Entering this Saturday's game against Clemson as an 11.5-point underdog, the Eagles seem to stand little chance against the seventeenth-ranked Tigers. Following a tough loss to Florida State, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney is looking for a bounce-back performance against the Eagles. And with the BC football team struggling on both sides of the ball, Swinney has little reason to expect anything less.
Undoubtedly, the BC football team lacks the natural talent and raw ability of Clemson – whose recruiting machine has turned the Tigers into one of the better teams in the ACC. However, given their lackluster performances the past few weeks, there is some hope for the Eagles on Saturday.
While their offensive output has been superb thus far, the Tigers' defense has been prone to exploitation – especially in the passing game. In their bowl game last season, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith torched the Tiger defense for over 400 passing yards and six touchdowns. Just this past week, FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel lead his offense to 49 points as he surpassed career marks in passing yards. If Chase Rettig can replicate the success he has enjoyed for the start of the season, then BC may be able to keep them in the game.
On the ground, it is a similar story for the Tiger defense as they have allowed over 200 rushing yards per game. And while the BC offense has struggled to establish any sort of run game, it might prove vital to this particular match-up. If BC is able to mix in a successful ground game with the continued success of Chase Rettig, BC will be able to keep the Clemson defense off-balance – and even more importantly, keep their explosive offense off the field.
On defense, BC has to keep the “bend, but don't break” style. With two of the best receivers in the game and an explosive, mobile quarterback in Tahj Boyd (once a BC recruit), the BC defense will struggle to challenge the Tiger offense on a physical or athletic level. The only hope is to sit back and force the Tigers into a few mistakes.
With a little luck and some inspired performances from the defense and BC backfield, BC should be able to keep the game within striking distance. But in the end, Clemson's physical and athletic advantages should prevail.
Prediction: Clemson 42, Boston College 20