The hardest thing about winning a game like No. 3 Clemson did against then No. 4 Louisville last Saturday night is getting over the win.
The Tigers rallied from eight points down in the final 7:52 on Saturday to beat the Cardinals for a third straight year by six points or less. Deshaun Watson threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Leggett with 3:14 left in the game, and then the defense held Louisville out of the end zone, once again, in the final seconds to secure the victory.
Now, on a short week, Clemson has to turn around and get ready for a Boston College team that is always the toughest from a physical standpoint. The Eagles come into the nationally televised game on ESPN (7:30 p.m.) riding a two-game winning streak with wins over Wagner and Buffalo.
Playing at Boston College (3-2, 0-2 ACC) hasn’t been the easiest of task for the Tigers over the years. Two years ago, the Eagles were a dropped pass near the goal in the final seconds from beating Clemson. The Tigers won the game 17-13 thanks to a fourth-quarter run by C.J. Davidson.
In 2012, the Tigers had to get great performances from former players Tajh Boyd and DeAndre Hopkins in a shootout to beat a BC team that finished 2-10 that year. In 2010, the Tigers lost a 16-10 game there while in 2008 Dabo Swinney picked up his first win as a head coach as Clemson won a 27-21 thriller.
The best game came in 2006 as Boston College beat Clemson in double overtime, 34-33. So history has proven playing at Boston College has never been an easy task for the Tigers.
However, Clemson has done as good of a job as anyone the last five seasons of following a big win and staying focused on the road ahead. The Tigers have won 42 straight games versus unranked opponents, the second longest streak in the country behind Alabama.
“You really don’t have to bring it up. It is just something we do,” right guard Tyrone Crowder said. “We just take it one game at a time.”
Running back Wayne Gallman said it is just the culture that they have at Clemson. The next game truly is the most important game on the schedule no matter who they are playing, where or when.
“We know we have to be ready to play every game. We can’t take a day off,” Gallman said. “Every practice means something. You have to get better at something. It is all going to apply. If we want to reach that goal at the end of the season, we are going to have to play our best game each and every week.”
And though the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) have so many young players playing, they understand the culture as well, and they know what is expected.
“If they don’t understand that by now, then something is wrong,” Gallman said. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney has been in our butts the last couple of weeks in meetings and stuff like that and really emphasizing the point of being ready and not taking any games off.”
Clemson definitely cannot take a day off on Friday, not against a Boston College team whose defense leads the country again in total yards allowed and rushing yards allowed.
Last year, the Eagles held Clemson to a season-low 112 rushing yards.
“They are the same. I know from last year and the year before that they are a really good base defense,” Gallman said. “They play really good in the box. The defensive line is good, the linebackers are good. They have good defensive players so you can’t doubt them.
“We are just going to have to go out there and execute, and do a good job.”
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