In addition, the Tigers will likely try to use a ball-control offense and try to wear down the Eagles' defense, which is exactly what Boston College did to them last year.
O'Brien is fearful he's about to get a taste of his
"That's a big concern of ours; holding onto the
football," he said. "Their line is similar to what
ours was a year ago. Last year, we returned our whole
offensive line and they were veterans and that's the
situation Clemson's in now. It will be a great
challenge for our defense."
Hurting the Eagles' cause, at least temporarily, is
the abscence of tackle B.J. Raji, who is suspended for
the first half for being ejected last week against
"It's going to hurt a lot because he's our best inside
player right now," O'Brien said. "But that's the way
it's going to be and there's nothing we can do about
it. We have to hang in there and get the game to the
second half, where he can get in there and help us."
One player who is expected to play for Boston College
even though there's been talk of him being injured is
quarterback Matt Ryan.
O'Brien said Wednesday that his playing status will be
a game-time decision.
Many observers looked down upon the performance by the
Eagles last week in their game against a much lesser
However, O'Brien said everything wasn't as it seemed.
"It was a 31-10 game with 10 minutes left," he said.
"We had 400 yards offense, they had 200. We started
substituing guys on defense and we let them back in
it. I think you have to put yourself in situations
like that to find out about your kids."
Now, that's not to say that he doesn't think his team
can improve its play dramtically.
"There's a lot that we have to improve upon," he said.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the maturity of
the football team. I think we put ourselves in a
situation where we didn't have to, but we found a way
to win with a lot of young kids on the football field.
"Hopefully they've grown up and I think that is the
biggest thing that could help us right now."
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