After dispatching Louisville and Auburn in back to back weeks, the Clemson Tigers look like a strong candidate to defend their 2016 NCAA Championship. On Saturday, they’ll look to keep rolling when a struggling Boston College team heads to Death Valley. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 (live stream).
The Eagles started their season strong by scrapping out a win over MAC headliner Northern Illinois, but the last two weeks have been unkind. BC lost to Wake Forest and Notre Dame by a combined 53 points, shattering any notion it had revived the dominant defense that defined the program in 2015. It’s due for another shellacking Saturday if it can’t find a way to stop a Clemson team that just hung 47 points on the Cardinals.
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
- TV: ESPN2
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Clemson is favored by 32.5 points
Louisville gained only 433 yards and scored 21 points, but that doesn’t tell the story: The Cardinals gained just 185 of those yards and scored just seven of those points in the game’s first 43 minutes (which included seven UL punts and the pick-six), as Clemson built a 33-7 lead. The Cardinals made things respectable in the late going, but only because Clemson allowed them to.
In Week 2, we saw Clemson’s offensive line struggle to do much of anything against the defensive line of Auburn. Auburn has the type of defensive line common of many teams that reach the College Football Playoff.
But against Louisville, it was a different story.
Today, reports are that Greg Huegel injured his leg in practice yesterday. The extent of the injury is not known yet but supposedly “the injury could be worse than originally thought.”
The largest underdog BC has been since 1995 is 29 points back in 2012, against Florida State. That of course was Frank Spaziani’s last year as coach. The ‘Noles wiped out BC 51-7 in Tallahassee as EJ Manuel threw for 439 yards. BC was only able to muster 225 yards of offense in that game.
Can the BC offense wake up in time to give the Eagles a chance?
Boston College doesn’t do anything particularly well on offense. Quarterback Anthony Brown is averaging fewer than five yards per pass attempt. The team’s top two running backs are averaging 3.6 yards per carry. What’s worse, they’ll be without starting center Jon Baker, who was lost for the season with a knee injury last week.
With no reliable means of moving the ball and a devastating Tiger pass rush waiting, Boston College could be the manufacturer of Week 4’s ugliest game.
The Eagles have already gotten stomped by an ACC rival, and Wake Forest isn’t nearly as good as Clemson. The Tigers will roll in this one — the only question is whether the team’s backups will get a chance to play Saturday.