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Clemson Football

The Notes: No. 25 Clemson 19, Boston College 13

October 3, 2021

Clemson finished plus-three in the turnover margin, Clemson’s first time finishing plus-three or better since finishing plus-four in the turnover margin against Pitt last November.

Clemson did not have any giveaways, its first turnover-free game since the third game of the 2020 season against Virginia.

Clemson held Boston College to 4.8 yards per play and still has not allowed an opponent to average 5.0 or more yards per play in a game this season.

Clemson limited Boston College to 46 rushing yards. Prior to Saturday, Boston College had rushed for at least 178 rushing yards in each of its first four games of the season and entered the game ranked second in the ACC at 220.5 rushing yards per game.

Clemson recorded 438 yards, its second-most this season behind its 504 yards against South Carolina State.

Clemson exceeded both 200 passing yards (207) and 200 rushing yards (231) for the second time this season. Clemson is now 55-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.

Running back Kobe Pace recorded a career-high 125 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown.

Pace also added 41 receiving yards on two receptions and 44 return yards on two kickoff returns. His 210 all-purpose yards represented Clemson’s first 200-yard all-purpose performance since Travis Etienne against Boston College a year ago.

Pace recorded Clemson’s first 100-yard rushing performance of the season and its first since Travis Etienne’s 124 yards against Notre Dame in last year’s ACC Championship Game.

Clemson opened the scoring on its second possession on a 59-yard touchdown run by Pace.

The run was the longest of Pace’s career and Clemson’s longest play from scrimmage of the season.

Pace’s 59-yard run was Clemson’s longest since Travis Etienne’s 72-yard touchdown run against Miami (Fla.) last season.

Pace’s previous career high in rushing yards was 68 against South Carolina State earlier this season. He recorded 76 rushing yards in the first quarter alone on Saturday.

Pace added a career-long 33-yard reception in the third quarter.

Running back Phil Mafah made his collegiate debut, rushing seven times for 58 yards.

Wide receiver Joseph Ngata recorded a career-high 111 yards on four receptions, surpassing his 110-yard performance against Georgia in the season opener. 

With Pace and Ngata, respectively, Clemson produced a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in a single game for the first time since the 2020 ACC Championship Game (Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers).

Ngata recorded a 54-yard reception in the fourth quarter, Clemson’s longest pass completion of the season.

On Clemson’s first offensive play, wide receiver Justyn Ross extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 32.

Tight end Sage Ennis recorded his first career reception on an eight-yard pass from quarterback DJ Uiagalelei in the second quarter.

Uiagalelei rushed for 50 yards, giving him at least 50 rushing yards in back-to-back contests for the first time in his career.

Placekicker B.T. Potter recorded a season-high and career-high-tying four field goals on four attempts, his first multi-field-goal game of the season. His career high in field goals entering the game was 4-for-4 at Notre Dame last November. 

During the game, Potter (37) passed Bob Pauling (34 from 1979-83) and tied Mark Buchholz (37 from 2007-08) for ninth in school history in career field goals made.

Potter’s 18-yard second-quarter field goal was the culmination of a 94-yard scoring drive, Clemson’s longest since a 95-yard touchdown drive against LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship to end the 2019 season.

Safety Nolan Turner recorded his first interception of the season in the second quarter.

The interception was the seventh of Turner’s career and his first since last year’s game against Syracuse.

Turner earned the Leather Helmet Award as the game’s Most Valuable Player, as presented by the Boston College Gridiron Club. He became the second defensive player to earn the award since its institution in 2008, joining Vic Beasley (2013).

Turner recorded seven tackles, one shy of the team high of eight (Andrew Booth Jr.). 

With Turner’s interception, Clemson’s first takeaway of the game, Clemson recorded a takeaway in a sixth consecutive game, dating to last season, for the first time since a nine-game streak in 2019.

Safety R.J. Mickens recorded his second interception of the season and of his career in the third quarter.

The game was Clemson’s first multi-interception game of the season and its first since intercepting Pitt four times last November.

Clemson’s second tackle for loss of the game pushed Clemson to 1,100 tackles for loss since Brent Venables’ arrival as defensive coordinator in 2012. No other program has reached 900 tackles for loss in that span. 

Clemson surrendered its first rushing touchdown of the season in the third quarter. Clemson went 18 quarters (and two overtimes) before surrendering a rushing touchdown. It was Clemson’s longest such defensive streak to open a season since 1981, when the eventual national champions held opponents from rushing for a touchdown in any of the first six games of that season.

Defensive end Myles Murphy and defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro split the game’s first sack in the second quarter. The half-sack was Orhorhoro’s first since 2019 vs. Wake Forest.

Murphy added another sack in the fourth quarter, giving him his first multi-sack game since posting 2.0 sacks in his collegiate debut at Wake Forest last season.

Defensive end Xavier Thomas recorded a sack on the final play of the third quarter.

Thomas has now recorded a full sack in back-to-back games for the first time since the Syracuse and Boston College games last year.

In the fourth quarter, Tré Williams added his first career half-sack, splitting a sack with linebacker Baylon Spector.

Collectively, Clemson recorded four sacks and has now recorded at least three sacks against three consecutive opponents for the first time since a seven-game streak across the final two games of 2019 and first five games of 2020.

Defensive end K.J. Henry sealed the victory with the third fumble recovery of his career with 49 seconds remaining. It was his first since recovering a fumble at Georgia Tech last October.

Punter Will Spiers started his 61st game to add to his school record for career starts. Wide receiver/holder Will Swinney's career total as Clemson's primary holder parallels Spiers' run as starting punter.

Spiers, Swinney and linebacker James Skalski each played their 61st career games to extend their school record for most career games played.

Clemson and Boston College met in Death Valley in three consecutive years for the first time in series history. The Eagles joined 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.

In hosting 4-0 Boston College, Clemson hosted an opponent with a perfect record through four or more games at Death Valley for the 15th time in stadium history. Clemson is now 10-5 at Memorial Stadium against teams with a 4-0 or better record, including wins in each of the last five instances.

Head Coach Dabo Swinney coached his 178th career game to tie Virginia and Wake Forest’s Al Groh (178) for fourth-most career games coached as a member of the ACC.

Captains for the contest were offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst, wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr., long snapper Jack Maddox and defensive end Regan Upshaw.

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The Notes: No. 25 Clemson 19, Boston College 13

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