The countdown is on to Clemson football first in Athens (Georgia) and then back in TigerTown on Sept. 6 (S.C. State).
We’re counting down the Clemson schedule – by strength of schedule – with a quick profile, team I.D. and prediction.
The Tigers makes their third road trip of the season to Chestnut Hill, facing the Eagles in year two under Steve Addazio.
Clemson Countdown to Kickoff
12) S.C. State
11) Georgia State
10) Wake Forest
9) N.C. State
7) Boston College Eagles
Plays Clemson: at Alumni Stadium (Boston), Oct. 18, time TBA.
2013 Record: 7-6 (4-4 ACC, fourth in the Atlantic).
Coach: Steve Addazio (20-17 career record).
Offense (2013 ranks): Spread (Scoring offense: 70, 27.7 PPG; Yards per play: 39, 6.09; Field position advantage: 77).
Defense (2013 ranks): 4-3 (Def. yards per play: 92, 5.92; Scoring defense: 78, 28.9 PPG; 3rd down defense: 88, 42.3%).
Advanced stats: Success Rate – 105 (38%); Points per trip inside the 40 – 19 (4.8); Adj. line yards – 40 (106.9); Def. Success Rate – 76 (43.2%); Def. points per trip inside the 40 – 102 (4.7); Def. adj. line yards – 69 (98.3).
Returning starters: Offense – 4; Defense – 6; Kickers – 0;
Boston College Identity
1. Life after Andre and Alex - No one in the ACC came close to Heisman finalist Andre Williams in rush attempts (355) and yards (2,177), which he led the nation in averaging a strong 6.1 yards per carry. Alex Amidon was fifth in the ACC in receptions per game (5.9), making up 78 percent (!) of BC’s wide receiver catches. Sophomore tailback Myles Willis figures to step in Williams’ shoes after averaging 5.8 yards per carry with two touchdowns last year (including a 38-yard score against Clemson to take an early lead in Death Valley last year). All in all, BC loses 87 percent of its ’13 receiver receptions, leaving a wide-open battle that’ll likely include some true freshmen (signed three 3-stars).
2. Year 2 - Longtime defensive coordinator and former head coach (at UMass and Northeastern) Don Brown found anything but a quick fix last season with the Eagles. They finished 113th in pass defense (268 YPG) and 92nd in overall yards per play (5.9). We have them rated ninth or worse in the ACC at every unit this season, but they should take some steps forward under a DC with a proven track record.
3. Talent’s coming - After lackluster recruiting pulls under Frank Spaziani, Addazio jump-started the Eagles first in 2014 with a 35-spot jump in the 247 Composite rankings (87th to 52nd) and has a top-20 class with 23 commitments for 2015.
Projected Record: 6-6 (3-5 ACC).
(Way too early) Boston College pick: 37-16 Tigers.
Analysis: In ACC play, Boston College – yes, BC – has given Clemson the most trouble (by score differential) over the last two years outside of Florida State (12 points per game spread). The Eagles will find some answers by the mid-October matchup – and they played really well at home last year (14-point margin of victory, 5-1 with the loss by 14 to Florida State). This will be Clemson’s third road trip after games at Georgia and Florida State, coming off a three-game homestand which will have the Tigers on a mini-roll and battle-tested to cruise here with relative ease.
Next up: 6) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – Clemson returns to the ATL and house-of-horrors Bobby Dodd Stadium.