No. 2 Clemson struggled for much of the game, but pulled away late to post a 27-7 victory against 17th-ranked Boston College that gave the Tigers their fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division title and the opportunity for a fourth straight ACC Championship.
Clemson (10-0, 7-0) will play the ACC’s Coastal Division winner at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Dec. 1. Boston College slipped to 7-3, 4-2.
The victory, which was Clemson’s eighth in a row against the Eagles, also earned the Tigers an eighth consecutive season with 10 or more victories, extending a program record.
Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 29 of 40 passes for 295 yards and a touchdown (one interception) and Amari Rodgers had a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown for the Tigers, who have outscored Boston College 117-24 in their last three meetings.
But Clemson’s defense was the star of the game, particularly after Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown was injured and left the game for good on the Eagles’ sixth play from scrimmage after absorbing a hit from Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.
The Tigers held Boston College to a season-low 113 yards and running back AJ Dillon, the ACC’s leading rusher, to a season-low 39 yards on 16 carries.
Clemson had 10 tackles for loss and allowed the Eagles only eight first downs, also a season low.
Clemson outgained Boston College 240-23 in the first half, but managed only a 13-7 halftime lead.
The Tigers looked like they might be headed to a fourth consecutive blowout victory when they opened the game with a seven-play, 59-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 41-yard completion from Lawrence to Rodgers and ending in Greg Huegel’s 30-yard field goal.
After Boston College got a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown by Michael Walker with 6:22 left in the first quarter to give the Eagles their only lead of the game, Clemson promptly marched 70 yards in nine plays to go up 10-7.
The Tigers lined up in their jumbo package with defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Wilkins lined up in the backfield, but crossed up the Eagles when Lawrence tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass over the defense and into the arms of tight end Milan Richard.
Clemson added a 23-yard field goal by Huegel on its next possession, extending the Tigers’ lead to 13-7.
Clemson came out firing in the second half, scoring in just three plays for a 20-7 lead on a 6-yard run by Lawrence, then Rodgers capped the win with his first punt return for a touchdown with 11:39 left in the game.
Backup quarterback EJ Perry completed 12 of 21 passes for 98 yards for Boston College.
—Field Level Media