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Paws Up, Paws Down: Tigers Stymie Boston College 27-7

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Clemson continued its march towards the playoff with another primetime road win

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Clemson rolled into Chestnut Hill Saturday night for a primetime matchup with Boston College. ESPN’s Gameday was on hand and Alumni Stadium was packed for a game that would decide the Atlantic Division. Boston College was the last thing standing in the way of another December trip to Charlotte.

Steve Addazio brought a team that was ready to play, and gave the Tigers their best shot. They fought and battled all night long, even after losing starting QB Anthony Brown on their first offensive series. We knew their defensive front would create some issues for the Clemson offensive line, and they did just that. That is a legit front four, and I would expect to see everyone of those guys playing on Sundays. Tremayne Anchrum might be having nightmares about Zach Allen for some time to come.

This one was about the Clemson defense. Once Brown left the game you just knew points would be at a premium for their offense. Turns out, that was exactly the case as their offense never came close to cracking the scoreboard.

On the other hand, we saw that the Clemson offense still has some kinks it needs to iron out. There are still pass protection issues, and the BC defense was able to fool Trevor Lawrence with some of the looks they threw at him. Unlike the past month where almost everything went right, the true freshman found himself facing some adversity, and those can be the best teaching moments.

Defense

What else can you say about these guys? Another dominating performance, holding BC to just 113 yards, and 3-16 on 3rd downs. Before Brown went down, I thought BC had come in with a pretty good gameplan. They were pushing the tempo and catching the Tigers not lined up properly. Kind of similar to Syracuse last year. They quickly settled in though, and never looked back. They held AJ Dillon to 39 yards rushing and only 2.4 yards per attempt. As a team, BC only had 9 yards rushing the entire game. Add in the 4 sacks and 10 TFLs..... Paws Up

Trevor Lawrence

The true freshman finally found himself in some tough situations in a big game, on the road, and under the lights. He actually looked like a freshman at times in this one. He got fooled with some of the looks they were throwing at him early and missed some deep balls, but seemed to settle in and play pretty well for the most part, finishing 29-40 for 295 yards. He threw a TD and had his first career rushing TD. He was awarded the Leather Helmet..... Paws Up

Tanner Muse

This kid has improved leaps and bounds this season. He was all over the field last night and led the team in tackles. He has shored up his coverage skills and loves to come up and help in run support..... Paws Up

Pass Protection

This is an area where we are still seeing some issues, particularly on that right side. Anchrum struggled in this one. Struggled mightily. I thought I saw Sean Pollard having some issues as well while watching it live. This late in the season though, it is what it is..... Paws Down

Special Teams

Not a very good night in this department, despite Amari Rodgers punt return for a TD. We gave up a punt return for a TD, had terrible coverage on a long kickoff return that was fortunately called back for a block in the back, and punting is abysmal..... Paws Down

ACC Refs

If you can’t get that interference call right on the Amari Rodgers “muffed punt,” you need to sit home and watch for a week or two. That was one of the worst missed calls I have witnessed this season..... Paws Down

And in other games.....

NC State

Oh Dave. Poor Dave. No laptops to blame for this one. If you are looking for someone to blame, look no further than the mirror. Blow a ten point 4th quarter lead to Wake Forest? One of the worst P5 teams in the nation? Terrible clock management late, terrible 4th down decisions late. Congratulations, you just might be the biggest fraud in the P5 this season..... Paws Down

Kentucky

One of the other arguments for biggest fraud in the P5. Getting boat raced by Tennessee and giving up over 200 yards on the ground makes it kind of hard to argue any different, but hey, it just means more, right..... Paws Down

South Carolina

I’m calling this one “The Muschamp Effect, No Lead Is Safe.” The Gamecocks were catching Florida at the perfect time, after having lost to Georgia two weeks ago, then getting crushed by Mizzou in The Swamp last week. A game in which it looked as if the Gators had completely checked out. After being staked to an early 14-0 lead, the SC defense proved to that The Chicken Curse is alive and well. They quickly gave the lead up, and for an encore gave up a 31-14 4th quarter lead. Muschamp and crew inexplicably went extremely conservative, and the real Jake Bentley made an appearance on a horrible pick late in the 4th. The Muschamp Effect indeed..... Paws Down

That is all I have this week. Leave your Paws Up, Paws Down takes in the comments and keep checking back in with STS for more analysis from the Atlantic Division clinching win over BC.