WHEW, biggest comeback in Clemson history! It was stressful as a heart attack, but that was the best thing that could have happened for the Tigers. DJ just passed a crash course in football and needed it if he'll be the starter at Notre Dame next week like I think he will. The Tigers really showed their mettle, scoring 24 unanswered points after falling behind by 18. It was their largest 1st half deficit since 2013 FSU and largest deficit at any point since the 2017 Sugar Bowl against Bama. BC was catching all the breaks in the world, and that was some of the worst officiating I've seen since Ron Cherry! Those 2 enormous roughing calls to negate interceptions almost cost the Tigers the game. They would have won easily if not for those! Not to mention the 14-point swing on the fumble by Etienne at the goal line. It was a perfect storm with Trevor, Skalski, Jones and Davis out, but the Tigers came through it with the win! That's why they have the nation's longest active win streak, now at 27 straight. It was also their FBS-record 50th straight Saturday win, 40th straight non-playoff win and 28th straight ACC win. Travis Etienne is now the all-time leading rusher in the ACC, breaking Ted Brown's 40-year-old record.
Dabo just nipped the whole Trevor Lawrence debate in the bud during his post-game press conference, saying Trevor will NOT play at Notre Dame. Many thought Trevor might play, but I said right off the bat that I'd be shocked if Trevor plays next week.
Clemson trailed by 18 points in the first half, making the win Clemson’s largest home comeback victory in school history. Clemson’s largest comeback victory in Death Valley prior to Saturday had come in 1966, when Clemson turned a 17-point 35-18 deficit into a 40-35 win against Virginia.
The win tied for the second-largest comeback win in school history at any location, matching an 18-point comeback at Maryland in 2011, which had also stood as Clemson’s largest comeback win under Dabo Swinney.
The game was Clemson’s 15th victory all-time when trailing by 14 or more points at any point of the game. It was Clemson’s sixth such comeback win under Dabo Swinney and its first since the 2019 Fiesta Bowl, when Clemson overcame a 16-point deficit for a win.
Clemson overcame a 15-point halftime deficit, its largest halftime deficit overcome by Clemson in a victory since overcoming a 21-point halftime deficit in a 29-28 win at Virginia in 1992.
Clemson trailed by two points entering the fourth quarter. It was Clemson’s 10th win under Dabo Swinney when trailing after three quarters and its first since 2018 against Syracuse.
Clemson improved to 27-4 in one-possession games since 2011. Clemson’s .871 winning percentage in one-score games since 2011 is the best in the FBS in that span.
Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei made his first career start and completed 30-of-41 passes for 342 yards with two passing touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed six times for 25 yards with a rushing touchdown.
Uiagalelei joined Steve Fuller, Willie Jordan, Patrick Sapp, Nealon Greene, Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence as one of only seven true freshmen ever to start for Clemson at quarterback. He joined Watson and Lawrence as the only true freshmen to win their starting debuts.
Uiagalelei posted the seventh 300-yard passing game by a Clemson true freshman starting quarterback all-time, joining one by Deshaun Watson in 2014 and five by Trevor Lawrence in 2018.
Uiagalelei’s 342 passing yards were the third-most by a Clemson freshman (true or redshirt) in his starting debut, trailing Deshaun Watson’s 435 yards against North Carolina in 2014 and Charlie Whitehurst’s 420 yards against Duke in 2002.
Uiagalelei completed his first eight passes of the game.
Uiagalelei recorded his first career touchdown pass on a 35-yard scoring reception by running back Travis Etienne.
On the play, Etienne scored a touchdown in a 42nd career games, breaking the FBS record for most games scoring a touchdown previously held by San Diego State's Donnel Pumphrey from 2013-16. (*NOTE: Entering the 2020 season, the NCAA FBS Record Book listed Florida's Tim Tebow (38 games from 2006-09) and Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon (38 from 2012-15) as the record-holders for most career games scoring a touchdown. Etienne was believed to have broken that record by scoring in a 39th career game against Miami. However, after additional research by ESPN, the NCAA acknowledged an error in its record book and updated it to reflect Pumphrey scoring a touchdown in 41 games from 2013-16.)
Etienne finished the game with 20 carries for 84 yards with one rushing touchdown and seven receptions for a career-high and school-running-back-record 140 yards with a receiving touchdown. Etienne won the Leather Helmet Award as the game’s MVP, as selected by the game’s television broadcasters. Immediately upon receiving the award in the locker room, he dedicated the honor and handed over the Leather Helmet to Uiagalelei.
On a 15-yard third-quarter run, Etienne (4,644) broke the ACC career rushing record held by NC State's Ted Brown (4,602 from 1975-78).
Etienne’s career-high140 receiving yards set the Clemson school record for receiving yards by a running back, breaking his 114 yards against Virginia earlier this season. He joins C.J. Spiller (two in 2008) as the only running backs in Clemson history with multiple 100-yard receiving games in a single season.
Etienne (1,001) reached 1,000 career receiving yards during the contest. He becomes only the 12th player in FBS history to record at least 4,000 rushing yards and at least 1,000 receiving yards in a career.
Etienne (438) passed Duke's Ross Martin (430 from 2012-15) for second on the ACC's career scoring leaderboard. Etienne was already Clemson's all-time leading scorer and the only non-kicker in ACC history with at least 400 career points.
Including his 264 all-purpose yards on Saturday, Etienne (6,246) joined C.J. Spiller as the only players in ACC history to record 6,000 career all-purpose yards.
During the game, Etienne (4,807) passed Homer Jordan (4,614) for 11th on Clemson's career leaderboard for total offense (combined rushing and passing yards).
Uiagalelei scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a 30-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 in the third quarter.
Wide receiver Cornell Powell recorded a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 105 receiving yards.
Powell’s 11 receptions are the most by a Clemson receiver in a game since November 2016 against Pitt, when Mike Williams made 15 catches and Artavis Scott had 13 catches. It tied for 10th-most in a game in school history.
With Powell and Etienne both eclipsing 100 receiving yards, Clemson had two players each reach 100 receiving yards in a single game for the 14th time in school history. It was Clemson’s first time doing so since last year’s South Carolina game, when Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross both reached the century mark.
Wide receiver Amari Rodgers caught seven passes for 66 yards with a touchdown.
Rodgers has now caught at least six passes in five straight games, becoming the first Clemson player to do so since a six-game stretch by Mike Williams in October and November of 2016.
Rodgers pushed his season receiving yardage total to 586 to set a new single-season career high, passing his 575 yards in 15 games in 2018.
Defensive lineman Bryan Bresee helped seal the victory by forcing an intentional grounding for a safety. It was Clemson’s first safety since 2016 at Georgia Tech.
Placekicker B.T. Potter closed Clemson’s final possession of the first half with a 50-yard field goal. It was his school-record-tying fifth career field goal of 50 yards or more, matching the mark held jointly by Chris Gardocki (1988-90) and Donald Igwebuike (1981-84).
Potter’s school record for consecutive PATs ended at 122 when he missed his first career PAT attempt on his 123rd PAT try of his career in the fourth quarter.
Clemson gained 448 total yards and has now opened a season with 400 yards of offense in each of the first seven games of a season for the third time since 2000 (2000 and 2018).
Clemson threw for 342 yards and reached 300 passing yards in a third straight game for the first time since a four-game stretch against NC State, Wake Forest, South Carolina and Virginia last season.
Boston College scored 1:54 into the game on the game’s opening possession. Clemson entered the game having not trailed in regular season play since the final minute of the second quarter of its game against North Carolina on Sept. 28, 2019. Clemson had not trailed at any point of its last 13 regular season games (final seven games in 2019 and the first six in 2020). The Boston College touchdown ended a streak of 812:27 of regular season game action since it last trailed in a regular season game.
The game was played on the 124th anniversary of Clemson’s football debut. Clemson earned a 14-6 win against Furman in its first game on Oct. 31, 1896.
Clemson and Boston College met in Death Valley in consecutive years for the first time in series history. It was the first time the teams played one another in back-to-back seasons at the same venue. The only time in the series the teams previously faced one another in the same region in back-to-back years was in the 1950s, when Clemson faced Boston College at Braves Field in 1952 and then at Fenway Park in 1953.
Boston College faced an undefeated Clemson team for the sixth straight season. The last time Boston College faced a Clemson team with a loss on its ledger was in 2014 when the 4-2 Tigers defeated the 4-2 Eagles, 17-13.
Clemson played its final of four home games in the month of October. October 2020 was the seventh time Clemson has played at least four home games in a single month, joining the 1920, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2008 and 2011 campaigns. In every instance (including this year), Clemson posted a winning record in those contests.
Clemson played its 21st game all-time while ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, the 15th-most since the poll's inception in 1936. It was Dabo Swinney's 20th game coached at No. 1, passing Jim Tressel for sole possession of 17th all-time.
Captains for the contest were running back Travis Etienne, long snapper Jack Maddox, offensive tackle Jordan McFadden and safety Nolan Turner.
WITH THE WIN......
Clemson opened a season 7-0 for the ninth time in school history, joining the 1948, 1981, 2000, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Clemson went 4-0 at home in October, winning four home games in a single month for only the second time in school history. Clemson opened the 2011 season with four consecutive home games in September, earning wins against Troy, Wofford, Auburn and Florida State to kick off an ACC Championship season.
Including both home and road games, Clemson went 5-0 in October, securing its eighth five-win month in school history. Clemson went 5-0 in October 1977, October 1981, November 1991, September 2000, October 2015, September 2017 and September 2018.
Clemson improved to 19-2 all-time when ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press. Clemson has never lost a regular season game as the nation's top-ranked team.
Clemson improved to 15-7 all-time in games played on Halloween. The win pushed Clemson to 7-2 all-time in Halloween home games and gave Clemson a 6-1 mark at Death Valley on that date since the Memorial Stadium's opening in 1942.
Clemson won its 27th consecutive home game to extend its school record for the longest home winning streak and longest home unbeaten streak in school history. Of the 120 players on Clemson's 2020 roster, 111 have never experienced a home loss in their Clemson careers. Nine fifth-year seniors on Clemson's 2020 roster were on the 2016 team that recovered from a home loss to Pitt by winning the national championship that season.
Clemson won its 28th consecutive game against an ACC opponent, including postseason play. The 28-game winning streak against conference opponents ties Clemson with the 2012-15 Florida State Seminoles (28) for the second-longest streak in ACC history.
Clemson has now won 36 consecutive regular season games, adding to the longest such streak in ACC annals. Clemson's last regular season loss came in October 2017 at Syracuse.
Clemson won a 39th consecutive non-bowl game, tying the 2000-03 Miami Hurricanes for the second-longest streak in the AP Poll era. The streak includes 36 regular season games and three conference championship games.
Clemson improved to 19-9-2 all-time against Boston College, dating to the teams' first meeting in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day in 1940.
Clemson won its 10th consecutive game against Boston College, dating back to 2011. Clemson’s 10-game winning streak against Boston College is its second-longest active streak against an ACC opponent, trailing Clemson’s 12-game active winning streak against Wake Forest.
Clemson recorded its eighth winning streak of 10 or more games against a single opponent all-time, joining streaks against Furman (31 from 1938-present), Virginia (29 from 1955-89), The Citadel (18 from 1932-present), Presbyterian (15 from 1944-present) and three against Wake Forest (15 from 1977-91, 12 from 2009-present and 10 from 1940-50).
Clemson improved to 12-4 against Boston College since the Eagles joined the ACC in 2005.
Clemson improved to 7-0 against Boston College at home under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
Though 2020 is technically being played sans divisions, Clemson defeated a traditional ACC Atlantic Division opponent for a 17th straight time and for the 37th time in its last 38 opportunities.
Clemson improved to 26-1 in October games in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014).
Clemson pushed its winning streak in Saturday games to 50 to extend the longest Saturday winning streak in FBS history.