CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The Clemson defense was better Saturday in a 45-31 win against Boston College than it was a week ago at Florida State, but Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was hardly in good spirits after the game.
Venables was not pleased Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig was able to strafe the Clemson secondary for 341 passing yards. He was not pleased that there were more busted coverages like the 42-yard Rettig to Alex Amidon touchdown catch in the second half, a play where there were no Clemson defenders within 10 yards of Amidon.
The mistakes came a week after Clemson allowed 380 yards passing to Florida State.
“I’m embarrassed about it,” Venables said. “We have to get it fixed and corrected. It’s like Groundhog Day.”
Amidon caught seven passes for 176 yards and two TDs.
“We just don’t play disciplined with our eyes. That’s how guys look wide open,” Venables said. “We have to be there. We have to play smarter.”
Because of several busted coverages, Clemson benched cornerback Darius Robinson and replaced him with Garry Peters. Peters, who entered the game with only nine snaps on the season, responded with a career effort.
He intercepted a Rettig pass in the fourth quarter that ended the last serious Boston College threat, the first pick of his career, and also broke up another deep pass.
“I was really pleased with (Peters),” coach Dabo Swinney said. “There’s a guy who hadn’t gotten much of an opportunity. He got his opportunity tonight and stepped up big time. He did a great job with his press technique and playing the double move.”
Venables has been searching for depth, particularly at corner, and he might have found it with Peters.
“This was really good for Garry and for us,” Venables said, “but he has to re-earn it (this week).”
The Clemson defensive front entered Boston College on Saturday under pressure.
Clemson’s embattled front seven responded with eight tackles for loss and two sacks, both season best. Clemson entered the day with just four sacks in four games.
DeShawn Williams had one sack — and another tackle for loss — and Quandon Christian had his first career sack.
Tough place to win
Saturday’s win was just Clemson’s second at Alumni Stadium. The other was in 2008, Dabo Swinney’s first career win. Clemson’s other wins in Boston came at Fenway Park and Braves Field.
Tajh Boyd was named the winner of the Leather Helmet Award as the game’s most valuable player.
There was plenty of Orange in the stands at Alumni Stadium as Clemson sold more than 3,000 tickets for the game.