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Clemson Survives Poor WR Play to Beat Boston College, 19-13

Syndication: The Greenville News KEN RUINARD/Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson started with the ball and after moving the ball a bit, failed to convert on 4th down with an ugly job by the OL. On Clemson’s second drive Kobe Pace was able to break one from midfield on a nice cut at the line to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

Meanwhile BC responded with a long drive, but Clemson’s defense was up to the challenge in the red zone and held the Eagles to a field goal, but the injury bug definitely hurt Clemson’s DTs in this one. Clemsons didn’t do much with ball, but then lost Davis Allen on the punt with a targeting call.

Boston College decided to do a yakety sax impression with multiple false starts and other pre snap penalties before a 72-yard punt. The Tigers then took that down to the goal line, but had to settle for a FG.

The Eagles then had a chance to drive, but a slightly high ball over the middle was tipped by the BC receiver before being picked by our secondary, giving Clemson the ball at midfield. But it wasn’t a great drive and Clemson had to kick a FG to extend the lead to 13-3.

Boston College was able to turn some touch penalties and missed assignments into a red zone drive as the half wound down. The Clemson defense once again tightened up with a key 2nd down sack and tipped a pass on 3rd down to force a FG with 23 seconds left in the half before Clemson just ran the ball a bit to close out the half.

BC got the ball to start the second half and promptly marched down the field to make it 13-13. Clemson’s defense was marked by some really poor pass coverage, we’ll have to check on film review but it looked the LBs were susceptible to crossing routes on this drive.

Clemson and BC then decided to screw around on offense a bit. The only memorable note was Clemson deciding to do a rollout punt. Predictably it was blocked because no one bothered to execute properly. Oh and we had super soft WRs all evening.

Then Clemson’s defense came up with a big interception while BC was pinned deep, giving Clemson the ball in BC territory. Clemson decided to screw around with a combination of ugly QB throws, terrible WRs coverage, and a bad snap. Thankfully they did enough to get into FG range, which Potter nailed from 35-yards out to give Clemson a 16-13 lead.

We had some more screwing around on offense for both teams, and Clemson finally hit a decent pass play on 3rd & 12 to get the Tigers into FG range. Stunning no one they weren’t able to advance the ball and Potter kicked another FG to give the Tigers a 19-13 lead.

Some more stuff happened, and then Clemson managed to stop BC on 4th down but they couldn’t get the single first down needed to seal the game, so BC decided it was time to drive and win this one. Thankfully their ineptitude exceeded Clemsons and the Tigers escaped with a win to keep their hopes of another Atlantic Division title alive.

Game Observations:

The Good:

DJ - He looked more settled, reading the defense and making smart decisions. The accuracy isn’t there, but there has definitely been improvement from the UGA, GT, and NC State games and that’s what we need to see. He also seemed more comfortable running the ball which is critical.

Running Game - Mafah and Pace both had a great first half. DJ even got involved with some nice runs. The stats from this season showed how teams were not respecting Clemson’s run game and tonight the Tigers were able to punish BC for it.

The Crowd - Even with the Playoffs a lost cause, the Tiger faithful turned out and forced a good 5+ false start/illegal formation penalties. Those were huge tonight and could have been the difference between a win and a loss.

The Bad:

WR- Absolutely pathetic effort from the WR corps. No one is bothering to fight to make a catch, fight for yards, or even fight for a block. It is depressing and likely worth another 5-6 receptions in this one if the receivers bothered to try.

Playcalling - There were a few nice wrinkles in the play calling, and I think Elliott did better at managing DJ a bit, but there are still too many basic concepts, nothing to challenge the defense.

Offense - The numbers look better, and there is some individual improvement. But the offense is still stinky. And at some point you run out of time to improve and need to actually execute. Right now Clemson isn’t showing any evidence of getting to that point.

The Ugly:

Tyler Grisham - Absolutely the worst unit by far on this team is the WRs. These guys are soft, unable to execute their routes, and just generally don’t seem interested in playing football. If I had to pick one coach who needs to improve the most it would be Grisham. The fall off of these WRs, and general lack of development, falls on him.