Clemson travels to Boston College Saturday in search of their third straight ACC victory. What will it take for the Tigers to bring home the victory?
TheClemsonInsider.com breaks down the keys to victory.
1. Most Important Game of the Year
Each week we hear from every player we interview that this is the most important game of the year because it is the next game. The key to victory over Boston College is for the team to show this on the field. Time for the team to walk the walk.
There is no doubt that Clemson is the more talented team and should be able to win their third ACC game in a row. But that is why they play the games. Clemson must win the game on the field, not on paper.
If Clemson gets caught looking ahead to the games with NC State and Florida State then Boston College could sneak up on the Tigers like they have several times.
The Tigers now control their destiny again, thanks to NC State’s victory over Florida State Thursday night. Now we find out if they will take advantage of the opportunity. Dabo’s talks a lot about seizing the opportunity. That all begins Saturday.
2. No Turvovers
Since the Miami game, where the Tigers had six turnovers, the Clemson offense has done a great job of holding onto the football. That will be critical again Saturday. Turning the ball over is the quickest way to lose to an inferior opponent.
If the Tigers don’t turn the ball over they will head home with their third victory in a row.
3. Stop the Run
The Boston College offense has struggled overall, but they have the leading rusher in the ACC, Montel Harris. Montel averages 99.1 yards per carry. Surprisingly Boston College ranks 12th in the ACC is rush offense even with the leading rusher in the conference.
If the Tigers can keep Harris under control they will force Boston College to beat the Tigers with a freshman quarterback.
4. More Ellington Please
Andre Ellington has his best performance as a Tigers last week as he rushed for 166 yards. Another strong game by Ellington would be key to a Clemson victory.
Boston College leads the ACC in rush defense giving up only 83.6 yards per game. The Clemson players this week make it clear that the Tigers will not go away from the rush, but they will “do what we do best”. It will be a battle of strength verse strength.
5. Continue to Improve Passing Game
Last week the Tigers had their best passing performance of the year. DeAndre Hopkins is playing like a senior, not a true freshman. Jaron Brown’s confidence is growing by the week.
Boston College will likely be without two of their senior defensive backs Saturday afternoon. For a team that already ranks 10th in the ACC in pass defense that could mean trouble.
If Kyle and company can “pitch and catch” it should help open up the run for the Tigers and mean a long afternoon for Boston College.