I think my best and worst in-person moments as a BC fan happened at Clemson. The best was watching the 2007 team clinch the division in Death Valley. The worst was two years later when Spaz played purely to keep it close during a multi-hour lightning delay. I won't be there in-person this weekend. I am hoping that I regret not going and BC wins. That would be nice. But deep down I think all I am going to miss is seeing another blowout.
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I know all assistant coaching profiles tend to glowing and used to build up a narrative. But even with that understanding, there is a lot to like about Joe Moorhead after reading this feature in SI. I have no idea what Jarmond has in mind if (or when) he needs to replace Addazio, but Moorhead checks many of my boxes. He has game management experience, program management experience, regional familiarity, history at a Jesuit school, and most of all Xs & Os acumen. In coaching changes you tend to emphasize what the new guy has that the old guy was lacking. Addazio is clearly not a good game manager or offensive wiz. Those two areas would be Moorhead's strengths. The concern about a guy like Moorhead would be if he could recruit at a high enough level to compete consistently. I am willing to roll the dice on that issue if the trade off is we have competent coaching and can score consistently. (Now that I've written this, Addazio will probably pull off the biggest upset in BC history this weekend and save his job.)
1. Play like the OLine played last week. The rebound performance of the OL was probably the best thing of the Notre Dame loss. They made Hilliman and Brown look better and BC was able to move the ball. This week this will be tougher. Clemson has arguably the best front seven in the country. Their goal is to get to the QB. If our OL can control the trenches, BC might not win, but it will give me hope for the remaining games on the schedule.
2. Bring pressure again and again and again. The ever increasing shift to read and react is not going well. I know the Brown style aggressiveness has its own risks, but I would rather see us allowing big plays off of getting burned deep rather than missed tackles as guys wait back.
3. Don't allow Bryant to run all over us. Three games and three times the other QB has had a field day running on us. That can't happen this week.
-- BC has lost four straight at Clemson
-- Addazio is 0-4 against Clemson
-- Clemson has won six straight in the series
The current line is Clemson+34
Since joining the ACC, Addazio is the only BC coach without a win over Clemson. Remember even Spaz beat them once.
Seeing how a past opponent does sometimes gives you context on your game. For example, Northern Illinois upsetting Nebraska makes BC's win look a little more respectable. This week I will be paying attention to the Notre Dame-Michigan State game. My hunch is that Notre Dame is not that great. But if they whip up on the Spartans, then maybe part of last week's problem was getting an ascending team at the wrong time.
What I hope to see...
Davon Jones make an impact right away on D. I don't mind his move to LB. We need depth there and he's not getting on the field on Offense. I believe he is valuable, so having him sit on the sidelines is useless. I hope he is a natural on D and makes some plays right away.
BC is in trouble if...
We don't score in the high 20s. Addazio can talk up any stat he wants, but scoring remains the only stat that matters. We don't score enough -- ever -- and certainly don't score enough to upset a National Champion. Even if we slow down Clemson, the only way we are winning is by scoring 27+ points.
I don't think the game will be as close as the first half was against Notre Dame. Instead I just see Clemson building up a gradual lead throughout the game as they answer BC field goals with their own touchdowns. It is not an epic blowout, but still doesn't make anyone feel better.
Final Score: BC 20, Clemson 35