It was not the kind of first half second-ranked Clemson envisioned as only an 11-yard Kelly Bryant touchdown run was the only points allowed in a first half that was owned by the defenses.
The Tigers led 7-0 at the break.
Clemson finally got on the scoreboard in the second quarter, taking a 7-0 lead with 7:16 to play in the half on Bryant’s 11-yard touchdown run. The drive covered 94 yards on 13 plays and took over 5:56 off the clock.
The Tigers established the run game with a combination of Bryant, Tavien Feaster and Travis Etienne. The drive was saved when Taylor Hearn scooped up a Bryant fumble and rumbled forward for a first down. On the 13-play drive, Clemson ran the ball 11 times for 95 yards.
Both running backs carried the ball well on the drive and also set up key blocks allowing Bryant to run and eventually score on a second-and-five play from 11 yards out. Feaster’s block on the edge allowed Bryant to get outside and scoot into the end zone.
Clemson finished the first half with 222 yards, including 155 on the ground. Bryant led the Tigers with 79 rushing yards on 13 carries, while Feaster had 44 yards on 10 carries. Bryant was also 10-of-15 for 67 yards and was intercepted once when defensive end Harold Landry hit his arm as he was releasing, causing it to pop into the air where it was picked off.
Clemson’s defense held on the ensuing series as Boston College missed on a 43-yard field goal attempt. In the only time the Eagles came close to scoring. BC had just 125 total yards in the first half, including just 58 yards on the ground.
BC quarterback Anthony Brown was just 6-of-17 for 67 yards in the opening half. Clemson had two first-half sacks and Trayvon Mullen recorded his first interception of his career. The Eagles were just 1-of-8 on third down.