#2 Clemson Needs Strong 4th Quarter To Defeat Boston College
CLEMSON, SC — Clemson came into this game ranked #2 in the country, behind only Alabama. With two wins over ranked opponents already on their resume, the Tigers are in prime position to return to the College Football Playoff. Did I mention that it is only week four?
Going into this week’s game against Boston College, many tiger fans felt very confident in Coach Swinney and company coming off a 47-21 road victory against #19 Louisville. Looking back at last year, Clemson went up to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and came out with a 56-10 victory. Clemson entered Saturday’s matchup as a 34-point favorite over the Eagles. It’s safe to say things didn’t work out the way Clemson fans imagined they would, until late in the game.
Towards the end of the first quarter, Kelly Bryant had a pass deflected by an ensuing BC defender. Due to the deflection, the pass came out wobbly and landed in the hands of BC defensive back Isaac Yiadom. Until well into the second quarter, both Boston College and Clemson’s offenses stalled with the contest becoming a defense war. Clemson finally got on the board with an 11 yard touchdown run by Kelly Bryant. The extra point was good by Alex Spence to put the Tigers up 7-0. The play selection favored the running game on Clemson’s first scoring drive with 10 designed runs to only two pass plays. The highlight of the drive, and one of my favorite plays of the game, was a designed run by Kelly Bryant. Bryant took the ball 5 yards, before a BC defender popped it out of his hands. While offensive lineman don’t usually have rushing yards, Left Guard Taylor Hearn picked up the fumble and ran the ball upfield for a 12 yard gain. Hearn finished the game second on the team in yards per carry with 12, only behind running back Travis Etienne with 12.6 yards per carry.
At halftime, Clemson was holding onto a 7-0 lead.
As the defensive battle continued, with 3:30 left in the third quarter, AJ Dillon scored on a 1 yard run to tie the game up at 7-7. When the fourth quarter hit, it would appear to be Clemson’s wake up call.
Clemson rolled out 27 fourth quarter points to secure the victory. Adam Choice scored on a 6 yard run to put the Tigers back on top, 14-7. Freshman Travis Etienne then came in and scored on a 50 yard run, and later added a 10 yard run for his second score of the day. Swinney said that Etienne is “gaining confidence by the minute.” Junior Quarterback Kelly Bryant added his second touchdown of the day with a 4 yard run. Kicker Alex Spence was 4-5 on the day for extra points. After the game, Swinney said he could describe the fourth quarter simply as, “Clemson football.” He also mentioned the fact that they take great pride in finishing a football game.
#2 Clemson improved to (4-0) overall and (1-0) in ACC play on the season with the 34-0 victory over Boston College who falls to (1-3) overall and (0-1) in conference play.
Clemson continues conference play next week, on the road in Blacksburg, Virginia, with a Saturday night primetime matchup against #13 Virginia Tech.
The last time Clemson and VT faced off was in the ACC Championship game last season in Orlando, Florida, with Clemson winning 42-35.
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