Despite sub-forty-degree weather, the red-hot Clemson Tigers (10-0, 7-0) continued their streak of dominance over the Boston College Eagles (7-3, 4-2), 27-7. With the win, Clemson collected its fourth straight ACC Atlantic Division title.
The Tigers haven’t had much competition in recent weeks, but the Eagles put up a fight despite the exit of their starting quarterback, Anthony Brown, on their first drive of the game after Christian Wilkins awkwardly landed on him. EJ Perry played the rest of the game in relief.
Even with the adversity, the Eagles got the spark they needed when Michael Walker took a punt 74 yards to the end zone, giving them a 7-3 lead in the first quarter.
The Tigers’ response didn’t take long. Tee Higgins made a great contested catch over the head of BC’s freshman cornerback Brandon Sebastian for 35 yards. On the next play, Amari Rodgers set up Clemson with a 1st-and-goal from the seven after a 14-yard catch-and-run. The Eagles’ defense forced a fourth down on the two-yard line, but Dabo Swinney called in the “Fridge Package” tandem of Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins. After some play action to the 650+ pound backfield, Trevor Lawrence found tight end Milan Richard in the back of the end zone giving the Tigers a 10-7 lead.
On the following kickoff, Boston College’s Michael Walker made another great return, but it was called back after a block in the back penalty. Clemson was able to get the ball back after a Boston College punt, but they settled for a 24-yard Greg Huegel field goal after what appeared to be a promising drive.
After receiving the second half kickoff, Clemson struck quickly on a three-play drive that lasted a little over a minute. On the half’s opening play, Travis Etienne broke a few tackles on a 25-yard run. To follow that up, Trevor Lawrence found a streaking Hunter Renfrow for an electric 33-yard play that set up the Tigers on the six. Trevor Lawrence completed the drive with his first career rushing touchdown.
The rest of the third quarter was full of defensive stops by both sides. The Tigers were able to key in on the Maroon and Gold’s star running back AJ Dillon since they were without Anthony Brown. The Eagles were also able to contain Clemson’s lethal running attack.
The scoring picked back up when Amari Rodgers returned a 58-yard punt to the house, giving Clemson a 27-7 lead. It was his first career touchdown return, punt or kick.
Boston College was able to find some life after a Hamp Cheevers interception, but it was a little too late to orchestrate an improbable comeback. They punted the ball back to Clemson who was then able to run out the clock.
Clemson will host Duke Blue Devils (7-3, 3-3) next Saturday in Death Valley.