Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware describes himself as an aggressive, intense football player who’ll do anything to get the opposing player to the ground – but he insists he isn’t dirty.
Boulware was accused by some of crossing the line when he grabbed Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson by the neck during a tackle a couple of weeks ago. This past week, he was called for targeting for a hit on Boston College quarterback Patrick Towles before the call was reversed.
Even though some people might not like the way Boulware plays, he has no plans to change.
“If you watch the 2,000 snaps that I’ve played in my career, you won’t find three dirty plays out of 2,000 snaps,” he said Monday. “They try to make the game so soft. That’s not how I’m brought up. I don’t play the game that way. I never have and I never will.”
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Boulware added he’ll continue to make plays however he has to make them within the rules.
“If I have to bench press a guy off of me to get him down, or shove him or tackle a guy by his head like Louisville or by his neck or whatever to get him down, I’m going to do it,” he said. “I’m going to try to get the guy down by any means necessary. If people think that I’m cheap, or a dirty player because of it, then it is what it is.”
The senior said he’s frustrated that the play of the tackle on Jackson was replayed over and over again, but the plays where he helps up the opponent are ignored.
“It’s kind of annoying. I play the game in an intense way. It’s an intense game. I play the game how it’s supposed to be played,” he said. “I think people are trying to make the game soft and something that it’s not, and I’m not going to do that. I’m going to play it how I’m going to play it, and I’m not changing for anybody.”
PAVING THE WAY
Clemson’s offensive line played perhaps its best game of the season last Friday, as the Tigers rushed for 229 yards on 35 carries against what was the top-ranked defense in the country.
Junior running back Wayne Gallman finished with nine carries for 109 yards, while freshman Tavien Feaster added 56 yards on four touches.
“They’re really creating some push,” Gallman said of the offensive line. “They’re doing a really great job of taking that criticism and using it as a chip on their shoulder to show the country that they are a good offensive line.”
Clemson has struggled to close out opponents at times over the past couple of years, but had no problem delivering a knockout punch to Boston College.
The Tigers outscored BC 35-7 in the second half, including 21-0 in the fourth quarter.
“I was really pleased with the way we finished the game in the second half,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “That was something that was a big focus, with some of the ways we started the previous games and didn’t finish the way we wanted to in the third and fourth quarters. I thought it was very fitting 21 points in the first quarter and 21 points in the fourth quarter.”