Prediction time and after the last four weeks, your guess is as good as mine. Don’t take this the wrong way, it’s just we don’t know when the Tiger offense is going to start putting together some good football to lead to points. The offense has scored exactly 3 touchdowns in regulation against 3 Power 5 schools. I probably don’t need to tell anyone that.
On Saturday, the unbeaten Boston College Eagles come to town, fresh off beating Missouri. Remember, BC lost starting quarterback Phil Jurkovich to injury a few games ago, so what they’ve done is pretty amazing. Since taking over for Jurkovic, quarterback Dennis Grosel has played pretty well, completing 41 of 64 passes for 477 yards and two touchdowns. He has also rushed for two touchdowns. Zay Flowers is the favorite target, as expected, with 18 catches in four games for 275 yards and two touchdowns. RB Pat Garwo III leads the ground game, rushing for 412 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 6.8 average. The offensive line is big and experienced.
The defense is stout against the run, only giving up an average of just under 100 yards a game. The pass defense has picked off 6 passes while holding the opponents to about 190 yards a game. Now, they did give up 34 points to Missouri, and 28 to Massuchusetts, but they will come into Clemson, facing a Clemson team that is 2-2 for the first time who knows how long.
Clemson has got to find a way to get the offense clicking, but the loss against NC State was costly. RB Will Shipley sustained a leg injury, and although it’s not season-ending, he will miss 3-4 weeks. With Lyn-J Dixon decided to leave the team, this moves up Kobe Pace to the #1 spot. Darien Rencher and Michel Dukes is primed to see action behind Pace but do not be surprised if freshman Phil Mafah makes his season debut. Coach Dabo Swinney said earlier that Mafah was on track to do a redshirt year but that is off the table now. He is a hard-nosed runner that Dabo did not expect to have to use this year.
QB DJ Uiagalelei must get on the same page quickly with OC Tony Elliott, and quickly. The BC defense has no doubt studied the games this year to see what was done to stop this Tiger offense. Georgia, GT, and NC State all basically stopped the Tigers with only a few glimpses of what a Clemson offense has looked like for the past several years. Is this the game the Tigers can make their presence known? Can the offensive line be consistent? It’s gonna be tough but I can not go against Clemson.
Clemson does not control its own destiny for the first time in a long time. The Tigers need to win out, and hope NC State stumbled along the way. This is the only way Clemson gets into the ACC Championship game. The coaching staff keeps saying they are “this close to putting it all together.”
Well, being on the conservative side, Clemson will pull this one out. In a close one 21-16.