Boston College Eagles vs. Clemson Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Opening College Football Odds: Clemson -31.5
Boston College vs. Clemson TV Coverage: ESPN2
Deshaun Watson tweeted during the Clemson/Louisville game that Kelly Bryant had a chance to be better than he was in his final year with the Tigers. Darned if he wasn't at least the slightest bit right on Saturday night.
Bryant, a man who was largely thought of as nothing but a placeholder for Hunter Johnson at the early part of the season, was just ridiculous versus the Cardinals. He threw for 316 yards and ran for two touchdowns. Furthermore, he was one of the five Tigers who ran for at least 25 yards in that game, and he had half of the team's four rushing scores.
But it's the defense that really stood out. The fact that Lamar Jackson had just seven points on the board through three quarters was a remarkable feat. It proved that the 14-6 win over Auburn was no fluke; this defense is legitimately one of the best in America this year.
But let's not take anything away from Boston College either. The Eagles did beat Northern Illinois on the road to start the season, the same team that went on the road and beat Nebraska last week. Losing 34-10 at home to Wake Forest was embarrassing, as was a 49-20 loss to Notre Dame, though it should be noted that the latter loss was far from as bad as it looked.
The Eagles were down by one in the third quarter and failed on a 4th and 1 attempt at the Notre Dame 30-yard line. If they convert there, they probably take the lead and put a lot of pressure on the Golden Domers. Instead, they failed, and Notre Dame went on to score on three straight possessions to put the game out of reach.
Jon Hillman is going to have to get his butt in gear against Clemson if the Eagles want to hang in there. He's one of the most unheralded running backs in the ACC this year, but you wouldn't know it based on the fact that he only has 203 yards on the ground and has yet to find the end zone as a runner.
Hillman has potential for sure, but he's never had a great offensive to run behind. He can be a threat in the passing game as well with his seven receptions and a touchdown, but the ball has to keep moving on the ground to keep Bryant and the Clemson offense off the field.
Boston College vs. Clemson Free Picks
All of the top college football sportsbooks are asking a lot of Clemson in this one. The Tigers are laying 31.5-points, clearly a sign that everyone in the betting world is paying attention after their easy win at the 'Ville.
But we're not so sure. This seems like a great letdown spot after two huge games in a row to start the season. We still have questions about the Clemson offense, even after the huge game at Louisville, and if Boston College can limit some of the big plays in the running game that the Cardinals couldn't, it could stick in there and keep this as a game a lot longer than it should be.
College Football ATS Pick: Boston College +31.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Clemson 30, Boston College 14