Tigers impressed with B.C.

CLEMSON - Michael Palmer can't say enough good things about the Boston College football program.

In his mind, the words big and physical have become synonymous with the Eagles.

"Those are the two adjectives that go hand and hand with them," he said. "That's exactly what Saturday will be, a physical slugfest."

The Eagles line up and play out of a base 4-3 defense that has no qualms hitting opponents square in the mouth. No matter what the situation or the score Palmer knows he can expect that every snap on Saturday.

What also impresses him is the commitment to fair play.

"They've got a lot of class too. There's something to be said about that. It's a credit to the coaching staff and the players," Palmer said.

What C.J. Spiller felt was once an Achilles heel during his Clemson career, beating Boston College last year was quite the relief. He believes the winner on Saturday will have made the fewest mistakes.

"They're going to want to come down here and get revenge. They're going to want to steal one on our home field," he said.

Against a team that lines up and makes no bones about what it's doing, getting the speedy duo of Spiller and Jacoby Ford out into space will help Clemson's case in making it two straight against Boston College.

"If we get our guys in space, we're going to have a great chance of winning," Spiller said.

From the three times he's played against Boston College, Ford knows the Eagle's defensive philosophy is to keep the ball in front of them.

"Whenever you do get a chance, you have to take it and capitalize on any mistake they make," he said. "But it's very rare that they make a mistake on that defense."

For the second time, Clemson and Boston College will be playing for the O'Rourke-McFadden Trophy. The Tigers won the trophy last year with a 27-21 win in Chestnut Hill. Since Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Eagles have a 3-1 record against the Tigers. The series is tied 8-8-2 all-time.

It's a rivalry that's starting to take shape and grow with the two teams fighting each year for Atlantic Division supremacy.

"There's a different sense to it. We've had a bunch of close games with them. It's a slugfest," Palmer said. "They're going to come out and be physical and big. Thank goodness they don't have those two defense tackles (B.J. Raji and Ron Brace) they had last year.

"It does kind of feel like a rivalry considering how close the games are."


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