NO.2 CLEMSON OBLITERATES ANOTHER ACC ATLANTIC TEAM, 59-7 OVER BC FOR 23RD STRAIGHT WIN
- 2019-10-27 12:33:36
CLEMSON, SC – The Defending Champs once again demonstrated why they are the true No.1 team, running roughshod over Boston College 59-7 in Death Valley on Homecoming. It extended the Tigers’ nation-long win streak to 23 games. 20 of those 23 wins have been blowouts, including 7 of 8 this season! Clemson is the only team in the nation with 7 wins over Power Five opponents, and the Tigers have outscored their last 3 opponents—Florida State, Louisville and Boston College—by a combined score of 149-31. And those games would have been even more lopsided if the Tigers had played their starters for more than half the time.
After the Tigers’ defense forced a quick three-and-out on the Eagles’ opening possession, the offense drove right down the field and never looked back. They were able to do whatever they wanted offensively, scoring 5 touchdowns and a short field goal on their first 6 possessions. The Tigers didn’t even punt the ball until the second half! Travis Etienne followed up his 200-yard rushing performance at Louisville with 109 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 16 carries. Diondre Overton also scored a hat trick, scoring touchdowns on all 3 of his catches that went for 119 yards. It was a career game for Overton, who hadn’t scored a TD all season prior to Saturday, and the 3 touchdown receptions tied a Clemson record. It’s gratifying to see a talented player accept a backup role and be rewarded with a game like that. Overton would probably be a starter on every other team in the ACC but has had to wait for his opportunities at WRU, and he’s made the most of them. People forge that he made a superb catch in tight coverage at Texas A&M last year, and that score proved to be the game-winner. He also made a couple nice catches at Louisville last week and has been steady all season.
Trevor Lawrence was incredibly efficient, going 16-19 for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in less than 3 quarters of play. He also ran 8 times for 42 yards. He made one poor decision on a throw that was almost intercepted on the sideline, when he should have just thrown it away out of bounds. It’s fortunate that it wasn’t intercepted, or that’s all you would have heard ESPN talk about this week.
The story of the season for the Tigers thus far, though, has been the defense. It was the biggest question everyone had about this team after losing almost the entire front seven, including arguably the greatest defensive line in the history of college football. Instead of being a liability, the defense has carried this team at times and has been every bit as impressive as last year’s unit that led the nation. BC rushed for over 400 yards last week, and the Tigers held the Eagles to 97 rushing yards and 177 total yards. A.J. Dillon was second in the nation with 138.29 yards per game, and the Tigers held him to just 76. David Bailey was averaging 6.3 yards per carry on the season, and the Tigers held him to 1.6 yards per carry. And Xavier Thomas didn’t even play! He missed his second straight game due to a concussion he suffered in practice. The Tigers forced 7 three-and-outs, and there was no drop-off when the backups came in. We’ve seen several garbage touchdowns by opponents late in games this season, but the reserves were able to keep BC off the scoreboard, and the 7 points allowed is the fewest since they held Syracuse to 6 on the road. The Tigers recorded just 2 sacks, but BC only had 18 pass attempts in the game. The Tigers had 8 tackles-for-loss. Simmons had 1.5 TFL's, giving him 11.5 for the season. The highlight for the defense was the scoop-and-score by Logan Rudolph. He returned the fumble forced by Chad Smith 39 yards for his first career touchdown. It was the third score by the defense this season.
It was an electric atmosphere in Death Valley, and the rain held off perfectly until 20 minutes after the game concluded. Clemson Legend Levon Kirkland was enshrined in the Ring of Honor prior to kickoff, and Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden, the winningest FBS coach of all time, was back in Death Valley for the first time since he lost to the Tigers in 2009. He is one of the ten national champion head coaches Dabo has beaten in his career—the most recent being Mack Brown. Dabo flew Bowden up to celebrate his 90th birthday, and Bowden addressed the team on Friday. Terry Bowden, of course, has been on the Clemson staff this season as an unpaid graduate student intern. I asked Dabo after the game about his visit with the legendary Bowden, and Dabo’s face lit up. He said the two of them sat in his office talking for about an hour on Friday. Boy, what I would have given to have been privy to that conversation between two of the all-time greats, both on and off the field!
Dabo debuted his pink blazer after the game last night because it was the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game, and he had a humorous anecdote about that as well. You can watch our post-game press conference with Dabo below! For post-game interviews with players and coaches, click HERE. To donate to the All In Foundation for breast cancer research, please text DABO to 41444 on your cell phone!
Dabo said this was the most complete game the Tigers have played this season. They get a break from the ACC Atlantic schedule with another home game against Wofford next week, which should be another opportunity to execute at a high level and clear the benches. I’ll have our Sunday evening teleconference with Dabo posted by 7:00, so stay tuned!
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