CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Second-ranked Clemson will try to hang on to its lofty spot in the College Football Playoff rankings when it visits No. 14 Boston College for a pivotal ACC Atlantic Division showdown on Saturday. The Tigers can clinch the division title with what would be their eighth consecutive win over the Eagles.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Clemson -20
Clemson is trying to lock down its fourth straight division crown and move a step closer to returning to the College Football Playoff. The Tigers have been utterly dominant in their last four games, winning by an average of 51 points after trouncing Louisville 77-16 last week. Boston College has emerged as a surprise challenger to the Tigers in the Atlantic and can win the division by capturing its final three games, although that’s no easy task as the team travels to Florida State next week before finishing the regular season at home against Syracuse. The Eagles have won three straight, dispatching Miami (27-14) and Virginia Tech (31-21) in the last two weeks to stay in the division title race.
ABOUT CLEMSON (9-0, 6-0 ACC)
The Tigers are the only team in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both total offense (seventh, 538 yards per game) and total defense (third, 269.2). The offense has set school records for scoring in spans of three (177 points), four (240), five (267), six (316) and seven games (354), as Travis Etienne has anchored the ground attack while the passing game has flourished under freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The dominant defense has allowed more than 300 total yards only three times, with one of those being in last week’s blowout win over Louisville.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (7-2, 4-1)
The Eagles are enjoying their best season in more than a decade behind a potent offense led by running back AJ Dillon. Boston College’s 37.2 points per game would be a school record, eclipsing the mark set by the 1984 team led by Doug Flutie, and Dillon has rushed for 897 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing two contests with an ankle injury. The defense has played well during the three-game winning streak but has been gashed for more than 500 total yards twice in ACC play.
1. Clemson can clinch its eighth consecutive 10-win season with a victory.
2. The Tigers have forced a turnover in 17 straight games, their longest streak since an 18-game run in 2004-05.
3. Boston College is 2-23 all-time against top-five opponents and has lost 10 in a row dating to a win at Notre Dame in 2002.
PREDICTION: Clemson 41, Boston College 20
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