College Game Day is coming to Chestnut Hill this week, which isn’t a sentence we planned on typing this season. It’s a huge game between No. 17 Boston College and No. 2 Clemson, and so we needed a huge guest picker for the week. Enter BC great Damien Woody.
Q. So, this game is getting plenty of attention, but does BC have a real chance at pulling the upset?
A. I think BC has a shot. Now, Clemson is uber talented. As far as pro prospects, they’ve got guys littered all across the field, particularly on defense. But they’ve got a true freshman quarterback, and you never know what you’re going to get from a guy who’s basically coming out of high school. The game’s in Boston. It’s going to be cold. A team from down south, playing in cold weather, you never know how they’ll react. Does BC have a shot? Yeah, absolutely. You’ve got A.J. Dillon, one of the best running backs in the nation. Anthony Brown is playing pretty well. Good offensive line. Defense is good. Yeah, I absolutely think BC has a shot to win the game.
Q. For all the justified attention on A.J. Dillon, that offensive line for BC has done a lot of the dirty work. What do you make of that group going up against this terrific Clemson defense?
A. Clemson is bringing like four first-round picks on the defensive line. But when I think about the BC offensive line, I think about last year, when there were a bunch of injuries and a lot of young guys had to play. There were growing pains. But now, some of those growing pains are paying dividends because those guys all have experience. This is strength on strength when you look at both of these teams. I’m looking forward to that matchup.
Q. Anthony Brown’s skill set is a lot like Kellen Mond at Texas A&M, and Mond had some success against Clemson. What’s Brown have to do in this game to have the same type of success?
A. No. 1, with any quarterback, you have to take care of the football. With a team as talented as Clemson, don’t give them anything cheap. No. 2, he has to utilize his legs. Get him on the edges. Play-action. Do things — don’t have him just sitting in the pocket because that’s where that defensive line can present some problems. Get him on the move and play-action off A.J. Dillon, you might be able to expose some things in the intermediate and deeper part of the field.
Q. What’s a game like this at BC mean in the big picture for the program? It’s been a long time since they’ve had a game with this much magnitude on the national stage.
A. I felt coming into the season, BC had potential to have a pretty good season. With A.J. Dillon missing the game against NC State, I believe that was pivotal in losing that game. But being 7-2, being ranked 17 in one poll and 14 in another, going against the No. 2 team at night, College Game Day, the fact that BC built new facilities — you see the momentum that BC has been building. I’m telling you, it’s going to be a lot of excitement, a lot of fun in Chestnut Hill, and if BC can pull this off somehow, boy, that’s exposure for a program in a part of the country not many people look at as playing big-time football.
Q. On the flip side, what’s your thoughts on Clemson and how they might stack up against Alabama in the long run?
A. Athlete for athlete, they match up. Dabo Swinney has done a tremendous job of building up that program and every year, those two teams are going at it for the national championship. So, there’s nothing different this year. I think the reason they brought in Trevor Lawrence and put him in the starting lineup was in preparation for Alabama. Now, hopefully BC will have something to say about that this weekend, but you have to give Clemson a lot of credit. They’ve recruited well, they’re very well coached, they’ve got a lot of athletes. They’re a strong football team.