Engineered by defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, the Tigers gave up -2 yards in the first half. Though three quarters, Boston College increased its total to 47, most coming on two runs by quarterback Justin Tuggle right after the second lightning delay.
By creating movement up front Clemson was able to finish with four sacks. For the second time in his career, Ricky Sapp registered two in one game. His cousin Da'Quan Bowers had one and DeAndre McDaniel was credited with the other.
"I think we've got some very talented young men up there…we should have had two more, possibly three," Steele said.
It was the front's ability to shut down the run that more impressive to him.
"That's a good football team over there. Traditionally, they can run the power-o and that stretch play as about as good as anybody," Steele said.
Along with Brandon Thompson, Rennie Moore, Jamie Cumbie and Miguel Chavis, Jarvis Jenkins knows he and the Clemson defensive tackles played a big part in giving up just 26 rushing yards.
But Jenkins credits Bowers and Sapp for leading the entire defense.
"We just stuffed the run and knocked everything out to them. They made most of the plays," Jenkins said.
In its own right, the secondary had a pretty stout day behind the line. Tuggle and Dave Shinskie had fits all day trying to locate open receivers. Tuggle was intercepted by McDaniel, Jonathan Meeks and Rashard Hall.
Boston college completed five passes on 21 attempts for 25 yards.
Steele instructs his defense to not pay attention to the most important statistic of the game—the score. Had they looked up before Andre Ellington's fumble at the Clemson 13-yard line, there would have been a nice looking goose egg right there in plain sight. The fumble set up the only Boston College points when Tuggle hooked up with Justin Jarvis for six on the ensuing play.
Brandon Thompson was once again dominant in the middle of Clemson's defensive line Saturday.
"We've got to show consistency. We're both 300 and we can't be getting pushed around," Jenkins said. "We should expect to do it every week."
Steele believes the defense has been a strong one three games in because the personnel.
"The reason we are talking the way are right now is because we've got good players that have bought in and they're relentless," he said.
JACKSON IS MONEY: Richard Jackson was named game MVP and was awarded a leather helmet replica of those used by Charlie O'Rourke of Boston College and Banks McFadden of Clemson when they played in the 1940 Cotton Bowl.
"I can't be anymore honored with what happened today," Jackson said.
He was good on all six field goal attempts (23, 33, 32, 52, 42, 35) as he kicked through wind and rain most of the afternoon.
Jackson tied Jad Dean's school record of six in 2005 against Texas A&M.
A guy that was in danger of finding himself off the football team eight months ago, Jackson is amazed with how far he's come.
"There are a lot of people that can take credit for that. I'm just one piece of the puzzle," he said.
Jackson is the third Clemson kicker to kick five field goals in one game. He's the first Clemson kicker since Nelson Welch (1992) to have multiple field goals of over 50 yards in the same season. Chris Gardocki was the last Clemson kicker to have field goals of over 50 yards in consecutive games.
Jackson is 11-13 on field goal attempts so far this season. His two misses against Middle Tennessee were from over 40 yards.
"Michael (Wade), Matt (Skinner) and the offensive line were perfect (Saturday)," he said. "It's just easy for me to kick. I have all the confidence in them."
Not sure what he'll do with the helmet, Jackson said it will probably end up on display somewhere. The likely home could be Coach Dabo Swinney's office.
HELPING THE RIVAL: Before the game, Swinney presented $5,000 from his All-In Team Foundation in Mark Herzlich's name to Uplifting Athletes, a non-profit foundation that works with college football players to raise rare diseases as a national priority. Shortly after finishing the spring semester this year, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer that's often found in bone or soft tissue.
Herzlich first complained of pain in his left knee and throughout his leg. After an MRI, a doctor referred him to an oncologist who diagnosed him with cancer. Last year, he led the Eagles with 110 tackles, six interceptions, eight pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Jamarcus Grant suggested that the team present Herzlich with a Clemson No. 94 jersey with his name on the back and autographs from the entire team.