I didn’t even want to re-watch this game because it was that bad. I told people all last week that I was really worried about this game and I thought we would lose. I was trying to reverse jinx us, but my worries proved out to be very justified as the Pack led for almost the entire game, but found a way to lose it in the end 14-13 and allow the Tigers to continue their strangle hold on the Textile Bowl trophy. I don’t even feel like grading out every position this week because I’d have to call out too many people so I’m going to cut back and just do offense, defense, special teams, and coaching. Let’s get to the grades.
Offense – Grade: F
To say our offensive performance against Clemson was pathetic would be insulting to the word pathetic. The Pack offense looked more like the Carolina Panthers than the ACC’s #1 offense that it is. An offense that coming into this game averaged 439 yards and 35 points could only muster 275 yards and 13 points. Add to that our 1 touchdown in 5 redzone trips (that’s 20% for you math-challenged out there) and only 3 total scores (60%). That drops the Pack to 24 TDs in 48 redzone chances (50%) and 36 scores (75%) to rank the Pack as the 105th redzone offense in the country. It takes skill for the ACC’s #1 offense to be that bad in the redzone. Wow! The lowlights were Russell Wilson throwing another interception in the endzone, Mustafa Greene fumbling to set up Clemson’s first TD, only 34 yards rushing by our RBs, too many dropped passes by our WRs to count, and our offensive line getting dominated by the Clemson defensive line. Everybody on the offense combined to earn this F.
Defense – Grade: A-
We held the anemic Clemson offense to 260 yards and 14 points which should have been more than good enough to get the win. We were a little lucky that Clemson missed 2 chip shot field goals (32 yards & 37 yards), but our defense made plenty of key plays all game to keep Clemson off the scoreboard. Earl Wolff led the way with 11 tackles and 1 forced fumble. Terrell Manning added 9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception return for TD that was negated by a stupid block in the back penalty by Natanu Mageo. J.R. Sweezy was an absolute beast that (with 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFL, 1 forced fumble) had a better statistical day than Clemson’s All-World Da’Quan Bowers. There were times when we only sent 4 guys and gave Kyle Parker all kinds of time to sit back there and that’s when he made plays and hurt us. All-in-all a very good day for the Pack defense.
Special Teams – Grade: F
The special teams continues to be the weakest link on our football team. We once again couldn’t get anything going in our return games as we fair caught every punt and had 3 kickoff returns for a mere 52 yards (17.3 avg). We also struggled again on our coverage teams as we gave up 1 punt return for 8 yards and 4 kickoff returns for 131 yards (32.75 avg) including a 76 yarder in the 4th quarter. To round out things we had a 30 yard field goal blocked and then had the 4 yard punt at the end of the game. An absolute terrible game by this unit and they will cost us more games coming down the stretch if they continue performing this poorly.
Coaching – Grade: F
The defensive gameplan and playcalling was aggressive and very effective all game. Too bad that was the only positive on day from the coaching staff. The offensive gameplan was abysmal and the redzone playcalling was absolutely terrible. If we made any offensive adjustments at halftime they were about as effective as eating soup with a fork. Our special teams have sucked all year and yet we haven’t found a way to improve any at all, by either better coaching or different personnel. On top of all that, TOB called for the inexcusable punt on 4th & 1 at the Tigers 43 yard line with less than 3:30 left in the game. This is exactly the type of game that Boston College fans got tired of seeing from TOB & Co.