Clemson - B.C. video rewind

CLEMSON - When you watch a game at home or in the stadium, you miss stuff.

You're watching with eight or 83,000 of your closest friends, you're cooking, enjoying yourself, watching the wrong thing, and something important slips by.

That's why I've started doing this feature – a weekly rewind of Clemson football, the good and the bad. It helps me pick things up, and I think it'll help you, too.

Without further ado, here's what I picked up from ABC's broadcast of No. 3 Clemson 24, Boston College 14:

We join Clemson-Boston College 34 seconds in, thanks to the overrun of ABC's previous game, Texas-Oklahoma. Your crew? Play by play man Bob Wischusen, color man Rod Gilmore and sideline reporter Quint Kessenich.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd finds Sammy Watkins for a first down on the right flank. Gilmore: "Three years of working with Watson has made them very comfortable together, and Watson, Watkins saw his quarterback in trouble and cut off his route."

A few plays later, tailback Rod McDowell drags a pair of BC tacklers for a first down at the Eagles' 30.

"Great hard running by Brooks to pick up the first down," Gilmore intones. Not a strong start for him.

Boyd struggled with the zone read exchange on the first drive, saving his second fumble.

As Chandler Catanzaro lines up for a 25-yard field goal, Wischusen notes that he is perfect this season and has made 30 of his last 31 tries. So, naturally, it hooks right.

"The announcer jinx!" Wischusen yells.

Equally caffeinated? BC coach Steve Addazio. Wischusen: "Steve Addazio, who would make coffee nervous."

Freshman Korrin Wiggins had an excellent start to the game, with a great hit on a perfectly-read option pitch to bottle up a BC runner. Save that for Georgia Tech week, Korrin.

Three Boston College players let a Nate Freese punt bounce at the 3-yard line and into the end zone between them.

"They got greedy," Gilmore says. "They could have downed it at the 4 or 5 and didn't get it." Kessenich references Boyd's fumbles and notes his bruised left hand, saying "he's got it heavily taped and has a glove on it and it looks like it's affecting his ability to handle the football."

This as the camera pans directly to Boyd's bare left hand.

(To be fair, ABC came back later and noted the hand was taped on the first drive – hence the issues).

Addazio is very angry after a Clemson drive is extended by a pass interference call on a BC cornerback defending Martavis Bryant – the ball was behind him, but the corner was tugging on Bryant's jersey.

"I don't know if he's going to make it through this game," Gilmore said.

Rettig showed excellent mobility early, perhaps even better than national rushing leader Andre Williams, who appeared mostly bottled up by Clemson's defense, even with the Eagles using two tight-end sets to block for him.

But Rettig can't escape Corey Crawford on a big coverage sack set up by the Tigers' secondary.

Wischusen: "The old reputation of Clemson was all offense, no defense, playing shootout after shootout. It's no longer true."

Moments later, freshman safety Jayron Kearse lays a big hit on tight end C.J. Parsons.

Gilmore calls it "all that's wrong with college football; no wrapping up, intimidating a player."

Stephone Anthony has a solid start to the game and is in on several tackles.

Wischusen says defensive coordinator Brent Venables told him Anthony is "a first day, first two rounds of the NFL kind of player."

But he doesn't show up on BC's first touchdown, a 38-yard touchdown run by Myles Willis. It's perfectly blocked at the point of attack, and the only Clemson tackler with a shot is Kearse…. who makes a horrid, flailing arm-tackle attempt at the 10 as Willis flies by. 7-0, Eagles.

Dabo told ABC that he wasn't worried about overlooking the Eagles and was "absolutely certain he'd play well today."

Clemson is driving again at midfield when Zac Brooks takes a screen pass 14 yards, crosses the 50 and loses the ball on a good hit by defensive back Sean Sylvia.

Death Valley is silent, and can you blame it? Not the way many expected this game to unfold. The defense picks up the offense again, holding BC to a three-and-out. Big moment there.

I really liked Watkins' wide receiver pass to Adam Humphries on the ensuing series. It was just too long – Humphries was even more wide open than his two scores at Syracuse.

Catanzaro walks on, attempting to atone for his earlier miss, but he never gets the chance. Holder Corbin Jenkins fumbles the snap, forcing Catanzaro to pull up without kicking the ball. Jenkins is swarmed for a loss, and if Dabo's looks could kill, he'd need a new holder for the next try.

Once again, Boston College can't take advantage of Clemson's miscues.

Rettig throws a shovel pass right off his left guard's back and into Wiggins' waiting mitts. What was Rettig thinking on that play?

Midway through the second quarter – with Clemson trailing 7-0 – we get the now-obligatory "Clemsoning" reference. Wischusen notes that Clemson has been one of the best teams in the nation over the last three years and has won 13 games in a row by double digits over unranked foes, the second-longest streak in America behind No.1 Alabama.

"They're scaring their fans today," he notes. Moments later, McDowell joins the mistake parade as he fumbles a poor exchange from Boyd. "The fans here in Death Valley can't believe what they're seeing," Wischusen says.

Once again, BC can't do anything with the gift, thanks to Robert Smith, who makes a nice third-down pass breakup. He's a sure tackler who's having a pretty good game.

Despite the fumble, McDowell is having his best game since the season-opening breakout against Georgia. He breaks an Eagle safety's ankles on an impressive 32-yard run.

He made excellent effort on a fourth-down screen pass at the BC 30, but comes up two inches short. Clemson hasn't had a scoreless first half since November 2010, and Boyd keeps it that way with a solid tempo drive to end the half with Catanzaro's field goal.

Halftime: Boston College 7, Clemson 3.

"We're lucky to get them three," Swinney tells Kessenich. "Hats off to BC. They outplayed us, bottom line. We self-destructed." He catches Addazio coming out of the halftime tunnel.

"Our locker room's on fire," Addazio says. "We've got to come out and translate that into that kind of play in the second half."

Sounds like a problem for the Clemson fire department.

Anthony, Spencer Shuey and the Tigers' line are impressive as the second half begins. Anthony isn't even touched as he blitzes for a big sack. Clemson needs an offensive spark, and Bryant provides it – burning DB Manny Asprilla on a beautiful double move for a 48-yard touchdown down the right sideline.

But wait – a lonely flag sits back at the line of scrimmage. Illegal procedure; a receiver lined up a foot too far, leaving one fewer man in the backfield than is required.

No matter. Two plays later, Boyd goes back to Watkins, who burns Al-Louis Jean – who falls down – for a huge score and 10-7 lead.

"You play man to man coverage on him, you come at the king, you best not miss," says The Wire fan Gilmore.

But Alex Amidon steals momentum right back for the Eagles, burning Kearse on a double move for a 69-yard touchdown and 14-10 lead.

Even Watkins looks rattled, dropping an easy screen from Boyd.

Clemson still trails late in the third quarter when the defensive line shows up.

Defensive end Vic Beasley trucks Williams for a tackle for loss and House of Pain's "Jump Around" blares.

BC commits consecutive false starts and moves backward. Death Valley is getting loud.

On a third and forever, Garry Peters, Smith and Beasley swarm Williams. You can sense momentum shifting back to Clemson's sideline as Freese punts only to his own 48.

Watkins commits another drop, but Stanton Seckinger picks him up with an excellent grab of Boyd's high toss. He has been a difference-maker at tight end ahead of Jordan Leggett, who I didn't notice on the field in this game. Great call with the quarterback draw for Boyd on the go-ahead touchdown. He's a weapon with his legs.

I noticed linebacker Tony Steward on the field for the first time early in the fourth quarter. And boy, does he justify his presence.

Huge sack of Rettig, who inexplicably tries to throw as he's being taken down. Beasley scoops and scores for a 13-yard touchdown and 24-14 Clemson lead.

Somewhere in Bristol, an ESPN executive waiting to unveil College GameDay plans sighs in relief. Death Valley gets even louder as Amidon commits a false start.

"You come here, you better bring your silent count or hand signal," Gilmore says. "When this crowd wants to take you out of it, they'll take you out of it."

Addazio burns his team's final timeout and screams at Rettig for poor communication. Beasley earned his game MVP leather helmet in the fourth quarter. With mammoth left tackle Matt Patchan clearly holding him, he breaks through for a sack.

One quibble: up 10 points with nine minutes left, Clemson is still running hurry-up. Shouldn't this be a time when Chad Morris slows down the pace a bit, bleeds some clock?

Instead, Boston College is the team huddling.

"BC looks completely unprepared for this situation," Wischusen says.

Shaq Lawson's shoulder injury after chasing Amidon on an end-around looks painful. The ABC sideline mic catches him crying out in pain as trainers attend to him.

But he'll be fine after some medical attention, and Clemson is unbeaten. With three minutes left, ABC breaks the world's worst-kept secret: College GameDay is coming back to Clemson for Clemson-Florida State.

It wasn't easy getting there, but for the Tigers, all's well that ends well. Top Stories