Think back to our first few years in the ACC. Every team was in it because no team was great. It all really came down to who played well within the division. That’s how Wake won. That’s how BC won during the two Jags years. Now -- with another Jameis Winston suspension looming -- it seems like the Division might be up for grabs again. BC remains a long shot, but there is no reason we cannot make a run. Our one ACC loss was out of the Division. If we play well, we can beat anyone left on our schedule. Of course to do that, we have to start by upsetting a vulnerable Clemson team this week.
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I ran into a Clemson fan this morning...in Nantucket. I'm here for a wedding and he was here as part of his trip to see the game Saturday. He couldn't have been nicer and talked about how much he loves coming up to New England for the game and thinks we have a good team, etc. I know much has been written about the Clemson fan culture and their hospitality, but all the cliches and stereotypes are true. It is really hard to hate them when they are being so nice and courteous all the time.
Three Simple Keys
1. Murphy rushing for more than 100 yard. Last week proved it is just that simple. He's our best player and our best chance to make a big play. We need him running at least 12 times and we need him to break some big plays.
2. Better Kickoff Coverage. We cannot give them shortfields. I am fine with the deep squibs. But the guys have to do a better job tackling.
3. Great blocking. As I wrote earlier in the week, Addazio is worried about Clemson's DLine. We need to control the line and avoid mistakes. If Murphy doesn't have time, we are not winning.
-- Addazio is 7-3 at home
-- Addazio is 5-5 in ACC games
-- Swinney is 14-15 on the road
The current line is BC+5
Since we don't play Notre Dame annually anymore, the O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy is the only annual trophy tied to a BC game. Clemson is 5-1 in the series since the Trophy debuted.
An undefeated Notre Dame is traveling to Tallahassee to play undefeated Florida State. The only thing that is missing is the Irish taking on BC the next week. I am not one of those BC fans who lives for the Notre Dame rivalry, but I never minded bursting their bubble the week after big Florida State wins.
I hope to see…
BC connect on some deep balls. The bomb to Amidon last year was a thing of beauty. But it was also a good call because Clemson kept cheating up to stop the run. Murphy has yet to show he can throw a deep go as well as Rettig, but the play will be there.
BC is in trouble if...
We don’t get to Stoudt. When Brissett had time last week, he picked our secondary apart. Once we got pressure on him, NC State's offense went stagnant. If Stoudt has time, he can make the throws and Clemson still has plenty of playmakers.
I see this as the game as the perfect storm for us. It is at home. We are riding high after last week and seemingly have most of our issues worked out. Clemson is trotting out their former starting QB after their dynamic freshman QB got hurt. I don’t think this will be easy, but I still think we can bring enough pressure to slow them in the redzone and we get a few scores on some big runs from Murphy.
Final Score: BC 27, Clemson 23