Grading how the Clemson Tigers performed in the 34-7 win against the Boston College Eagles on Saturday.
Kelly Bryant had his worst game as a starter against Boston College but still was solid overall. The positives for Bryant included 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The negatives were a pair of interceptions and a fumble. Bryant has plenty of room for improvement as he tries to become more consistent in the passing game.
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Clemson rushed for 342 yards with Travis Etienne leading the way with 113 and a pair of scores. The running game had a nice day but was not spectacular outside of Etienne. Tavien Feaster got the start and averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 20 attempts. He did not put up big numbers but did do a nice job of pass blocking. Adam Choice had six carries, including an impressive 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Clemson the lead. C.J. Fuller went from starter to barely stepping on the field and had one carry, which he fumbled.
The Tigers had a season-low 140 passing yards. Part of that was Bryant, but the receivers deserve some blame as well. Jeff Scott said his group needs to do a better job of gaining separation from defensive backs .
Three catches for 19 yards for tight end Milan Richard. The Tigers continue to use their tight ends more as blockers than pass catchers.
The offensive line was great at run blocking, especially late in the game, but the Tigers still had struggles in pass protection as Bryant was sacked twice and hit on several occasions.
Boston College’s offense is built around running the ball, but the Tigers dominated up front and held the Eagles to less than 100 rushing yards and 2.9 yards per carry. Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant all played well.
The linebackers also played a big role in Clemson stopping the run. The Eagles caught Clemson off guard a couple of times on play-action passes, but the unit had another strong game overall. Kendall Joseph made plays all over the field, leading Clemson with 12 tackles.
Even with several key members of the secondary banged up, Clemson held Boston College to 141 passing yards. Trayvon Mullen and A.J. Terrell recorded interceptions for the Tigers.
This grade is on a bit of a curve since Alex Spence did not find out until Thursday that he would be taking over Clemson’s place kicking duties after Greg Huegel’s injury. Spence did miss an extra point but overall was solid. Ray-Ray McCloud set up a touchdown with a 56-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t flashy, but Clemson got the job done against a physical team, sandwiched between a pair of top 15 road games.