LINE: Clemson -15 (O/U 46), BC +475 Moneyline
THREE OFFENSIVE KEYS FOR BC
1. Keep pounding the rock – After Pat Garwo and Travis Levy helped the Eagles rumble past UMass and Temple, the run game continued to play a huge factor against Missouri last week. If you’re going to keep DJ U (no chance Im typing that whole name out for this) off the field and play the game on your terms, what better way than continuing to feed the beasts in the backfield?
2. Trae Barry – I think this is a breakout game for the tight end. Barry had his first big BC moment in the opener against Colgate, but has been fairly quiet since. I think the Tigers are going to focus a ton of energy on Flowers and CJ Lewis after the big games they had in Death Valley last year, so if Barry can haul in let’s say five balls for 100 yards and a couple TD’s it could be huge.
3. Start fast – It’s pretty basic, but taking the crowd out of the game is going to be critical early on. Last season, BC struck first and should have pulled the upset. This year, if they’re able to start fast again that crowd could turn VERY quickly given the current state of the program down there.
THREE DEFENSIVE KEYS FOR BC
1. Get in DJ U’s head early – Look, he’s obviously extremely talented, but he’s still only a sophomore. With the total combined experience and knowledge of Lukabu and his unit, there’s reason to believe the Eagles can either throw stuff at the young QB he’s never seen before, or at the very least force him into some poor decisions. He’s still young, which means he’s probably still mistake prone if you force it out of him.
2. NO STUPID PENALTIES – It’s capitalized because of how obvious it is. How many times over the years have we seen football teams at every level go into a rowdy environment and completely crap their pants with dumb, completely unncessary penalties? It’s usually a driving force behind why teams don’t pull of upsets. The Eagles have been pretty disciplined so far this year and Hafley always tells his guys to play fearless but smart. That’s imperative on Saturday night.
3. Embrace the hate – The disrespect for the Eagles continued Saturday morning when College Game Day discussed the game but barely mentioned the Eagles. BC is also a two-touchdown under dog to a team reeling right now. This defense has been playing with a chip on its shoulder thanks to the lack of respect in the offseason, but now they’re still getting it after four straight wins? That chip should be a damn boulder tonight when they run out of the tunnel.
FINAL PREDICTION: BC 37, Clemson 20. That’s right. I’m calling a blow out. Teams often take on the personality of their head coach and this finally feels like the night BC gets a “stunning” win under Hafley. Clemson simply isn’t what they’ve been over the last few years and if this really is going to be a magical season for the Eagles, this is about as close to a must-win game as you can get as a two-TD underdog.
It’s statement time for the Eagles.