After four fourth-quarter touchdowns and a dominant run game, the No. 2 Clemson Tigers remain undefeated after defeating the Boston College Eagles, 34-7, on Saturday afternoon in Death Valley.
The Tigers moved on to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
Following the game, the media spoke to head coach Dabo Swinney, quarterback Kelly Bryant, running back Travis Etienne, defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and linebacker Kendall Joseph.
Here is what we heard:
Swinney was not happy with his team’s performance in the first half. Boston College defense came out with a determination to win, and Clemson’s offense struggled.
“First of all, I’d like to tip my hat to BC, man,” Swinney said. “Those guys played their tails off and really gave us all we wanted there for a majority of the game. Hard-fought game, I knew it would be.”
The offense took its hits, but Bryant never lost hope. The quarterback finished the night with a career-high 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
“They played with all they got,” Bryant said. “It took time for us to get it going, but we got it. A bunch of us came in from the sidelines to contribute, so that was good to see.”
It wasn’t until freshman running back Travis Etienne hauled in a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that Clemson fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Etienne tallied 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns at the end of the game.
“I just came in here taking advantage of the opportunities I get,” Etienne said. “The coaches trusted in me. They trusted me to come in there and play and boost my confidence.”
But all four of the Tiger’s backs saw the field on Saturday, including Adam Choice, who had a six-yard touchdown run, which turned out to be the winning score.
“We got a good situation with our running backs,” Swinney said. “We got a good group of guys that can all play. They all have their moments. At the end of the day, the combination of what we have in the backfield is a good thing to have.”
Defensively, the Tigers were solid all day. They held the Eagles to just 97 rushing yards on 34 carries and to 238 yards in total offense. Linebacker Kendall Joseph contributed to Clemson with 12 tackles.
“I think we played a lot more physical,” Jospeh said. “I think as a collective unit, being able to hold their rushing game to a low, they take pride in that, it was really good.”
With a closer game than anticipated, Venables was just happy to get a win.
“I told our guys ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable’,” he said. “There ain’t nothing wrong with wining how we won today, even if it is uncomfortable for everybody.”
Clemson will travel to Blacksburg, Va. to face Virginia Tech next Saturday night in Lane Stadium in a prime time slot at 8 pm.