What you need to know: Eagles do not want to run the football anymore

What you need to know: Eagles do not want to run the football anymore

Football

What you need to know: Eagles do not want to run the football anymore

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When Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney looks at Boston College, he sees a team that could easily be a 5-1 football team as opposed to the 4-2 record it will come into Death Valley with on Saturday.

The Eagles (3-2 ACC) are a confident football team. New head coach Jeff Hafley has done a good job bringing in a coaching staff that has identified what the team’s strengths are and are playing off those strengths.

“They have got better and better and more confident as the season has gone,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “This is will be a tough, tough challenge for the Tigers this week. There is no doubt about it.”

The challenge starts with BC’s offense. Notre Dame transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec has been a shot in the arm the team desperately needed. The Eagles rank third in the ACC in passing yards per game (278.5), while Jurkovec has tossed for 1,671 yards, including 12 touchdown passes to just four interceptions.

“The biggest thing that is different, from year’s past when preparing for these guys, they are throwing the ball over the place,” Swinney said. “And they are not necessarily dropping back and throwing the ball. It is lots of play-action, lots of boots, lots of wheels and screens, a lot of different ways to get their playmakers the ball.”

Those playmakers are wide receiver Zay Flowers and tight end Hunter Long. Flowers has caught 29 passes for 473 yards and four touchdowns, while Hunter leads the team with 38 receptions for 455 yards and has caught three touchdown passes.

Here is what you need to know for Saturday’s game:

  • The latest line has Clemson minus 31 points
  • Saturday’s game against Boston College will be played on the 124th anniversary of Clemson’s gridiron debut on Oct. 31, 1896. On that date, the squad representing Clemson Agricultural College defeated Furman, 14-6, in Greenville, S.C.
  • This week, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (31-1) can tie the Clemson record for career wins by a starting quarterback, held jointly by Rodney Williams (32 from 1982-85), Tajh Boyd (32 from 2010-13) and Deshaun Watson (32 from 2014-16).
  • Clemson running back Travis Etienne, already has a collection of Clemson records and ACC records in hand. He can add another on Saturday, as he enters the contest 43 yards away from becoming the ACC’s all-time leading rusher and breaking the record held by NC State’s Ted Brown (4,602 from 1975-78).
  • Clemson attempting to win its 10th consecutive game against Boston College, dating back to 2011. Clemson’s nine-game winning streak against Boston College is its second-longest active streak against an ACC opponent, trailing Clemson’s 12-game active winning streak against Wake Forest.
  • Since BC joined the ACC in 2005, six of the 15 games have been decided by seven points or less. Clemson is 11-4 in ACC play against BC.
  • BC has not defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the country since a 41-39 win at No. 1 Notre Dame on Nov. 20, 1993.
  • Boston College has not defeated an opponent ranked in the top five since a 14-7 win at No. 4 Notre Dame on Nov. 2, 2002.
  • Boston College is 2-31 all-time against teams ranked in the top five and 1-4 against No. 1 teams.
  • Jurkovec’s 1,671 yards over his first six games are the most by any BC quarterback in school history. Shawn Halloran owned the previous best start through six games with 1,371 yards passing in 1985.
  • Jurkovec also holds the record for the most completions (140) and passing touchdowns (12) over the first six games of any player in BC history.
  • Jurkovec is the first player in BC history to total four, 300-yard passing games in his first five career starts at quarterback and the first BC quarterback with four or more 300-yard games in a season since Matt Ryan (2007).

Clemson Athletics and Boston College Athletics contributed to this story

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