May 19, 2019

Clemson vs. Boston College Win Probabilities

The win probability below is based on the results of over 4,300 college football games and the projected metrics for each team.

The numbers say….

Head to Head: Inside the numbers of Clemson vs. Boston College

A look at the relevant numbers for this weeks matchup:

Depth Stars: Clemson vs. Boston College

A look at how recruiting rankings reflect in the starting lineups (Source Photo: Steve Mitchell/USA Today)


In this segment we’ll take a look at the former recruiting rankings for both teams’ starting lineups. With only the starters listed, this is by no means a comprehensive comparison of overall team talent. Instead, this allows you to simply take a peak into how recruiting rankings represent the key contributors on the field. In this series we’ll be basing the “star” ratings on the 247 Composite rankings, which factors in evaluations from various recruiting services. Players who did not receive a ranking were assigned a default 0.7500 numerical rating, which is equivalent to a 2-star ranking.



Preseason Win Probability: Boston College

Preseason win probability for Clemson vs. Boston College based on over 4,300 college football games and projected metrics for upcoming game. Win probabilities for games 2-12 will change based on games played prior.

Early Opponent Preview – Boston College

An early look at the Boston College Eagles.

The Aftermath: Clemson-56 Boston College-10

The SUR Crew discusses Clemson’s dominant victory over Boston College from Friday night….

Over the last few games it would appear that the offense is coming to life. While far from perfect, share some thoughts on what we’ve seen out of this unit as of late.

Marty Coleman-I sound like a broken record, but this offense works best when Artavis Scott is involved in his traditional role as an “extension of the running game”. Scott was heavily involved in both Clemson’s first TD drive of the game and 1st TD drive of the second half.  It opens up so much for this offense when defenses have to defend short and deep.  Other receivers start to get open and holes appear for running backs.  The execution Friday night was beautiful. 500+ yards on 60 plays and over 8 yards per play for the second straight game.  When Hunter Renfrow returns this could be the offense everyone thought we’d see before the season.

Matt Wilczewski-They’re starting to hit their stride, that’s for sure. Gallman has emerged as of late, and Watson is standing back there with more confidence than presented in early games. The chemistry of the offensive line is progressing along, and Clemson is executing the little things better than previously. Better push plus fewer drops creates increased tempo and rhythm, all resulting in more points on the board. Closer and closer to a well oiled machine.  

Chris Cox-Posted a tweet yesterday highlighting the offense’s progress over the last 3 games: 41.3 PPG, 484 YPG, 7.3 YPP. Not too shabby huh? If I could pinpoint the root of success, outside of the ridiculous talent, I’d go with the improvement of the offensive line. Watson has had time to make throws in a clean pocket and he’s been able to spread the wealth. Gallman has also had a couple nice lanes to run through that simply weren’t there in the first couple of games. I’ll also give credit to Jordan Leggett who has registered a touchdown in each of the last 3 games and adds another dimension to this offense.

Deshaun Watson seems to have tossed him name back into Heisman hunt with his recent performances. Discuss what he’s doing so well and if there’s anything else you want to see out of #4 as the Tigers head into the second half of their schedule?

MC- Watson looked more comfortable against Boston College than he has all season and looked like he was having fun again.  Obviously the score helped, but from the get go Watson appeared confident and composed.  As far as the rest of the season goes, he’s going to have interceptions with the number of passes he throws, but I’d like the inexplicable ones to be a thing of the past.  It’s mid-season – the kinks should be worked out.

MW- He’s starting to gel with his assortment of receivers, and is becoming more comfortable in the pocket with the offensive line performing better. So much of Watson’s passing success tends to be dependent on his ability to set his feet prior to the throw, all coming with his comfort in the pocket. Going forward, just keep it simple. Put the ball in your playmaker’s hands and let them do the work for you.

CC-If anything it would appear that Watson is just doing a good job of distributing the ball into all his playmakers hands. Instead of keying in on a player or two, you’re seeing just how versatile the offense is through the various impact players. McCloud and Williams were the talk of the town after the first few weeks, and now that focus seems to be shifted to Cain or Leggett. I’ve also noticed that Watson seems to be playing with a little more intensity. He’s picking up what I like to call “effort” yards by scrambling when the pocket breaks down, which is a huge part of his game. Down the stretch I’d love to see Watson tighten up on some of the long balls and for him to get Artavis Scott more touches. The latter part is likely on the coaches, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Thoughts on the improved play of the big guys up front? Any concerns with Jake Fruhmorgen’s inconsistencies?

MC- Gallman has had room to run the last two games which is obviously huge.  There is concern for me on the right side of the line though we know Harold Landry is legit.  Do I expect Fruhmorgen to be perfect? No.  But seeing Watson get drilled like that is worrisome.  

MW- The team tends to revolve around the success on the offensive line. Playcalling changes if you can’t run the ball and if your QB can’t relax in pocket. Slight concern with Fruhmorgen as he obviously stands out after getting beat a few times by Boston College’s Harold Landry. But Landry is a talented DE and Fruhmorgen isn’t going to win every battle. Can’t complain too much considering the line didn’t give up a sack last week against Louisville, but if he seems to be iffy next weekend you may see Pollard step in. Pollard has looked quite promising for a freshman in his limited playing time thus far.

CC-I talked about it in my first response, but these guys have made all the difference over the last few games. Watson’s had a clean pocket to work in and Gallman’s finally been able to find breathing room. The substitutions seem less frequent, which may be telling as to the development of chemistry between the starting 5. Concerning starting RT Jake Fruhmorgen I think he’s a little behind where many thought he’d be at this point in his career. Often times OL are handed a redshirt year and aren’t relied on until 3 or 4 years into their career. Jake wasn’t afforded that luxury and he seems to be physically overwhelmed at times. If the struggles continue I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 6’5” 315-pound Sean Pollard get a shot.

The defense did exactly what we thought they’d do versus a putrid BC offense. What were your takeaways from another dominant performance?

MC- Brent Venables is the best defensive coordinator in the country.  Sounds funny after playing a 1960s style offense, but who else would you rather have coaching your defense?  They bring it every game. Intensity.  Effort. Preparedness. Well coached.  It helps that the guys he is coaching are grown men up front, wild men at LB and playmakers in the back, but that group mirrors their coach – intense and prepared.

MW- They came out without complacency. I think that was the major question following their lengthy time on the field against Louisville last week. The situation called for one in which a few big plays could occur due to sleepwalking, but the intensity and disciplined remained regardless. Fundamentally sound and incredibly talented, quite the combination.

CC-Clemson’s defensive line is an absolute problem for opposing offenses. Hell, there were a couple times where the Tigers sent 3 down linemen and created pressure that collapsed the pocket. The secondary also appears to be as sound fundamentally as we’ve seen under Mike Reed. I had my doubts about the secondary’s ability to replace all that was lost from a year ago, but they’ve shut me up. Corners Ryan Carter and Marcus Edmond have emerged as reliable playmakers. Safeties Jadar Johnson and Van Smith may be an upgrade over Clemson’s two safeties from a year ago who are both playing in the NFL. Oh, that Tankersley kid is pretty good too.

Obviously a big talking point during the game was Ben Boulware’s hit on Patrick Towles. The play was originally flagged as targeting, before being reversed. What’s you opinion on that particular play & the targeting rule in general?

MC-You want me to talk about ACC refs?  I have no idea what they were looking at on the play, except for reacting to the head snapping back.  The only thing I can think of is they were using an overabundance of caution for safety reasons.  Just ludicrous. Targeting is a real thing and should be called when it occurs, but it seems like we spend more and more time reviewing plays and less and less time watching an actual game.  The way it’s officiated now they call it if it’s even remotely close and then review it and maybe overturn the call.  They’re so worried they’re going to miss one that they are “creating” targeting penalties that aren’t actually occurring.  

MW- I thought it was fairly obvious during the actual play that there was no targeting. But, it was a pleasant sight to see the referees gather and overturn the targeting penalty. I do agree with Chris that the first offense ejection is a tad strict, as it’s quite difficult for players to consider the targeting factors in the midst of trying to make a play.

CC-If an official on the field couldn’t see that Boulware used his hands to separate Towles from the ball then he probably shouldn’t be on the field. Dabo saw it. I saw it. Why was the flag thrown in the first place? That’s neither here nor there now. Come this offseason, something must be done to clear up the gray area associated with this rule. First off, there should never be an ejection unless there’s a second offense in the same game. More times than not a “targeting” hit is incidental. In my opinion you have that player sit out for the rest of the drive or rest of the quarter. Just something that’s not as drastic as removing them from the game. I could go on, but I digress…

Defensive end Austin Bryant dressed, but was held from play. Assuming he returns next week versus NC State, what kind of impact do you suspect he’ll make and what does that mean for Christian Wilkins time at DE?

MC- Limited impact next week and more as the season progresses and assume Wilkins will see more time inside.  The rich get richer.  Add another interior lineman to that group up front? Yikes for opponents.  The defensive has had a good chemistry, so you wonder about that angle a bit, but it’s apparent they love playing for Brent Venables so I’m sure he’ll distribute the snaps in an appropriate fashion.

MW- I do believe his snaps will be fairly limited next weekend as the coaching staff tries to ease him back into the flow of the game. There’s bound to be a bit of rust, and it’s been quite a luxury to have enough talent that Bryant didn’t need to be rushed back too soon. Considering how well Wilkins has played at DE, it’s tough to tell how Venables will play the situation once Bryant is full go. My guess would be to move him back to DT primarily, outside of perhaps certain situations. Venables has also frequently used three down linemen this season, which is a way to get Wilkins/Lawrence/Watkins on the field at the same time. Decent problem to have.

CC-Coming into the season I thought Bryant would be Clemson’s best defensive lineman not named Christian. If he’s back next weekend I think it’s a huge boost to an already elite group. In limited snaps a year ago I was impressed with Bryant’s upper body strength and pass rushing abilities. I’d expect the staff to ease him into game reps so I still anticipate Wilkins starting at DE with Bryant spelling him early and often versus the Wolfpack. Once Bryant is full go I think you see Wilkins slide back inside for the majority of his snaps.

Concerning Ray Ray McCloud as punt returner, is the risk worth the reward?

MC-I’m leaning towards no. At this point, I don’t feel comfortable back there with him and punt returns aren’t required for this team to move the ball offensively.  Losing a punt on a fumble is such a huge momentum swing – not against Boston College and the crowd of 100s – but imagine if that was Louisville or Florida State.  You just can’t have that.  I would also argue that the offense is actually more explosive with additional room to operate so those yards aren’t crucial to what Clemson does offensively.  It’s easy to get enamored with the possibility of an “easy” score.  The offense will get plenty of “easy” scores, but they have to have the ball to do it.

MW- At this point, I’m not sure the risk is worth the reward. McCloud is explosive, but Clemson has been fortunate that he hasn’t lost a fumble in a big game situation quite yet. And considering his return opportunities tend to be few and far between, I’d have to side with the sure-handed Scott or Renfrow.

CC-This is such a tough call for me. On one hand I think Ray Ray is Clemson’s most explosive option. On the other I think he may be Clemson’s least reliable option. When it comes down to it I guess I’d feel a lot more comfortable with someone like Artavis Scott or a healthy Hunter Renfrow back there receiving the punts.

Feel free to share any other thoughts and/or observations from the game that we didn’t touch on above.

MC-Remember when going to Boston College (or Atlanta) used to be scary as Clemson fans? No longer.  The Tigers outclassed the Eagles on the field and it was clear from the opening kick. Deon Cain came up big, despite a gaffe at the end of the half.  My biggest takeaway was that the coaches were still coaching despite the score. Cain was talked to about not getting down, Boulware was lectured about the non-targeting call and on and on.  Yeah, you won 56-10, but there are things to work on and correct.  Really smart to keep those kids focused on the standard and not the score.

MW- Really enjoying Cain coming on as a lethal threat for this team. 4 TD’s in the past two weeks, and with teams having to place their top corner against Mike Williams, the opportunities are there for Cain. Still has a ways to go on some of the small things, such as run blocking, but he’s coming along. Oh, and keep feeding Artavis Scott. So many weapons, and it sure does feel as if they’re all starting to find their role in the offense.

CC-Hard not to be excited about some of the young talent on the roster. Obviously Tavien Feaster’s long touchdown run stands out, but there’s a long list of youngsters that have shown some serious promise through 6 games. I’m also curious to see how the staff utilizes Gallman down the stretch. Since Auburn, he’s only averaged 11.6 carries a game to go along with a 6.1 average per carry. Maybe they’re trying to keep his legs fresh for another title run? Something worth monitoring.

Players of the Game (Off & Def)

MC- Deon Cain, Ben Boulware

MW- Deshaun Watson, Van Smith

CC-Deshaun Watson, Clelin Ferrell

Play of the Game

MC- Jordan Leggett’s 56 yard touchdown catch and run.

MW- Ben Boulware’s hit and forced fumble on Patrick Towles and subsequent recovery by Dexter Lawrence.

CC-Wayne Gallman’s 59-yard TD run that was sprung by a block from Deshaun Watson

**Featured image via Gwinn Davis/**

Weekly SUR Pick’em – Week 6

Weekly SUR Pick'em

The SUR crew of Matt Wilczewski, Marty Coleman and Chris Cox pick the week’s featured games against the spread and share a million star lead pipe lock. Feel free to get rich…at your own expense.

Marty: 25-21; Locks – 2-2-1 Matt: 27-19; Locks – 2-3 Chris: 24-22; Locks – 2-3

#3 Clemson (-17) at Boston College
MC: Boston College (Clemson wins 31-16)
MW: Boston College (Clemson wins 27-10)
CC: Clemson 38-10

Texas (+10) vs. #20 Oklahoma (in Dallas)
MC: Oklahoma
MW: Oklahoma
CC: Oklahoma

LSU at #18 Florida (+3)
MC: Florida
CC: Florida

#25 Virginia Tech at #17 North Carolina (-2.5)
MC: Virginia Tech
MW: Virginia Tech

#9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M (-7)
MC: Texas A&M
MW: Texas A&M
CC: Tennessee

#1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas (+14)
MC: Arkansas
MW: Arkansas
CC: Arkansas

Georgia at South Carolina (+7)
MC: South Carolina
MW: South Carolina
CC: South Carolina

#23 Florida State at #10 Miami (-3)
MW: Miami

Gambling Lock of the Week
MC:  FSU (+3) at Miami.  Using a lock of the week on a 3-2 team that has an empty bandwagon may seem like lunacy.  Another way to look at it is: There’s no home field advantage, FSU has the better players and is desperate. Also, it’s not like the Seminoles are losing to chumps like the ones Miami has beat, either.  If the Noles leave south Florida 3-3 and 0-3 in the ACC look out.

MW: 6 point teaser: VT +8.5/Texas A&M -1(-110) : Two straight winning weeks after putting straight spread and over/under wagers to the side. Going away from my recent moneyline parlays this time and trying out a 6 point teaser. Bumping the Hokies from 2.5 to 8.5 and taking them after UNC’s thrilling last second victory at FSU. Hope here is that UNC is a little overvalued and has a bit of a letdown following last weekend’s festivities. I’ll pair them with the Aggies, going from -7 to -1, and fading an undefeated Vols team coming off the hail mary victory in Athens. 

CC: OVER 57.5 in Tennessee vs. Texas A&M. If I were in your shoes I would actually bet the under. My locks have special powers that actually reverse the outcome to be the exact opposite of what I say. Given my pick I wouldn’t be surprised if these two high power offenses put up 16 points combined.

Depth Stars: Clemson vs. Boston College

A look at how recruiting rankings reflect in the starting lineups (Source Photo: Steve Mitchell/USA Today)

A look at how recruiting rankings reflect in the starting lineups (Source Photo: Steve Mitchell/USA Today)


In this segment we’ll take a look at the former recruiting rankings for both teams’ starting lineups. With only the starters listed, this is by no means a comprehensive comparison of overall team talent. Instead, this allows you to simply take a peak into how recruiting rankings represent the key contributors on the field. In this series we’ll be basing the “star” ratings on the 247 Composite rankings, which factors in evaluations from various recruiting services.






**As always you can head over to the free SUR message boards to discuss this and much more with one of the tightest online Tiger communities on the web. You can also check out our latest SUR Podcast to for up to date Clemson discussion.**

Nic’s Picks – Week 6

Nic's PicksEditor’s Note: Nic Mills is a senior PRTM major, student assistant with Clemson Athletic Communication, (formerly known as the Clemson Sports Information Department) and has a long family history of Clemson grads. Nic has also been an intern with The Mickey Plyler Show and Out of Bounds on 105.5 The Roar each weekday morning. You can follow Nic on Twitter @mrnicmills.

Week 5: (6-2)

Total: (27-14)

#3) Clemson (5-0) at Boston College (3-2), Friday, October 7th, 2016 ESPN 7:30 – Clemson games at Boston College are traditionally sloppy affairs and BC traditionally plays Clemson tough no matter the location. Clemson has won 41 consecutive games versus teams not ranked in either poll and that streak will continue here. Clemson won’t cover the 17 point spread and I will give you three reasons why. One is Clemson will be tired and not up to full speed after the emotional game against Louisville, plus it is a second short week in a three week span, two it is the Red Bandana game for BC meaning that it is the one game all season that will probably be a sell out for BC and three is BC’s defense is pretty salty. Clemson 27 – Boston College 10

Texas (2-2) vs #20) Oklahoma (2-2), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 FS1 12 – Well I guess we jumped the gun a little bit with Texas being back after that Notre Dame win, the Irish aren’t nearly the good win that we thought. Both teams come in with records of 2-2, one is coming off of a big win (OU) the other coming off of a big loss (Texas). Charlie Strong and Bob Stoops both need to win this game badly. Charlie Strong is taking over the defense but is one week enough to get the team playing well enough to win. Shane Buchele and the offense will score for the ‘horns it is just a matter of getting OU’s offense off the field as well. I thing Texas rallies behind Strong and they get another win in the Red River Rivalry and at least save Strong’s job for another week. Texas 34 – Oklahoma 27

#25) Virginia Tech (3-1) at #17) North Carolina (4-1), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 3:30 – If the Hokies and Heels get this game played I think I am picking the Hokies. North Carolina has a good offense and I expect them to get some points but I like what I am seeing from Jarod Evans and the Fuente offense in Blacksburg, plus they still have Bud Foster at D-coordinator. Virginia Tech 28 – North Carolina 24

#9) Tennessee (5-0) at #8) Texas A&M (5-0), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 CBS 3:30 – If you actually saw this being a top 10 showdown in College Station at the beginning of the season, impressive. I keep waiting on both of the teams to choke and neither has, yet. I think both of these teams lose twice, at least, and the Volunteers get started first this weekend. I have to go off of what I have seen and there is no way Tennessee will overcome the early deficit this week if they get off to another slow start. Texas A&M 34 – Tennessee 21

#1) Alabama (5-0) at #16) Arkansas (4-1), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 ESPN 7 – This seems to be the sexy upset pick of the week, I know Roy Philpott called for it, but I’m not buying it. Yes I know that Brett Bielema has kept getting closer and closer to beating Saban each year but it just isn’t going to happen. ‘Bama’s defense is too good and the only way you are going to score on them is with a DW4 or LJ8 at QB. Arkansas runs the type of offense that Alabama is designed so perfectly to stop, plus the Tide actually have a play maker at QB instead of a game manager this year which makes them scary on offense. ‘Bama 34 – Arkansas 20

Georgia (3-2) at South Carolina (2-3), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 SEC Network 7:30 – So I’ve seen a couple South Carolina fans feeling frisky, saying they are going to upset Georgia this week. I guess seeing Georgia lose two in a row has given them some hope, guessing they forgot about the offense they have, that has scored 70 points all season long, what are they just magically going to learn how to score? They need to be able to score at least 28 because Georgia will put at least 27 on the board. Will Muschamp may have been the BMOC as a player, but I think time will show Kirby Smart is the better coach. Georgia 31 – South Carolina 17

#23) Florida State (3-2) at #10) Miami (4-0), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 ABC 8 – The Seminoles have no defense and that makes the offense feel extra pressure, knowing that they have to go out there and score 40 points just so they have a chance to win, it is tough. The ‘Canes have a six game losing streak right now to make sure ends, they are honoring “The U” plus they have a pretty good defense and QB even if they aren’t tested yet this season. Mark Richt has the Hurricanes on the right path and even though Hurricane Matthew is going through the area, the only Hurricane the ‘Noles need to be worrying about play football for the University of Miami. Miami 38 – FSU 24

Washington State (2-2) at #15) Stanford (3-1), Saturday, October 8th, 2016 ESPN 10:30 – So a Mike Leach coached team is coming off of a 280 yard rushing performance versus Oregon last week, just to give you an idea of how bad Oregon’s defense is. The Stanford offense still isn’t clicking and we know that Christian McCaffrey is a human being after last week. Stanford needs to win to keep pace in case Washington falters twice down the stretch but I don’t think they will, Wazzu nearly pulled the upset last year and this year they will get the job done. Wazzu 28 – Stanford 27


Vegas Confidential

Vegas Confidential