After demolishing Georgia Tech a week ago with over 230 yards on the ground, Clemson's rushing attack vanished in every sense of the word against Boston College Saturday. In all, the Tigers managed just 86 yards on 23 attempts, seemingly abandoning the ground game despite facing as many as eight defenders dropping back in coverage. But that was nearly as fatal as Kyle Parker's pair of fourth quarter interceptions. Clearly frustrated with the lack of execution on offense, Clemson's redshirt sophomore signal caller simply rolled the dice too many times with the game on the line. The lone bright spot perhaps was Dwayne Allen, who led all pass-catchers with 7 receptions. But all of that aside, it's now been more than eight quarters since Clemson has scored an offensive touchdown against B.C. - how on Earth could a passing grade be given here? Nothing consistently worked Saturday - especially in the red zone.
After moving the ball effectively throughout the first half, the Clemson defense held the Eagles to just two first downs and no points in the second. In addition, the only touchdown given up came after a fumbled kick return deep in Clemson territory. Rashard Hall certainly played well, jumping an out-pattern before taking it 52 yards to the end zone to give Clemson its lone touchdown of the game. All in all it was a good plan that worked for most of the day against B.C.'s pro-style offense, but poor tackling in the first half helped provide the Eagles too big of a margin to work with. And what about B.C. running back Montel Harris? Can any one player for the Tigers bring that guy down? It sure didn't seem like it Saturday - especially in the first half.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F
Boston College made three field goals in three tries. Clemson made one in three. Boston College didn't fumble any kick returns. Clemson fumbled one. Ball game. Dabo Swinney said afterwards he would have used Richard Jackson had his team attempted another field goal and that he'll open the kicking competition back up this coming week in practice. For as well as Clemson's special teams have played this year and against Boston College the last two seasons, Saturday's performance was equally as bad.
One of the lone bright spots for the Clemson offense Saturday was Dwayne Allen, who caught seven passes for 57 yards. (Roy Philpott)
Offensively, Clemson seems to be abandoning the running game too quickly. Working against eight defenders in coverage, Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper could have been more of a focal point of the offense Saturday. But they weren't. Defensively, the game plan was solid but a handful of missed tackles really hurt in the first half. Eight games into the season- that shouldn't be an issue, especially in facing a back who leads the league in rushing and seems to move the pile forward time after time. And special teams? Well, they were downright woeful. All in all, it looked like an uninspired performance from a team that was flat.
First off, this game was eerily similar to last year's loss at Maryland in the sense that Clemson got ahead early then fell asleep and lost thanks to missed field goals, turnovers and an overall uninspired performance. Secondly, Clemson had no business losing this game. Boston College lost five games in a row coming into today, started a freshman quarterback who threw a pick-six on his very first pass, had virtually no offense outside of its running back and still won. For whatever reason, this team struggles putting opponents away- especially on the road, where it is 0-3 this year. Sure, the Tigers are still hoping to play in Charlotte this year - only now it appears it will be last week in December instead of the first- in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Simply put, watching games unfold like this is frustrating - for all parties involved.