|Clemson tight end Brandon Ford celebrates his lead-changing touchdown just before halftime. (US Presswire)|
CLEMSON WON. After trailing late in the first half, Clemson got off to a fast start in the third quarter and pulled away late for a 45-31 win on the road against Boston College. Both quarterbacks put up impressive numbers in performances that arguably could have said as much about both pass defenses. Tajh Boyd threw for a season-high 367 yards on 28-for-38 passing with three touchdowns and Chase Rettig threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns of his own.
But the stars of the game were on the receiving end for a majority of those yards. With Sammy Watkins sidelined by a virus, De'Andre Hopkins exploded for 197 yards and a touchdown, the former being a Clemson single-game record. On the other sideline, Boston College wide receiver Alex Amidon led the Eagles with 193 yards and two touchdowns. There seemed to be no answer for either all night, which kept the game interesting until the clock hit 0:00.
HOW CLEMSON WON: Credit the Tigers' defense for at least making Boston College one-dimensional. The Eagles got nothing going on the ground with Andre Williams, who was limited to just 61 yards on 22 carries. With a more-balanced attack, the Tigers were able to wear on Boston College's defense and eventually broke enough big plays to pull away with a victory.
The Tigers bounced back in the win column after falling to Florida State a week ago, but the defensive concerns from the second half of that game were present again on Saturday as Clemson gave up 420 yards of offense to the Eagles. One one hand, Clemson's offense moves at a pace that gives their opponent more changes. On the other, the Tigers are giving up a lot of yards and a lot of points to conference competition.
WHEN CLEMSON WON: With just over seven minutes to play, Clemson tried to issue the killshot by converting a fourth down near midfield. The Eagles stuffed Roderick McDowell in the backfield and took over on downs. After leading the offense into the red zone, Chase Rettig threw an interception at the 9-yard line. Even though Tajh Boyd fumbled on the ensuing possession, Boston College did not get that close to scoring again.
WHAT CLEMSON WON: The division road win is a good way for the Tigers to get their focus back after the loss to Florida State. Chestnut Hill is no Tallahassee in terms of home-field advantage, but back-to-back conference games on the road is no easy task. Unfortunately, it's not getting much easier in the coming weeks. First, a ticked-off Georgia Tech team comes to Death Valley after losing at home to Middle Tennessee, then Clemson gets a week off before facing Virginia Tech at home and then Wake Forest on the road on a short week.
WHAT BOSTON COLLEGE LOST: The 1-3 record doesn't paint the proper picture for how competitive the Eagles have been in every one of their games this season. Unfortunately, the combined lack of execution and a consistent running game in crucial moments have limited the opportunities to pull an upset.
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