Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clemson vs. Boston College - By The Numbers

Boston College comes into Saturday's contest with a 2-5 (0-4) record on the season. Boston College, who has always been a tough out since joining the ACC in 2005, has taken a step-back in year two under the direction of head coach Frank Spaziani. The Eagles lone victories in 2010 have come at the expense of Weber State and Kent State.

The blame for the poor start to the season rests at the feet of the Boston College offense, which has been abysmal to date. Boston College ranks last in the ACC in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense on top of coughing the ball up over two times per game. A lot of their problems stem from a lack of an answer at the quarterback position, which has shuffled between Dave Shinskie and Mike Mascovetra before settling on freshman, Chase Rettig. Boston College has a talented back in Montel Harris, who backed-up Jamie Harper in High School, along with some solid pieces along the offensive line lead by OT Anthony Costanzo, but opposing defenses have stacked the box and BC's hasn't been able to beat team with the pass.

Boston College20092010NET +/-'10 NCAA Rank10' ACC Rank
Rushing Offense136.92102.29-34.6310512
Passing Offense187.00191.864.86798
Total Offense323.92294.15-29.7711212
Scoring Offense24.7719.14-5.6310412
TO Per Game2.002.29.29

The Tigers head to Chesnutt Hill with at 4-3 (2-2) mark. Offensively the Tiger's have struggled for much of the season to find an offensive identity. The Tiger's did manage to break out of the funk against a below-average Georgia Tech defense last week putting up 403 yards and 27 points.

The most encouraging aspect of their performance was the continued emergence of the wide receivers lead by freshman Nuke Hopkins and sophomore Jaron Brown who combined for 7 catches and 87 yards. Most importantly the group didn't have a single drop and match some tough catches for big chunks of yardage and to extend drives.

The passing game will need to continue its maturation this week as the Tiger's face a much stingier defense that specialize in taking away the run. The Tigers should still lean on their strength running the football with Andre Ellington, but the offense is going to have to be efficient in the passing game to put up points against the maroon and gold.

Clemson20092010NET +/-'10 NCAA Rank10' ACC Rank
Rushing Offense170.36175.435.07405
Passing Offense192.00178.14-13.867210
Total Offense362.36353.57-8.797310
Scoring Offense31.1430.29-0.85474
TO Per Game1.711.14-0.57

Boston College puts a defense on the field that is in the same mold as the last few defenses the Eagles have fielded. They stuff the run well and feature studs at linebacker, while being mediocre in the secondary. Luke Kuechly is a cyborg and one of the most underrated players in the country. The Eagles have given up more points this year, but a lot of that is simple due to an anemic offense putting them in poor positions defensively.

Overall the Eagles have a defense that is one of the toughest the Tigers have faced to date. I would put them right behind Miami, but BC is starting to get hit hard with injuries. Alex Albright (DE), Wes Davis (S) and DeLeon Gause (CB) all are unlikely to play on Saturday, so the Eagle defense is not going to be quite as strong as it was earlier this season.

Boston College20092010NET +/-'10 NCAA Rank10' ACC Rank
Rushing Defense103.1583.57-19.5841
Passing Defense224.46230.57-6.118010
Total Defense327.61314.14-13.47223
Scoring Defense19.7725.005.336510
TO Per Game1.772.570.80

The Tigers defense is trending in the right direction after getting off to a bit of a slow start defensively to start the season. Steele was finally able to slow down the Yellow Jacket offense under Paul Johnson limiting them to 13 points.

This week the Tigers should have a field day against the Boston College offense that has been pitiful to date. The Tiger's should focus on taking away Montel Harris and make Rettig beat them with the pass. I can see a repeat of last year where the Tiger's utterly dominated BC in the Valley. As bad as BC offense was last year this year’s version is worse.

Clemson20092010NET +/-'10 NCAA Rank10' ACC Rank
Rushing Defense151.50157.435.93707
Passing Defense162.79195.5732.78365
Total Defense314.29353.0038.17518
Scoring Defense20.4318.43-2.00223
TO Per Game2.141.850.29

Closing Thoughts

There really isn't a whole lot to say about this game. Boston College is bad. Clemson has more talent at every position outside of linebacker. Clemson should roll. It is really that simple.

My key to the game is Clemson not turning the ball over. Florida State turning the ball over and spotting Boston College good field position and points is the only reason BC was in the game at FSU and that should hold true against Clemson. Hold onto the ball and Clemson wins going away.

This is a game that the Tigers should win easily and not cover the spread in my opinion is signs of a poor performance. I definitely would take the Tigers and give the points.

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