Parading into the orange-painted streets early on Sunday morning, second-ranked Clemson brought its excitement from Louisville, Ky., all the way back to Tiger Town.
Just hours before, the Tigers rolled through then No. 14 Louisville with ease, leaving the Cardinals with a loss in Papa John’s Stadium.
An explosive run game, a focused secondary, and a versatile quarterback in Kelly Bryant pushed Clemson back into the national playoffs conversation. Heading into Week 4, the Tigers hope to keep the momentum going as they prepare to face Boston College on Saturday in Death Valley.
On Tuesday, head coach Dabo Swinney, running back Tavien Feaster, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, and defensive coordinator Brent Venables previewed the upcoming matchup with the Eagles.
Here is what we heard:
Swinney acknowledged Boston College’s 1-2 record, but those numbers don’t compare to the problems that the Eagles present.
“This is a very tough, hard-nosed physical team,” Swinney said. “There’s a different mindset you have to bring when you play Boston College. I think that speaks to their head coach, Coach (Steve) Addazio and what a great job he does. Their mindset, you’re going to have to beat them. They usually don’t ever beat themselves. You’ve got to win the physical matchup because they’re going to force the issue. If you don’t have the right mindset going into it, they’re going to expose you.”
Boston College’s strong and experienced defensive front features defensive tackle Ray Smith and defensive end Harold Landry, who led the nation in sacks last season.
Feaster is one of four running backs the Tigers are rolling out right now, and he says the depth at the position is allowing them to wear down the opposition.
“When we run the ball, it’s going to be a great day” Feaster said “I think every guy in the room can run the ball, wear down on the defense, another guy rolls in the game and he’s scoring a touchdown. It’s great.”
Offensively, quarterback Anthony Brown made an impression on both Venables and Swinney. Though a freshman, the coaches see an accurate, poised, and focused player, something Boston College has been missing the past few years.
Comparing Boston College and Clemson, you can see obvious discrepancies on the defensive side of the ball. However, Venables still wants to see his unit play better than they did at Louisville.
“I thought we played incredibly hard, really competed,” Venables said. “I think we can play better fundamentally, technique, position. We did a lot of things not up to our standard. It just so happened that when we did some of those things, they (Louisville) didn’t execute very well.”
To Wilkins, it goes to show that anything can happen, so you have to prepare for all circumstances.
“You can’t take anyone lightly because any team can beat us at any given week,” Wilkins said. “If we don’t prepare the right way, anything can happen on any given Saturday.”
Clemson will take on Boston College this Saturday at 3:30 in Death Valley.