On Saturday, Oct. 2, the Eagles traveled to Death Valley to play Clemson. After a very hard fought game by both teams, the Tigers won 19-13.
Coming into the game, the Eagles were underdogs despite coming off an overtime victory against Missouri and Clemson’s second loss of the season. Regardless, the Eagles came prepared for a fight, at least on one side of the ball.
The defense was flying all over the field, holding DJ Uiagalelei to just 207 passing yards and no touchdowns. Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Brandon Barlow led the defense, coming up with several key stops to force the Tigers into kicking four field goals. While Clemson had over 200 yards on the ground, the Eagles’ defense was able to keep them out of the endzone on all but one of their drives.
The offense did not have as good of a day. Despite missing Phil Jurkovec for the last few games, the BC offense was ranked 3rd in the country according to Pro Football Focus coming into the game. They certainly did not live up to that ranking against the Tigers.
Dennis Grosel threw for 311 yards and Pat Garwo III ran for 57, but the offense could only muster 13 points. On several occasions, the offense had a drive going but stalled due to penalties. Because they had to deal with several third and long situations, the Eagles struggled to convert on third downs. The Eagles also lost the turnover battle 3-0. If any team loses the turnover battle by that much, it’s very difficult to win the game.
From the very first drive, the Eagles wanted to send a message. They did so by stopping the Tigers on a fourth down, but failed to convert the good field position into any points.
On the very next drive, Clemson scored the first points of the game, with a 59 yard touchdown run from Kobe Pace. The Eagles then got a pair of field goals before halftime, putting them within one score going into the break.
Despite being down by seven, the Eagles had to feel good because they had not played their best football in the first half. The only offense that the Tigers had in the first half was a long touchdown run.
Coming out of the break, the Eagles decided to punch back. In four plays, they went 75 yards, capped off by a three-yard touchdown run from Pat Garwo.
From that point on, it was all Tigers. They managed to intercept Grosel twice, leading to three points. They also had another drive in which they kicked a field goal.
After that second field goal and with 4:30 left in the game, the Eagles took the ball and tried to put themselves on top. However, once they got all the way to the Clemson 32, three separate penalties pushed them all the way back to the 47-yard line. Ultimately, they went for a fourth and nine, failing to convert with just over two minutes left.
At this point, all Clemson had to do was get a first down and kneel the ball from there to end the game. The Eagles managed to come up with three big stops and give the offense the ball back with 1:41 left in the game.
When the game seemed lost, the defense managed to give the team a spark. Dennis turned it up for the final drive. He completed his first five passes to bring the Eagles down to the Clemson 11. Then, when it seemed like BC was going to take the lead with 50 seconds left, Alec Lindstrom gave Dennis a low snap that he couldn’t handle. He fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Clemson to seal the game.
Despite having several opportunities to come out on top, the Eagles ultimately fell short. The turnovers turned out to be too much for them to overcome. Despite the disappointment that this game brought, it showed that the Eagles can compete with just about anyone in college football. They have a chance to prove it on Oct. 16 when NC State comes to Chestnut Hill. NC State is ranked 23rd in the AP poll after a big win against Clemson last week.