Clemson at Boston College
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
CHESTNUT HILL – (Wire Service and Staff Report) – Clemson once again has put itself in the driver’s seat in the ACC and will try to maintain its momentum against the conference doormats when it visits Boston College on Friday. The third-ranked Tigers, who served notice with their 42-36 home win over then-No. 4 Louisville last weekend, will try to extend a pair of impressive winning streaks – their 19-game regular-season run and an 11-game string in ACC play.
On the other side of the coin are the Eagles, who have dropped 10 straight conference affairs, including a 49-0 rout at the hands of Virginia Tech on Sept. 17. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is not looking too far ahead, knowing how much of a struggle it was to get out of Chestnut Hill the last time the Tigers paid a visit in 2014, when his team eked out a 17-13 triumph. “They always play tough and every time we go up there, it is always a battle,” he told reporters this week. “We’ve had two or three times up there that we’ve been fortunate to come away with a win, especially a couple of years ago.” Boston College followed its ugly loss to the Hokies with consecutive non-conference victories, including a 35-3 rout of Buffalo on Saturday.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Clemson -17
ABOUT CLEMSON (5-0, 2-0 ACC): As quarterback Deshaun Watson goes, so go the Tigers, and the junior recorded season highs of 306 yards and five touchdowns in the thriller against Louisville. He also tacked on a season-best 91 rushing yards and has been sacked only twice this season, giving him enough time to consistently find the likes of Mike Williams (25 catches, 373 yards, two TDs) and Ray-Ray McCloud (24, 271, two). Senior linebacker Ben Boulware is coming off a monster performance in which he registered a career-high 18 tackles (three for losses), a fumble recovery and a pass deflection – good enough to earn him ACC Player of the Week honors at his position.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (3-2, 0-2): Although the level of opponent had a lot to do with it, the Eagles have to be pleased with their improvement on offense, as they averaged 445 total yards in their last two games after being held to 124 by the Hokies. Patrick Towles threw four TD passes with no interceptions in the wins over Wagner and Buffalo after recording two scores through the air and four picks in the first three games of the season. The Eagles lead FBS teams in total defense (202 yards allowed per game) and are seventh in rushing defense (78).
1. Clemson has won seven in a row on the road, one shy of matching the longest run in program history (1978-79).
2. Watson registered 420 yards in last year’s 34-17 win over the Eagles, while Boston College counterpart Jeff Smith had just 87.
3. Swinney’s first career win was a 27-21 triumph at Boston College in 2008.
PREDICTION: Clemson 34, Boston College 14