Tuesday Notes: Eagles Await

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson has become a program that can be counted on to take care of business on the road, something that was distinctly on display Saturday in update New York. All week Clemson heard how tough and hot it would be, how the Tigers haven't faced an environment like the Carrier Dome. Channeling that talk into success to the tune of 21 first quarter points on the road was one of the most impressive achievements of the season. Despite a bit of a shaky third quarter, Clemson played a pretty complete football game. Instead of being a liability like years past, the defense continues to improve and the four turnovers allowed the offense to get in a groove and more importantly keep Hunt from establishing any sort of rhythm. It's not perfect yet, but boy has this Venables defense taken great strides from where it was even a year ago.

"We knew they were going to be fast," confessed SU's defensive back. "But after that first drive (the one that lasted 38 seconds and covered 82 yards), we found out they were faster than we thought. Sammy Watkins is fast. Tajh Boyd is fast. No. 1 (Martavis Bryant) is fast. They've got track stars on their team. They're a great team all over the field. There's a reason they're in the Top 5."

Turning our attention to this weekend's game, Clemson welcomes 3-2 Boston College to town for the Tigers fourth conference game. Clemson opened as 21 point favorites yesterday, and that number was quickly bet up to 24 which is where it sits now at most books. The Eagles are 3-2 against the spread so far this year, and this number equals their largest number of the season (they were also 24 point underdogs to Florida State at home which tells you a little bit about the where Vegas ranks Clemson vs. Florida State in their power ratings). I think that number will stay put throughout the week, and I'm not sure it's a great spot to bet Clemson if you choose to do so. This is a look ahead spot for the Tigers with Florida State next on tap, and if Clemson is 3+ touchdowns ahead in the third quarter, I think you will start seeing Dabo put in the backups with such an important game next week. As a gambler you always worry about backdoor covers with such large chalk and I'd tend to lay off the Tigers this weekend (there are better games on the CFB slate to bet on) even though the trends are clearly in Clemson's favor.

Boston College Is 0-5 ATS In Its Last 5 Games On The Road

Boston College Is 0-5 SU In Its Last 5 Games On The Road

Boston College Is 1-4 ATS In Its Last 5 Games When Playing Clemson

Clemson Is 9-1 SU In Its Last 10 Games At Home

I've been able to watch three Boston College games this year and this isn't a team that really strikes fear in you. Wake Forest was a nice win until we realized how bad the Deacons really are when Clemson drubbed them a week ago. Against Florida State, the Eagles played arguably their best half (unfortunately for them we play two of those) of the year. The Eagles jumped out to a 17-3 start by getting to Winston and through a salty performance by Chase Rettig. When Florida State finally woke up and realized what was happening, the Noles scored 21 unanswered and cruised to victory. Should this strike fear in the hearts of Clemson fans this weekend? Nope, and I don't think the Eagles have the horses to go shot for shot with Dabo's squad over four quarters.

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, and the Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC) annihilated Syracuse, 49-14, at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Boyd enhanced his Heisman Trophy aspirations by passing for 455 yards and five touchdowns. "I’m excited about our team right now and we’ve got a great challenge ahead for us this week playing at Clemson," Addazio said. "We have to go on the road (and) last time we went on the road (USC) we didn’t handle it so good (35-7 loss Sept. 14). This is another opportunity for a learning experience here and for us to rise up and play a great team on the road. We’re looking forward to that challenge

This BC team is similar to the ones Clemson has become familiar with in years past. The Eagles play solid defense (#43 in total defense and #38 in scoring defense), but continue to struggle on offense (#109 in total offense, #103 in scoring offense). Retting is a senior and it feels like he been the Eagles starter forever. He has had a good season, doesn't turn the ball over a ton, and stays within the BC offense (which at times has simply become too vanilla). Senior running back Andre Williams has been on an absolute tear this season. Williams has amassed 768 yards through five games and has been averaging a staggering 5.8 yards a pop. Williams is their workhorse and has received 20+ attempts in every game and get this: he leads the nation in rushing. I don't think it's any secret that BC will try and establish the running game behind Williams especially against a Clemson defense whose kryptonite has seemed to be stopping the run (the Tigers rank #79 in rush defense).

Swinney this week will remind his Tigers (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) to keep their eyes on the Eagles (3-2, 1-1). "Our only objective is to get to 6-0 and we'll worry about the next one after that," Swinney said. "We have to stick with our formula." Still, that's much easier to say than to do. There's plenty of signs people are already pointing toward the Clemson-Florida State blockbuster here on Oct. 19. The ACC announced the game would start at 8 p.m. on ABC, the prime-time slot for the weekend's biggest contest. That means ESPN College GameDay will likely make a return trip to campus where they opened the season before the Tigers 38-35 win over Georgia.

As for Clemson this is going to be an interesting mental test this weekend. Now that the Clemson/FSU game has been announced as the primetime 8pm ABC game, there's going to be a lot of hype with Gameday likely headed back to Tigertown and the Noles shooting up the polls. I think it's unrealistic to think that this team won't be peaking ahead a little bit, after all these are 18 and 19 year old kids we're talking about. Dabo has constantly preached the one game at a time speech (as any good coach should) and the goal this weekend is to take care of business by continuing to thrive on offense and improve on defense, and by building confidence heading into the war on October 19th.

I think Williams will likely go for 100+ yards (because he's been doing so all season), but BC just doesn't have the athletes or dominating defense to stay with the Clemson offense. Clemson is just too mentally tough (boy that sure is nice to say) to have any sort of letdown in this game and I think the Tigers likely win by 3+ scores.

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