Countdown to Kickoff: No. 2 Clemson at No. 17 Boston College
CHESTNUT Hill, Mass. — Clemson travels to Chestnut Hill, Mass., Saturday to face No. 17 Boston College in a pivotal Atlantic Coast Conference showdown at Alumni Stadium.
A win for the second-ranked Tigers would clinch the ACC’s Atlantic Division and send them to the league’s championship game next month where they will play the winner of the Coastal Division.
It would also mark Clemson’s fourth straight trip to the ACC Championship Game.
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Records: Clemson 9-0, 6-0 ACC; Boston College 7-2, 4-1 ACC
When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
Radio: 105.5 in the Upstate (Clemson Tigers Radio Network); Sirius XM Radio Ch. 84; 84
Latest Line: Clemson (minus-20)
Series: Clemson leads the series 16-9-2
Streak: Clemson has won seven straight
Last year: Clemson won, 34-7, at Death Valley
Three story lines
Clemson is looking to win its fourth straight Atlantic Division Championship and its seventh overall with a win. Both would be ACC records if they do.
There is no official word from Boston College on the status of running back A.J. Dillon (ankle sprain). He was listed as day to day by head coach Steve Addazio on Wednesday. Some expect the ACC’s leading rusher, in terms of yards per game, to play on Saturday. Dillon reinjured his ankle in the second quarter of the Eagles’ win at Virginia Tech last week.
Everyone thinks the weather will play a role in Saturday’s game due to the expected low temperature in Chestnut Hill, Mass., of 34 degrees under a clear sky. However, back at Clemson, the expected low is 38 degrees under a clear sky. The wind is expected to blow at 20-30 mph with high wind gust throughout the game.
Boston College players to watch
A.J. Dillon, RB: Many expect Dillon (ankle) to play Saturday, though nothing from Boston College has been officially released. If he does play, how healthy will he actually be? Dillon is fourth nationally averaging 128.1 rushing yards per game. Dillon has played in seven of BC’s nine games, missing two due to the ankle injury. He had just 57 yards on 18 carries against Clemson a year ago.
Anthony Brown, QB: Brown threw for a career-high 304 yards and five touchdowns on 16-for25 passing in the 41-34 win at Wake Forest on Sept. 13. He has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 1,567 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Wyatt Ray, DE: He is tied with Florida State’s Brian Burns with nine sacks already this season. Credited with three quarterback hurries and four tackles at Virginia Tech last week. The week before, he picked up a half sack with five tackles and knocked down a ball at the line, plus forced out another pass that was intercepted against Miami.
Tommy Sweeney, TE: He is among the top 10 in school history for career receptions by a tight end at Boston College. He is one of seven tight ends in school history with 1,000 or more career receiving yards. A three-year starter, Sweeney was named to the All-ACC third-team in 2017. He went for 61 yards on four catches, including a fourth-quarter, 37-yard catch-and-run at Virginia Tech last week.
Boston College scouting report
Boston College is 7-2 to start the season, the best start by a BC team since the 2007 squad opened the year 8-1. This year’s 7-2 record marks just the fourth time since 2000 BC has started 7-2 or better.
Boston College is averaging 37.2 points per game, the most points scored per game currently in school history. The Eagles are 23rd nationally and fourth in the ACC in scoring.
The Eagles are tied for fourth nationally in interceptions with 14 in 2018. Over the last two seasons, Boston College has 32 interceptions, tied for second nationally.
Junior Hamp Cheevers has been nothing short of sensational in his first year as a starter. The Trenton, Fla., native is tied for second nationally and leads the ACC with five interceptions in 2018. Cheevers is 14th nationally and second in the ACC with 12 passes defended.
Ray is tied for fourth nationally with 9.0 sacks on the season. He is tied for 10th in BC single-season history with Stalin Colinet (1996) with nine sacks.
Boston College blocked a field goal and a punt at No. 23 NC State on Oct. 6. Kevin Bletzer blocked his first career field goal – the first blocked field goal for Boston College since Connor Wujciak at Virginia Tech on Nov. 1, 2014.