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Keys to Victory: No. 25 Clemson vs Boston College

October 2, 2021
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Each week we give you a look at the game's history, three keys to success, plus Swanny's prediction.

The Match-Up:

No. 25 Clemson (2-2 overall, 1-1 ACC) vs. Boston College (4-0 overall, 0-0 ACC)

Clemson vs. Boston College 2020

Clemson vs. Boston College 2019

Series History:

  • OVERALL: Clemson leads series 19-9-2
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 9-3-1
  • ROAD: Clemson leads series, 9-6-1
  • NEUTRAL: Clemson leads series, 1-0
  • LAST MEETING: Oct. 31, 2020 (34-28, W)
  • STREAK: Clemson, Won 10

Stat of the Week:

As the result of scheduling quirks in the pandemic-adjusted 2020 season, Clemson and Boston College will meet in Death Valley in a third consecutive year for the first time in series history. The Eagles will join Duke (1986-88), Virginia (1972-74), and Wake Forest (1957- 59 and 1983-85) as the only ACC programs ever to face Clemson in Death Valley in three consecutive seasons.

Chasing History:

This week, Clemson will again play in the venue where it has won 30 consecutive contests since late 2016, one of only 24 home winning streaks of 30 or more games in FBS history. With a 31st straight home win, Clemson would tie 1890-93 Yale, 1990-95 Texas A&M, and 2001-05 Boise State (31 each) for the 18th-longest home winning streak in FBS history. Clemson is 49-1 at home in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014), the nation's best home record.

Key 1: Be Explosive

Clemson's offense has lacked the explosive plays we've become accustomed to seeing during their incredible six-year run. 

After watching the Tigers struggle mightily for the first four weeks of the season, an honest question needs to be asked-- Is D.J. Uiagalelei turning out to be a miss on the recruiting trail? In fairness, it is probably too early to start thinking that way given the fact that he's just a sophomore, but in Clemson's plug-and-play system-- achieving less than Kelly Bryant was able to during his one season as the starter-- has to be a concern.

Uiagalelei looked sharp a year ago but hasn't found his footing yet this season. If Clemson can get some explosive plays, his confidence should skyrocket, opening things up for this Tiger offense. If not, you can rest assured even more Tiger fans will pound the drum to see Taisun Phommachanh get an opportunity.

Key 2: Be Flexible

Speaking of Phommachanh, it's not like he's some "chopped liver" quarterback. Sure, his passing attributes seemed to trail behind Uiagalelei, but at this point, the offensive staff HAS to be willing to give Phommachanh a look this afternoon if things start slow.

I think it is worse for Uiagalelei if he is allowed to struggle for another week. If it were me, I'd take him out of the game for a series and let him settle in on the sideline. This team needs a spark and if Uiagalelei is off-- give Phommachanh an opportunity while letting D.J. get his wits about him.

Key 3: Defensive Score

Goodness-- what more can this Clemson defense do? Well, for one, point some points on the board. Listen, the offensive futility is well documented, but the defense didn't do itself any favors last weekend. Costly penalties allowed the Wolfpack to keep several drives alive. Additionally, they haven't been all that opportunistic this season. Sure, they've been dominant, but Brent Venables' group needs to point some points on the board.

Even a turnover deep in an opponent's territory could go a long way to helping this stagnant offense get rolling. 

I don't need multiple pick-sixes; I'd certainly take it-- but at least help set this offense up to relieve some pressure on that side of the football.

Prediction:

Last weekend's pick was horrible. Not because I was wrong, but because I thought the Tigers could score 31 points. Clemson has yet to score more than 14 points in regulation against a Power 5 team, and in all honesty, knowing Jeff Hafley's approach on defense, I feel like 24 might be a stretch today.

Dabo Swinney's squad has their back against the wall-- and the Tiger better come out swinging-- or the "Boo Birds" will come out in a hurry. Winning as much as Swinney has earned a lot of favor for fans, but it also creates unrealistic expectations, and when you fall below that mark, you can tune up the booing. 

I'll stick with Clemson-- along with a  chorus of boos (fitting for October) to find a way to knock off the Eagles under the lights in Death Valley.

No. 25 Clemson 24, Boston College 21

Swanny's Predictions: 

Date 2021 Schedule Predictions Swanny's Prediction Actual Score
9-4-2021 No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia 31-27 Clemson 10-3 Georgia
9-11-2021 No. 6 Clemson vs. SC State 59-7 Clemson 49-3 Clemson
9-18-2021 No. 6 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech 45-10 Clemson 14-8 Clemson
9-25-2021 No. 9 Clemson @ NC State 31-14 Clemson 27-21 NC State
10-2-2021 No. 25 Clemson vs. Boston College 24-21 Clemson  
Discussion from...

Keys to Victory: No. 25 Clemson vs Boston College

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