After being gashed by Boston College in the first half of Saturday’s game at Death Valley, Clemson’s defense stepped up big time in the final two quarters to help the top-ranked Tigers avoid an upset and defeat the Eagles in a 34-28 thriller.
Boston College led 28-13 at halftime thanks in large part to an offense that racked up 209 total yards and 13 first downs while averaging more than 7 yards per play, converting four of its six third-down attempts and scoring touchdowns on all three of its trips inside the red zone.
But after making adjustments at the break, Clemson’s defense shut down BC’s attack in the final two quarters. After halftime, the Tigers kept the Eagles off the scoreboard while allowing just 66 total yards on 30 plays (2.2 average yards per play) and holding them to an 0-for-5 clip on third down.
Clemson’s defense made plays throughout the second half and came through down the stretch in crunch time. Following a failed fourth-and-9 try from the Tigers’ 45-yard line on BC’s second-to-last possession in which Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec overthrew his intended receiver, BC’s defense forced a punt and got the ball back at its own 4-yard line, down by four points with 1:24 remaining in the game.
But on the very first play of the possession, Clemson freshman defensive tackle Bryan Bresee sacked Jurkovec in the end zone for a safety that made the score 34-28 in favor of the Tigers.
Clemson then recovered an onside kick to seal what was a wild victory in the Valley.
The Tigers’ defense managed to consistently pressure Jurkovec in the second half and finished with four sacks and eight tackles for loss. The unit was led in tackles by linebacker Baylon Spector, who had eight of them including five solo stops and a tackle for loss to go with a forced fumble.
Another championship season is underway for the Tigers. It’s time to gear up for another year of Clemson football.
Please stay safe and get your officially licensed Clemson gear right here!