CLEMSON – Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the No. 17 Tigers (3-1, 0-1 ACC) will encounter something rarely seen at Boston College at 3:30 p.m. Saturday: an Eagles team that leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in passing yardage.
The tests for Clemson’s embattled defense will continue as Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has made major strides as a player and leads the conference in averaging 317 passing yards per game for BC (1-2, 0-1).
Rettig has 951 passing yards – and six touchdown passes against one interception – in three games this season. He threw for 1,960 total yards last season.
“This is not your typical Boston College team,” Swinney said. “They have really changed.”
After struggling in the passing game and leaning on a solid running game and defense the last several years, the Eagles showed they are a much different team in an opening loss against Miami this year when Rettig threw for 441 yards.
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables raved about Rettig on Tuesday.
“He’s got a big arm,” Venables said. “Good accuracy. He’s a really good player. He can throw the ball.”
Boston College receiver Alex Amidon gives the Eagles a perimeter threat to test a suspect Clemson secondary. Amidon is averaging an ACC-best 122 receiving yards per game.
Numbers games: Boston College is averaging 26.3 points per game after averaging after finishing 112th in the nation last year, averaging 18.2 points per game.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd led a players-only meeting on Monday.
“I just felt like there is no need to have a lack of confidence in any segment of (the team),” Boyd said. “I think in the past losing one game wouldn’t have affected us so bad … but I feel like the culture has changed around here where one loss really hurts you. You don’t want one loss to just affect you to the point where it ruins everything for you.”
Boyd said he reminded the team the wins and losses are collective efforts.
“Everyone always asks about offense, defense and special teams like we are separate,” Boyd said. “The thing is we are not. The offense doesn’t win a game. The defense doesn’t win a game. That loss goes on the team collectively.”
Boyd said there has been no finger pointing between the offense and defense.
He said it:
Brent Venables on issues against the run at Florida State: “We have to get off blocks. They are supposed to block you. There is a guy to block everybody across the board. We’ve got to play blocks better. Disengage. Stay on your feet, be violent on your escape so you can make a play.”
Blanks earns time a safety: Swinney said freshman Travis Blanks has begun practicing at safety. Blanks had been restricted to the nickelback position. Blanks could be an answer at safety where Clemson has struggled.