clemson at Boston College Final: Busier Second
Most of the scoring in the game came in the second quarter. Though they did not score in the first, the Tigers were winning the field position battle, and their defense smothered the Eagles to the point such that they could not move the ball.
Eventually, Clemson got the ball at midfield following a punt, coming down the field in four plays over just 81 seconds of game time to get the first touchdown of the game. Wayne Gallman ran from 17 yards out to give Clemson a 7-0 lead a few minutes into the quarter.
The teams would trade brief possessions again, but Boston College would eventually start a drive at their own 37. It took just 63 seconds to go 63 yards, with the Eagles making a few big plays while also getting big penalty yardage from Clemson. Tyler Murphy hit Sherm Alston up top for a 26-yard touchdown to tie the game.
As is their wont, the Eagles let Clemson come down the field in the closing minutes of the half, but they had to settle for a field goal to make it 10-7 at the half.
Clemson at Boston College Final: Another Scoreless Quarter
The Clemson defense came down hard on the Eagles for most of the third, forcing two three-and-outs while Boston College stopped themselves with bad penalties on their only useful drive of the quarter. In that one, the Eagles got to the Clemson 29 yard line on a big pass play to Charlie Callinan, but a hold on Boston College backed them up, and they got even further away before the drive ended.
Clemson had one good drive in the third, but it stalled out inside the Boston College 40 after a 3rd and 11 stop by the Eagles defense.
Clemson at Boston College Final: Decisive Fourth
Early in the fourth quarter, there was a now-or-never sense with the Boston College offense, given how tough the Clemson defense looked. In 2:27, the Eagles flew 84 yards down the field to stun the Tigers, which started with a 48-yard yard catch and run by Dan Crimmins and ended with a Bordner touchdown catch. Boston College retook the lead, but in familiar fashion, this time, Mike Knoll missed the extra point in a 13-10 game.
Clemson would answer immediately. It took them longer, but the Tigers and Cole Stoudt came 82 yards down the field, with CJ Davidson’s 32-yard run capping the scoring drive as Clemson went back ahead, 17-13.
Boston College’s next drive stalled, and the Eagles held Clemson to a three-and-out, giving them one last chance. The Eagles got down to the Clemson 26, but a dropped touchdown pass in the end zone towards the end with under two minutes remaining, which proved to be an ominous sign. Boston College ultimately turned the ball over on downs.
Clemson at Boston College Final: The Stats
Cole Stoudt was 29-for-45 with 285 yards for Clemson. Tyler Murphy went 8-for-19 with 108 yards and two touchdowns; he also led the Eagles in rushing with 55 yards.
Boston College had their worst rushing performance of the season with 120 yards; passing for more yardage (143) for only the second time this season, both times in losses.
The Eagles went just 2-for-14 on third downs; Clemson was 10-for-21. The Tigers had the ball for 35:42.
Neither team turned the ball over.
Clemson at Boston College Final: The Bottom Line
For all of his doubters, Stoudt did about as well as could have been expected. Tyler Murphy did well himself, but had two certain touchdown passes dropped on him by the receiving corps.
There was some aggressiveness in the playcalling, but not as much as expected. Boston College ran up the middle too many times and looked ill-equipped to handle the Clemson defense. In spite of that, the defense kept them in the game and if not for mistake after mistake — not just the drops, but untimely penalties and poor execution — they still could have won the game.
Clemson is a very good football team, and a school like Boston College cannot afford to make the big mistakes and get away with them in a game like this. They made the crucial mistakes and lost, despite the valiant efforts of the defense.
It is worth noting that Alex Howell also had a good day punting, helping the Eagles in the field position game.
Clemson at Boston College Final: Next Game
Boston College heads to Winston-Salem next week to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Wake lost on Saturday, 30-7, to the Syracuse Orange and are 2-5 (0-3).