Clemson returned to Death Valley to take on Boston College after a disastrous 45-10 win on the road last week at Louisville that the AP pollsters rewarded with a drop to number 4. The Tigers keep winning, close games or blowouts, but can’t seem to figure out what to do to impress the AP. But, they clearly don’t, and shouldn’t, care. Let the SEC teams tire themselves out, and Big 12 teams play their starters all game to boost their Heisman points. Dabo will just keep feeding the monster for the playoffs. Today the Eagles stepped in the way and got destroyed.
B.T. Potter sent the opening kickoff through the end zone and BC started at the 25. BC’s A.J. Dillon picked up 7 on 1st down but the Tiger defense defended two subsequent passes and forced the punt. Amari Rodgers executed the fair catch at the Tiger 30. Clemson started with a flea-flicker and BC committed pass interference. Etienne picked up 6 yards on 1st down and took a flare pass for 10 yards on 2nd down out to the BC 39. Justyn Ross caught a strike from Trevor Lawrence to the Eagle 28. Etienne then broke loose up the middle for 19 yards just inside the BC 10. Etienne tried to run wide but it was defensed well and lost a couple. Lawrence then kept it down to the 4. He then scrambled on 3rd down and didn’t see a wide open Tee Higgins. The Tigers had to settle for a field goal and led 3-0 with just under 11 minutes left in the quarter.
BC started at the 25 after the touchback. Two Dillon runs moved the chains. On 2nd & 5, the Tigers stuffed him to set up 3rd & 7 from the 38. A long pass down the middle fell incomplete and they had to punt. Clemson took over at their 25. Etienne was stuffed for no gain on 1st down. Lawrence then hit Rodgers for 15 yards. Etienne took a toss sweep down to the BC 47. Lawrence then went deep to Ross down the left sideline and the BC defender committed pass interference. Another PI was called on the next play and then Lawrence scrambled to hit TE Luke Price down to the 3. Etienne then took it in and and the Tigers were up 10-3 with 6:57 left in the 1st quarter.
Potter put it through the end zone and the Eagles started at the 25 again. A couple of runs netted 4 yards and on 3rd & 6 K’Von Wallace nearly intercepted the pass. BC committed a holding penalty on the play and punted away. Clemson took over at their 25. Higgins caught a bubble screen and was nearly tackled behind the line but picked up 21 yards. Lyn-J Dixon then broke loose down for 32 yards down to the 22. Diondre Overton took the next pass into the end zone with some nice running after the catch. It was 17-0 with just under 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter.
The Eagles started at their 25 and completed a long pass to the Tiger 45. The Tigers then forced 4th & 1 and BC went for it. Dillon was able to get the needed yardage to move the chains. BC moved into the red zone and got to 4th & 2. They went for it again and Dillon picked it up as the quarter ended. It was 1st and goal just inside the 10. A incomplete pass on 1st down and a Dillon run on 2nd down set up 3rd & goal. Dillon took it in as their line split the Tiger line wide enough to drive a semi through. The score was 17-7 Clemson with just under 14 minutes left in the half. Joseph Ngata took the kickoff out to the 26. A bad snap started the Tiger drive and then Etienne picked up a couple to set up 3rd & 7. Lawrence hit Ross for 24 yards to move the Tigers down to the BC 47. Etienne ripped off a 30 yard run into the red zone. He got another yard on 1st down and then Lawrence scrambled left to get a 1st down at the 5. Etienne picked up a tough yard on 1st down and on 2nd down, J.C. Chalk got a good block that enabled Etienne to find the end zone. It was 24-7 Tigers with 10:29 left in the half.
Another touchback and a 16-yard catch got the Eagles out to the 41. But they got to 3rd & 9 and couldn’t convert. After the punt, Clemson started at the 34. Etienne picked up 5 yards and then Ngata got 4 on a hitch patch. Etienne picked up 4 on 3rd down to move the chains to the 47. Lawrence hit Ross for 19 yards into BC territory at the 34. Higgins picked up 15 on 2nd down and then Rodgers took a short pass to the end zone with a nifty move and great acceleration. With a little over 6 minutes left in the half, Clemson was up 31-7.
Dillon had a good run on 1st down and then BC tried to do a flea flicker but it felt short of the QB and the Tigers got the sack. The Tigers got another sack on 1st down, setting up 3rd & 25. Pressure forced the BC QB to throw it out of bounds. The Eagles punted and Rodgers had a great return but the Tigers were called for a hold. Clemson took over at their 16 with 3:48 left before halftime. Ross picked up 6 on 1st down and Ngata moved the chains with a 10-yard catch. Frank Ladson almost made an incredible catch on 1st down but the BC defender got a hand on it. Lawrence picked up 9 on 2nd down and Dixon moved the chains. Lawrence scrambled for 15 yards to move the ball into BC territory. Dixon took a draw for 14 yards to the 28. Etienne caught a pass across the middle and took it to the 5 to set up 1st goal. Then he took it straight through the middle of the Eagle defense to score. Clemson led 38-7 with 38 seconds left in the half. BC ran a play and the clock expired.
Ngata took the 2nd half kickoff out to the Tiger 16. Lawrence held to the ball too long and was sacked on 1st down. Etienne stumbled and got nothing on 2nd down. Lawrence scrambled left but couldn’t pick up the 1st down. Will Spiers punted and BC took over at their 26. On 1st down, Dillon picked up 18 on 1st down but the Tiger defense stuffed him on 2nd. But he picked up 10 yards on 2nd down to move the chains. On the next play the Tigers got to the BC QB and forced a fumble that Logan Rudolph scooped up and ran back for the score. Clemson led 45-7.
BC ran the kickoff out to the 26 and the Tigers were called for illegal substitution on 1st down, but they forced a 3-and-out and took over at the 20 as the punt rolled into the end zone. Etienne took off for 17 yards on 1st down. Overton then got his 2nd TD on a catch and run for 63 yards. Clemson led 52-7 with 9 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
On the next possession, Clemson forced another 3 and out, nearly intercepting the ball on 3rd down. Chase Brice came in at QB and Dixon ran wide on 1st down but was stopped for no gain. Brice looked deep to T.J. Chase but overthrew him. On 3rd down Brice scrambled for the 1st down. Dixon picked up 6 on the next play and then Brice hit Cornell Powell on a slant for 19 yards. Will Swinney took an end around for 8 yards to the BC 33. Dixon then moved the chains with a 5 yard run. Three straight incomplete passes brought Potter out for a 47-yard FG try, but it sailed wide left.
The Tiger defense stopped BC again and they punted, and Ross was tackled at the Tiger 4. Dixon rumbled for 18 yards to the 22. Dixon and Darien Rencher had good runs to move the ball out to the Tiger 44. On 3rd & 7, Brice hit Chase for the 1st down into BC territory at the 47 as the 3rd quarter ended. Powell got 6 on 1st down and Davis Allen took a short throw out to the 34. Overton took a short pass to the house for his 3rd score of the night. The Tigers were up 59-7 with 13:37 left.
With BC’s reserves in on offense, the Tiger defensive reserves forced another 3-and-out. After a PI penalty on the Tigers, Chez Mellusi picked up 8 on first down and 4 more on 2nd. Then Brice had Frank Ladson down the field but led him about 2 yards too much, so the Tigers had to punt.
BC took over at their 31. A good mix of runs and passes got the Eagles into Tiger territory, but the drive stalled soon thereafter and they punted. Michel Dukes picked up 14 yards on a nice 1st down run. But the Tigers got to 3rd & 4 and couldn’t convert. BC returned it to their 43. Three plays later they faced another punting situation. Ben Batson came in at QB and handed the ball off to Dukes several times, picking up several yards each time. But they eventually had to punt with a little over a minute left and BC ran the clok out.
The Tigers are in deep trouble. They only beat BC 59-7. In order to hold the #4 spot in the AP poll, they probably needed to win at least 120-0. So Tiger fans, be prepared for the Tigers to suffer for not playing in the SEC. Or maybe the AP voters will wake up from their stupor and see that this is one of the best teams in the country. I haven’t seen the highlights, but it looks like Oklahoma’s defense finally cost them. Who’s your top four teams at this point? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below. Check back with us over the next days for the top-notch coverage you’ve come to expect, and thank you for stopping by lil’ ole STS for Tiger football coverage.