Boston College Eagles (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. No. 2 Clemson Tigers (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Saturday September 23rd, 2017. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BC +34/CLEM -34
Over/Under Total: TBA
Last week the Clemson Tigers traveled into Louisville and completely destroyed Lamar Jacksons Louisville Cardinals 47-21. For the 2nd week in a row, Clemson proved they could handle expectations with a resounding victory against a quality opponent proving that the defending National Champions are possibly worthy of repeating. This week Clemsons opposition gets a bit easier as they host the Boston College Eagles at Memorial Stadium as 34 point favorites. So far Clemson has been perfect ATS going 3-0 this season and have won their last 5 against the number going back to last year. On Saturday, Clemson will look to keep the momentum going with a homestead against a Boston College team that has dropped two straight games.
The Eagles have dropped two straight games against Wake Forest and Notre Dame by 53 combined points. One of the problems that has sort of plagued Steve Addazios teams during his tenure in Chestnut Hill is offensive production. So far this year, Boston College has been borderline awful in terms of production ranking 101st in the FBS averaging just 348 yards per game. Quarterback troubles have been to blame behind the arm of freshman Anthony Brown. Brown has completed just 55% of his passes and has thrown 6 picks compared to just 5 touchdowns on the year. The entire passing offense has been putrid for the last two years and Brown has not shown any signs of improvement.
Last year, the Eagles overcame a horrible passing attack with a somewhat reliable running game. However that has not been the case this year as the team has averaged just 3.5 yards per touch on the season. Jon Hilliman and AJ Dillon have not been spectacular and it is apparent that this offense will be a work in progress as the year progresses. If those indicators do not sound bad enough, enter the Clemson defense. The Tigers can legitimately make the claim that they have the best defense in college football and I think their claim would be valid. I expected Clemsons defense to be the primary factor behind their success this year but they have far exceeded my expectations.
Two weeks ago, Clemson recorded 11 sacks in the victory against Auburn as they held the Tigers to just 6 points. Last week against arguably the best player in the FBS in defending Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, Clemsons defense stifled the Cardinals dynamic offense by holding them to just 7 points in the first 3 quarters. At one point, Clemson led 40-14 before a pair of late touchdowns made the score appear closer in the 4th quarter. Once again the Tigers proved their defensive front was disruptive against the most explosive quarterback in the FBS and they completely consumed the Louisville offense in similar fashion to the way they dominated Auburns offensive front.
Considering Boston Colleges quarterback situation, lack of running game, and issues on the offensive front, this just seems like a trainwreck waiting to happen. So can Boston College cover the spread? Well it is possible simply for the fact that 34 points is a large number. It is also helps that the Eagles offense typically runs a lot of time off the clock because of their run heavy approach and lastly a cover is possible because the Eagles play pretty solid defense. I know it may not appear that the Eagles play solid defense considering they have given up point totals of 34 and 49 in the last two weeks. However, the majority of those big numbers are result of an inept offense that has also turned the ball over 7 times in the last two weeks.
So is a cover possible for the Eagles? Absolutely, but is it probable? Thats where I have my doubts. Clemsons offense is starting to blossom behind junior quarterback Bryant Kelly who is playing extremely well. Bryant has completed 68% passing for 733 yards with 2 scores and 1 pick. However, Bryant has been most dangerous by showcasing his elite speed running the football for 162 yards and 5 scores. I believe Bryant still has some growth needed with his passing ability but his raw athleticism creates scoring opportunities for this Clemson offense. The Tigers also have plenty of talented options in the receiving corps that gives the option big play potential. Clemson already has 10 plays over 40 yards this season in just 3 games and speed will be the big noticeable difference with this offense lines up against the Eagles defense on Saturday.
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