NOTES: Tigers travel to Boston College

Clemson has a 12-9-2 lead in the series with Boston College that dates to the 1940 Cotton Bowl.

O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy to the Winner
For the seventh time, Clemson and Boston College will play for a trophy. The Boston College Gridiron Club began sponsoring the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy in 2008. Clemson has won five of the six years the trophy has been awarded.

The trophy features a leather helmet replica of those used by Charlie O’Rourke of Boston College and Banks McFadden of Clemson, when they competed against each other in the 1940 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. In addition to the trophy presentation, the Boston College Gridiron Club will present a replica leather helmet to the MVP of the winning school. The helmet will reflect the colors of the winning team.

C.J. Spiller won the award for the 2008 game when he had 242 all-purpose yards, and Clemson kicker Richard Jackson won the award for the 2009 game. He kicked six field goals in the Clemson victory, the only kicker at the FBS level to kick six field goals in a game in 2009. Montell Harris won the award for Boston College in 2010 thanks to his 143 yards rushing and he scored the game’s only offensive touchdown. Chandler Catanzaro became the second Clemson kicker to win the honor with his five field goals in the 36-14 Clemson win in 2011. Tajh Boyd won it in 2012 with a 367 yard passing game and Vic Beasley took the honor last year when he had a fumble return for a touchdown. The Boston College Gridiron Club developed the idea in order to honor the tradition at both schools and to honor the legacy of Charlie O’Rourke and Banks McFadden, who played during the leather helmet era. Clemson and Boston College are both in the Atlantic Division of the ACC and will play every year.

O’Rourke led Boston College from the quarterback position to a 26-3-2 record in his three years as the quarterback of the Eagles between 1938-40. One of those three losses was to McFadden and Clemson in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. O’Rourke had his jersey retired at Boston College and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

McFadden led the Tigers to a 9-1 record in 1939 as the starting quarterback. Regarded as the greatest all-around Clemson athlete of the 20th Century, he was an All-American in football and basketball at Clemson. The 1939 football team finished 12th in the final AP poll, Clemson’s first top 20 season on record, and the win over Boston College in the Cotton Bowl was Clemson’s first bowl appearance. In the spring of 1939 he led Clemson to the Southern Conference Basketball championship. McFadden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959, Clemson’s first inductee.

Dabo's first win was in Chestnut Hill
C.J. Spiller totaled 242 all-purpose yards and Clemson scored the game’s final 10 points to defeat Boston College 27-21 at Alumni Stadium on November 1, 2008. It was Clemson’s first win over the Eagles since 1958, snapping its six-game winless streak, and the first win for Dabo Swinney as Clemson’s interim head coach.

Behind 240 yards in the first half, Clemson jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead. But Boston College took advantage of several Tiger miscues and scored 21 straight points to take the lead in the fourth quarter. But Spiller’s 64-yard kickoff return set up the Tigers’ go-ahead score and the Clemson defense thwarted Boston College to preserve Clemson’s first victory over the Eagles since they joined the ACC.

Clemson outgained the Eagles 339- 236 and was led by the all-around performance of Spiller. The junior running back had eight carries for 55 yards and six catches for 105 yards. He also added a 64-yard kickoff return and 18-yard punt return.

Spiller was named game MVP and was ACC Offensive Back-of-the-Week. Thomas Austin was also named ACC Offensive Lineman- of-the-Week.

James Davis totaled 52 yards on 13 carries and a score, his 42nd career rushing touchdown. It broke the school record that was previously held by Travis Zachery (1998-01). Aaron Kelly also hauled in his 19th career touchdown catch, breaking the previous Tiger record held by Glenn Smith (1949-51). Cullen Harper, who rushed for a touchdown, was 21-33 for 252 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions. His favorite target was Jacoby Ford, who had a game-high seven catches for 72 yards.

The Eagles were limited to just 116 passing yards on 39 attempts, less than three yards per attempt. They had two offensive touchdowns, which came on drives of seven and 21 yards. Only two of their 15 offensive drives traveled more than 25 yards, and both ended in missed field goals.

The Tiger defense limited the Eagles to just 2-17 on third down and allowed one offensive play of 20 yards or more, which was a 23-yard pass play. The Tigers did not register a sack, but they were a big reason Chris Crane was just 18-39 for 116 yards due to consistent pressure in the backfield.

Williams Averaging over 20 Yards per Catch
Clemson sophomore Mike Williams has developed into a big play performer on the perimeter for the Tigers. The native of Vance, S.C. has 22 receptions for 24.7 yards per catch and four scores this year. He had two touchdown receptions in consecutive wins over North Carolina and N.C. State and 15 of his 22 receptions this year have gone for at least 20 yards.

For his career, Williams has 42 receptions for 859 yards, a 20.45 average per catch. That is second best in Clemson history, trailing only the 22.2 average by Martavis Bryant from 2011-13. Bryant is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Among all FBS players with at least 20 catches so far this year, Williams is second in the nation in yards per reception. Only Travin Dural of LSU is better with a 26.08 average on 24 receptions.

Winning a Game with Defense and Special Teams
Clemson used defense and special teams to gain a 23-17 win over Louisville. The Tigers did not score a touchdown on offense, but won the game. It was the first time that has happened since the 2009 Boston College game when the Tigers won 25-7 thanks to six field goals by Richard Jackson and a 77-yard punt return for a score by C.J. Spiller.

It was the first time Clemson did not score an offensive touchdown under Chad Morris and the first time it did not score a touchdown on offense in any game since the 2010 Boston College game in Boston, a game the Eagles won 16-10.

Scott Ties Watkins Record for Receptions by a Freshman
Clemson true freshman receiver Artavis Scott had 10 receptions for 66 yards in Clemson’s victory over Louisville. The 10 receptions by Scott tied Sammy Watkins record for most receptions in a game by a freshman (red-shirt or true). It was the second Watkins freshman record that Scott has broken or tied this year. Scott had 164 receiving yards against South Carolina State, breaking Watkins’s freshman record for receiving yards. Watkins had 155 against Auburn in 2011.Scott leads Clemson in receptions this year with 28, six more than any other Tiger. He has 371 receiving yards and three touchdowns to rank second in both of those categories.

Two of Nation’s Top Defenses Meet in Boston
Two of the top defenses in the nation will compete in Boston this weekend when the Tigers face the Boston College Eagles. Both teams rank in the top eight in the nation in total defense, as Clemson is sixth, allowing 286 yards per game and Boston College is eighth, allowing 289.8 yards per game.

Both are also in the top 11 in the nation in rushing defense. Clemson has allowed 100.5 yards per contest to rank 11th and Boston College is ninth, allowing 99.8 yards per contest. Both teams are also in the top 20 in pass defense as well. Clemson is also third in third-down conversion defense, allowing opponents to convert just 25 percent of the time. The Tigers are sixth in red zone defense, allowing opponents to score 64.3 percent of the opportunities, and seventh in first down defense, allowing 13.7 per game.

Clemson is also second in tackles for loss per game and 17th in sacks.

Clemson Schedule 9th toughest in the Nation
Clemson has played the ninth most difficult schedule in the nation so far this year according to the NCAA which calculates strength of schedule based on opponent’s record when not playing against you. It also does not count games against FCS opponents. Clemson opponents have a .696 winning percentage when not playing against Clemson. Iowa State has played the most difficult schedule so far with a .800 figure.

Clemson vs. Boston College Series
•Clemson has a 12-9-2 lead in the series with Boston College that dates to the 1940 Cotton Bowl. Clemson has won each of the last three games, 36-14 at Clemson in 2011, 45-31 at Boston College in 2012 and 24-14 at Clemson in 2013. Boston College’s last win was in 2010 in Boston by a 16-10 count.

•Clemson has averaged 35 points a game against Boston College for the three years Chad Morris has been offensive coordinator. The Tigers averaged just 21 per game in the six games prior to that, or since Boston College joined the ACC in 2005.

•The Tigers have won five of the six games played since Dabo Swinney became Clemson head coach. Clemson won 27-21 in Chestnut Hill in 2008 and 25-7 at Clemson in 2009. The 2008 win in Boston was Swinney’s first career win as a head coach.

•The series dates to the 1939 season and the January 1, 1940 Cotton Bowl. That was a landmark victory for the Clemson program, the school’s first bowl game and the school’s first win over a top 20 team. Boston College was ranked 11th in the nation entering the game and coached by Frank Leahy, the second winningest coach in college football history based on percentage. Clemson won 6-3 behind 115 yards rushing from Charlie Timmons and four pass deflections in the fourth quarter by Clemson legend Banks McFadden.

•Five of the nine meetings between the two teams since Boston College joined the ACC in 2005 have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Tigers hold a 5-4 advantage in the series since Boston College joined the ACC for the 2005 season.

•Two of Clemson’s victories in the series took place during undefeated Tiger seasons. Clemson won 26-19 in 1948 on the way to a perfect 11-0 season, and won 35-14 in 1950 on the way to a 9-0-1 season.

• In 1983, at Chestnut Hill, the Eagles gained a 31-16 win behind Doug Flutie. Clemson had a 16-3 lead with 25 minutes left in the game, but the Eagles went on a 28-0 run to end the contest behind Flutie. The 1984 Heisman winner, was 20-36 for 223 yards and two touchdowns against a Clemson defense that featured All-American William Perry. The Eagles gained 504 yards of total offense on the night, 281 rushing and 223 passing. It was Clemson’s only loss in 1983 (9-1-1).

•The two teams tied in a 1982 game in Death Valley. The game was televised by CBS on a regional basis, the first CBS broadcast from Clemson’s Memorial Stadium. Clemson had a 14-0 lead at intermission, but sophomore quarterback Doug Flutie led Boston College back to take a 17-14 lead. The Tigers tied the game in the fourth quarter, on a field goal by Donald Igwebuike, who played soccer and football for the Tigers that fall. He then had another attempt from 43 yards with eight seconds left, but the kick missed and the game ended in a 17-17 tie.

CUTigers.com Top Stories