Countdown to Kickoff: Tigers will get glimpse of the Uiagalelei era

Countdown to Kickoff: Tigers will get glimpse of the Uiagalelei era

Football

Countdown to Kickoff: Tigers will get glimpse of the Uiagalelei era

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Boston College at No. 1 Clemson

The unofficial start of the D.J. Uiagalelei era will begin today for top-ranked Clemson when it hosts Boston College at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

Uiagalelei will make his first start at quarterback after starter Trevor Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. It will mark the first time in 33 games the Tigers will not have Lawrence behind center. The Heisman Trophy hopeful is in isolation and his status for next week’s game at No. 4 Notre Dame is also in question.

A former 5-star and the No. 2 overall player by many from last year’s recruiting class, Uiagalelei has the skills and talent to go in and lead Clemson. So far this year, he has played in five games and has completed 12-of-19 passes for 102 yards with no touchdown and no interceptions. He had two rushing touchdowns.

Game Information

Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson

Records: Clemson 6-0, 5-0 ACC; Boston College 4-2, 3-2 ACC

When: Today, Noon

TV: ABC (Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, Holly Rowe)

Radio: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 137, XM 193, Internet 955

Latest Line: Clemson minus-24

Series History

  • OVERALL: Clemson leads series, 18-9-2
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 8-3-1
  • ROAD: Clemson leads series, 9-6-1
  • NEUTRAL: Clemson leads series, 1-0
  • LAST MEETING: Oct. 26, 2019 (56-7, W)
  • STREAK: Clemson, Won 9

Three other story lines

Today’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. in a game that was the first time that many of the Clemson players had seen a full-sized football gridiron. Charlie Gentry was credited with scoring the Tigers’ first touchdown as Clemson improved to 1-0 all-time. The Tigers have won another 763 games in the years since, as Clemson’s 764 total wins rank 14th in FBS history.

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 a 27th consecutive home game to extend its school record for the longest home winning streak and longest home unbeaten streak in school history. Of the 120 players on Clemson’s 2020 roster, 111 have never experienced a home loss in their Clemson careers. Nine fifth-year seniors on Clemson’s 2020 roster were on the 2016 team that recovered from a home loss to Pitt by winning the national championship that season.

Boston College’s three players to watch

Phil Jurkovec, QB: Jurkovec, who transferred from Notre Dame, has burst onto the scene as the starting quarterback for the Eagles. His 1,671 yards over his first six games are the most by any BC quarterback in school history. He 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).

Zay Flowers, WR: Flowers has blossomed in BC’s new pro-style passing attack. After totaling just 22 receptions for 341 yards in 13 games in 2019, he has 29 catches for 473 yards and four touchdowns in 2020. Flowers is 17th nationally in receiving yards and tied for 19th with four receiving touchdowns.

Hunter Long, TE: Long has been BC’s top receiving target in 2020 and he leads the nation in receptions for a tight end with 38. He is ninth among all players nationally in receptions in 2020 as well. Long has started the year with 38 receptions for 455 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to this season, he had just 32 receptions total over his first two years on the field at Boston College

Prediction

Even with Lawrence out, the Tigers are still the more talented team. Clemson’s roster is filled with five and four-star talent. Look for Clemson to find creative ways to get Etienne more touches in hopes of taking some pressure off Uiagalelei. Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott should have a plan devised to fit Uiagalelei skill set and talent. Let’s not forget, Clemson still has one of the nation’s best defenses, too.

Score prediction: Clemson 34, Boston College 10

–Clemson and Boston College Athletic Communications departments contributed to this story

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Third-ranked Clemson routed Pitt last Saturday and looked crisp after a sluggish stint in the middle of the year due in large part to injuries. Defensively, the Tigers held the Panthers to 246 yards of (…)

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