After two straight wins over top-15 opponents, things seemingly get easier for No. 2 Clemson when the Tigers return home to face struggling Boston College on Saturday. The Tigers have won six straight in the series, including a 56-10 rout last season, and Boston College hasn’t won at Clemson since 2007.
Clemson had to win ugly in a 14-6 defensive struggle with Auburn in Week 2, but the Tigers looked like a legitimate contender to repeat as national champions last week. They were dominant in a 47-21 win at Louisville, shutting down reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson until Clemson’s defensive reserves took the field in the fourth quarter. Boston College will have to be much improved on defense to have any hope of an upset, as the Eagles allowed 515 rushing yards in last week’s 49-20 home loss to Notre Dame - the second-highest rushing total allowed in program history, but Clemson coach Dabo Swinney isn’t taking them lightly. “They’re 1-2, but you’ve got to look beyond that,” Swinney told reporters. “They beat a Northern Illinois team that just beat Nebraska, lost to a really good Wake Forest team that is sitting there at 3-0 right now and then played Notre Dame and in the third quarter it was really tight before it got away from them in the fourth quarter.”
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Clemson -34.5
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (1-2, 0-1 ACC): The Eagles have struggled on defense, allowing 429 total yards and 34.3 points per game, and they’ve been especially bad against the run. The offense is a bit of a work in progress, as freshman quarterback Anthony Brown has thrown six interceptions against five touchdowns, but the offensive line has done a nice job of protecting him by allowing only four sacks. The Eagles have excelled in the kicking game, as Colton Lichtenberg is 6-for-6 on field goals and punter Mike Knoll has pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 13 times.
ABOUT CLEMSON (3-0, 1-0): The Tigers have been balanced on offense behind junior quarterback Kelly Bryant, who has completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 733 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, and he ranks third on the team with 162 rushing yards and a team-high five TDs. Freshman Travis Etienne (179 yards, two TDs) and sophomore Tavien Feaster (176 yards, one TD) are the team’s top rushers, as starter C.J. Fuller (94 yards, two TDs) has been ineffective the past two weeks. The defense is allowing just 223.3 total yards per game and has racked up 16 sacks and 26 tackles for loss through three games.
1. Clemson is one of four FBS teams averaging at least 240 yards per game rushing (248.7) and passing (271), and the Tigers are 83-0-1 all-time when gaining at least 200 yards rushing and passing.
2. Clemson has averaged 334 passing yards and a 65 percent completion rate during its six-game winning streak against the Eagles.
3. Boston College is 2-28 all-time against top-five teams, including a 2-16 mark on the road, and 2-7-1 all-time against defending national champions.
PREDICTION: Clemson 41, Boston College 13