Sept 22, 2012; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Chris Thompson (4) runs for a touchdown past Clemson Tigers cornerback Bashaud Breeland (17) and safety Rashard Hall (31) during the second half of the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
Losses never get any easier. They really don't get any easier when you are up two touchdowns mid way through the third quarter, only for your defense to give up four straight touchdowns. Clemson was overmatched all night when Florida State had the football, giving up chunks and chunks, in points and yards. It has to be frustrating for the offense when you know you have to score every single possession just to stay in games against good offenses. At this point, there are two teams on the schedule with offenses that compare to Florida State's: Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Outside of those two games, Clemson won't face an offense that is going to have the speed or playmakers to put up 600+ yards, at least I sure hope so.
Brent Venables placed the blame squarely on his own shoulders Saturday night. Following No.10 Clemson’s 49-37 loss to No.4 Florida State – which saw the Tigers’ defense collapse en route to giving up 667 yards of total offense, second-worst in school history – Venables said repeatedly coaches were at fault. That’s a coaching answer: Venables can’t tackle, cover or play linebacker anymore. But he’ll certainly receive his share of heat regardless following a disappointing overall effort.
What happens now? Clemson has to flush this loss, or they risk dropping two straight. This game this weekend is dangerous. Clemson will travel hundreds of miles north to Boston to take on an Eagles team that is coming off a bye. I figured this game would open at -13, but unfortunately opened significantly lower at 10.5/11 at most places and has since dropped anywhere between 1-1.5 points down to 9.5 at most places. Yikes. There are likely two reasons for this. Clemson has not faired well in Boston, having lost 2 of 3 to teams they were better on paper every trip. Another reason is likely due to gamblers and Vegas not trusting Clemson after seeing in prime time the JV defense that trotted onto the field Saturday night. I would bet the line closes above 10 because betters love backing favorites and the money will likely drive it closer to 11 by kickoff.
Here are the lines from all seven ACC meetings between the Eagles and Tigers.
2011: Clemson 36, Boston College 14 (Clemson -21)
2010: Boston College 16, Clemson 10 (BC +7)
2009: Clemson 25, Boston College 7 (Clemson -9)
2008: Clemson 27, Boston College 21 (Clemson +2.5)
2007: Boston College 20, Clemson 17 (BC +9)
2006: Boston College 34, Clemson 33 (BC +1)
2005: Boston College 16, Clemson 13 (BC +3)
What can Clemson expect this weekend? On offense BC has a junior QB that can throw the ball around pretty well, but lack serious production out of their RB stable, averaging only 95 yards a game on the ground, putting the Eagles at 114th in the country. That's hopefully good news for the Clemson rush defense. Boston College struggled on both sides of the ball at Northwestern two weeks ago and has had a week off to regroup before Dabo and Co. head into town. Back to QB for a second. From everything I've read Rettig is a solid quarterback, he just has zero weapons around him to distribute the ball to.
While the BC offense has struggled, their defense hasn't exactly played lights out either. With their coach squarely on the hotseat, its make or break time for this BC squad.
Yesterday in Evanston, the Boston College Eagles fell to the Northwestern Wildcats 22-13. By the numbers on the scoreboard it would appear that the game was very close. And for most part it was. BC was within one score of the Wildcats for a majority of the game, and even at one brief time took the lead in this one. The Eagles held NU to five field goals before a back breaking touchdown by Mike Trumpy sealed the game.
How could BC drop such a winnable game? In the end it was usual suspects that did in the Eagles: poor rushing execution, turnovers, drops and atrocious defense. Northwestern moved the ball effectively down the field all game, utilizing the two quarterbacks Cain Kolter and Trevor Siemian while Venric Marc and Mike Trumpy kept the chains moving. Couple that with the offensive woes, and voila, you have another BC loss.
This team has to regroup. Clemson is stuck with the players on defense for this season. This is ultimately only going to be fixed through recruiting. The coaches are going to have to coach and the players are going to have to play...much better. Both groups are to blame for the lapses this weekend. They've got a lot to prove in the coming weeks. 600+ yards is a lot to get over. Prove it on the field next week in your first true road game with the hope of building some confidence going into this long ACC stretch.