No Rest for the Weary

CLEMSON – Just once, Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning would like to breathe a sigh of relief coming out of a tough game. But he can't afford to. It seems his next opponent is even better than the one the Tigers just finished playing.

And that certainly may be the case once again this week, at least offensively, as Boston College comes to town Saturday for its first ever ACC road game.

The Eagles are loaded with experience and are coming off a showing where they compiled 24 first downs and 380 yard of total offense against a very strong Florida State defense.

"I don't think there's ever a good week (to play Boston College), but they are an extremely physical football team," Koenning said Tuesday. "We are going to have to play better than we played last week. … It's going to take everything we've got. We're going to have to give everything we have every play."

If facing the Eagles weren't enough of a concern for Koenning, there are added problems facing the Clemson defense.

"We're pretty beat up," Koenning said. "We've got some guys playing sore and trying to get them ready to play by Thursday. But that's part of the way it is. We haven't played an opponent like some schools play early in the year where you can … afford to play a bunch of players. We're playing our top 22 basically."

The biggest misconception about Boston College (2-1, 0-1 ACC) is that it is a football team molded after the style of the Big Ten, one that is big and slow, rather than sleek and fast.

"They've got some guys that are as quick as a hiccup," Koenning said. "They've got a couple of guys that can run with Florida State. They ran with Florida State just fine and Florida State is pretty talented. … They are in the elite."

But the Eagles are still large across the front, where the smallest player is center Patrick Ross, who tips the scales at a light 298 pounds. Every other starting lineman is at least 315.

"They've probably have as good a line physically, size wise and dominating power wise as anybody that we'll play, period," Koenning said. "Look in the media guide how many offensive linemen that they've had that's gone on to the NFL. They've been able to foster that and I'm sure they've got two or three on their offensive line right now that will go on to the NFL."

However, all is not lost for the Tigers. They have, after all, improved defensively every single game. Just looking at the effort put forth in the first half against Miami should relate that. And even in the second half, where Clemson played well until it just simply wore down.

"I think we made some good improvement," Koenning said. "If you sit and watch the film, you can almost be in awe at how talented (Miami) is. I was proud that our guys fought and fought. And we were tired, I'm not going to say we weren't, but they found something inside of them to stop them and our guys have found a way to do that defensively every game so far and we've got to keep getting that out of them."

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