When the ESPN College GameDay crew is coming to town to broadcast live from your campus, there’s a really good chance the game you have on the docket is kind of a big deal. That’s the situation at hand for the #17 Boston College Eagles, who will be welcoming the #2 Clemson Tigers to town for a game that will be contested under the primetime lights and nationally broadcast on ABC.
Boston College brings a mark of 7-2 to the table and currently sits behind undefeated Clemson in the ACC Atlantic division. While the game has huge ramifications for both programs, Clemson simply has more at stake. A loss impacts their standing with the College Football Playoff committee, which currently views them as the number two team in the country.
As for the Eagles, a win would rocket the squad up the Top 25 poll, and deservedly so. A loss won’t be the end of the world from a bowl eligibility perspective, but you can be certain they would like nothing more than to knock Clemson off the top of the ACC perch.
This one has the potential to be an outstanding contest. Let’s take a look at the matchup in full detail.
Clemson @ Boston College, 8:00 PM EST, ABC
- Clemson -19.5 (-108)
- Boston College +19.5 (-112)
- Clemson -1100
- Boston College +775
- Over 56.5 (+100)
- Under 56.5 (-120)
Clemson vs. Boston College pick:
Boston College enters this game riding a three-game winning streak, including last week’s big win at Virginia Tech. The week before, it was a huge home win under the Friday Night lights over Miami. The team’s lone blemishes on the season have come against Purdue and NC State, and the Eagles are one of the 2018 squads that no one wants to face.
The Eagles are averaging 37.2 points per game while allowing 24.1. On offense, the clear strength of the time is its ground game. Sophomore RB AJ Dillon has been extremely productive, producing a line of 162/897/8 thus far. Even more impressively, that’s with him missing a pair of games due to injury. It’s a pretty safe bet that he would already be over 1,000 yards on the season without missing those two games. As it is, he’s still 20th in the nation in terms of yardage.
While Dillon is the clear focal point of the offense, sophomore signal caller Anthony Brown has been solid as well. On the season, he’s completing 57.9 percent of his passes for 1,567 yards, 25 TDs, and five picks. Sophomore Kobay White is the team’s leading receiver in terms of yardage, as he has hauled in 20 passes for 314 yards and three scores.
The defense is pretty balanced overall, but Boston College does a really nice job of generating pressure. On the year, the unit has produced 28 sacks, 21 turnovers, and two defensive scores. Looking ahead, Boston College has a road date with Florida State up next, and the team closes out the regular season with a home game versus Syracuse, currently the #13 team in the nation.
Clemson enters this game with a perfect mark of 9-0, and the Tigers have been absolutely rolling over opponents. Since a small scare versus Syracuse a few weeks back, the school has ripped off four straight blowout victories, including last week’s 77-16 win over Louisville. Over that span, Clemson’s lowest output has been 41 points.
On the season, the team is averaging 47.8 points per game while allowing just 13.3. While the Tigers can make things happen through the air and on the ground, the clear strength of the team is via the rushing attack, courtesy of sophomore extraordinaire Travis Etienne, who has produced a line of 116/998/15 thus far.
After some early season uncertainty, things have settled down at quarterback with freshman Trevor Lawrence, who has thrown for 18 TDs versus three picks on the year. Sophomore Tee Higgins has been the top option in the passing attack. Through nine games, he has produced a line of 35/514/7, and he’s currently riding a four-game touchdown scoring streak.
The defense is one of the best units in the nation with strength against both the pass and the run. The Tigers have generated 32 sacks this season – good enough for third in the nation – and generated 16 turnovers and one defensive score. Looking ahead, the Tigers close out the regular season with a pair of home games versus Duke and South Carolina.
Over that past decade, Clemson holds a dominant edge over its ACC rival. The Tigers hold a mark of 9-1 straight up and 5-5 against the spread over that span. The Over has been the correct call four times over that span, but just twice in the last five. You have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a Boston College victory in this series, when the team prevailed by a score of 16-10.
Last year, Clemson was favored by 32 points in a game with a projected total of 53 points. The Tigers secured a home victory by a score of 34-7 when all was said and done. This year, the spread is a bit tighter with Clemson a19.5-point road favorite, while the projected total has been kicked up a few notches to 56.5 points.
If the College GameDay crew is headed to town, then there’s a solid chance there’s something more to see here than just another Clemson rout. We concur. While the #2 team in the nation is clearly the better team on paper, this a tricky spot against a solid Boston College team. The national spotlight will only ratchet up the intensity, and we would imagine the hosts will be pretty fired up to show they can hang with the big boys.
An upset of what looks to be a College Football Playoff team is likely too much of an ask. Looking for Boston College to keep it closer and more entertaining than the spread suggests is not.
We’ll take Boston College plus the points.