Clemson-Boston College Preview Capsule
No. 24 CLEMSON (4-2, 3-1 ACC) at BOSTON COLLEGE (4-2, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Line: Clemson by 5
Series Record: Clemson leads 12-9-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Clemson is the only team in the ACC other than No. 2 Florida State in The Associated Press Top 25. A loss could be a blow to a conference hoping to earn a berth in the new playoff. Boston College has already beaten Southern California, which was ranked ninth at the time, and another victory over a ranked team could help bowl scouts overlook losses to Colorado State and Pittsburgh.
Clemson DE Vic Beasley against the Boston College offensive line. The Eagles line has helped clear the way for a rushing game that has averaged 315.7 yards per game — fourth in the nation. But they’ll have their hands full when pass blocking: Beasley leads the ACC with seven sacks and set the school career record last week against Louisville with his 29th.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: QB Cole Stoudt. Freshman Deshaun Watson will be out a month after breaking a finger on his throwing hand last week. He will be replaced by Stoudt, a senior and the son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt, who started the first three games before Watson took over. In his career, Stoudt has played in 25 games, completing 148 of 221 passes for 1,391 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions.
Boston College: DL Brian Mihalik. A 6-foot-9 senior, Mihalik has the height to knock down passes at the line but he also has the speed and strength to get to the quarterback. He had a sack in last week’s victory over North Carolina State, giving him 3.5 for the season, and added his first career interception.
FACTS & FIGURES
The BC run defense is averaging just under 100 yards per game allowed — 99.8, to be exact — ninth in the nation. ... The Eagles have spent just one weekend on the road, with four home games and one at UMass in Foxborough. ... Beasley has a sack in eight straight games, one short of the Tiger record set by Da’Quan Bowers in 2010. ... The winner of the game will receive the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy, named for players in the 1940 Cotton Bowl, which Clemson won 6-3.