Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney isn’t expecting anything different from Boston College when his third-ranked Tigers travel to Boston College on Friday at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
The Eagles (3-2, 0-2 ACC) have always been known as a tough, physical team that plays good defense and takes care of the football on offense. After opening the season with a loss to Georgia Tech in Ireland, Boston College has won three of its last four games, including back-to-back wins over Wagner and Buffalo.
“Just turn the tape on. They’re big and physical. They’re going to run the football and try to set up all their play actions,” Swinney said. “Their formations and motions and shifts that they use with all their multiple personnel groups, their heavy groups, multiple tight ends, create some tough adjustments that you have to make.
“But the biggest thing is you have to be able to match up physically because if you can’t, they’re going to bloody your nose.”
The question is Clemson ready for the physicality. The Tigers are coming off a hard fought victory over Louisville, a game in which several players said they were still sore from the game.
“They’ve got four starters back in the offensive line. Again, this quarterback, I think he’s a pro player. This guy is 6’5″, 250-something and can sling it,” Swinney said. “Then defensively, they finished No. 1 in the nation last year in defense, and they’re right there again this year.
“They’re No. 1 in the nation in total defense. They’re No. 1 in pass defense. Number 7 in rush defense. They’re excellent up front. Big, physical guys, and probably two of the best linebackers we’ll play against this year. They have four veterans in the secondary.
“So this is a good team, a good football team.”
Clemson isn’t too shabby, either. The Tigers (5-0, 2-0 ACC) have won 11 straight ACC games and seven straight road games. Clemson has won 19 straight regular-season games as well.
“They’re a great football team. They beat a heck of a football team last week and played very impressively,” Boston College head coach Steve Addazio said. “I’ve always been an admirer of Clemson’s program. I think Dabo does an unbelievable job. I just watch the way he motivates his team, the chemistry that they have, the way they play together, fundamentally how they play.
“They have a great coaching staff. Everything is well thought out, offense, defense, special teams. They’ve done a great job recruiting. They have fantastic football players there. It’s just a really, really great football program.”
While Clemson has had a lot of success in the last five years, the Eagles have had very little. Three times in the previous five seasons, BC has posted a losing record, including last year when it went 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the ACC.
The Eagles come into Friday night’s game with a 10-game losing streak in the ACC.
Despite the losing streak, Addazio says his team are excited about the opportunity to play the third-ranked team in the country.
“This team is excited and getting ready to play a football game. That’s what the mood of the team is,” he said. “I mean, that’s not a focus. We’re sitting here getting ready to win another major college football game like everybody else in America.”
And they’re going to be physical when they try to do it.