Matt Connolly

Why Clemson no longer has trap games

Dabo Swinney expects a tough challenge from Boston College

The Clemson football team will host Boston College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
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The Clemson football team will host Boston College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Clemson returns home to face Boston College on Saturday in a matchup that has all the makings of a trap game.

The Tigers are coming off a big road win over a top 15 team in Louisville and will be back on the road next week to face another top 15 team in Virginia Tech.

In between those two monster games is a matchup with the Eagles, a team that will arrive at Memorial Stadium as heavy underdogs with nothing to lose.

The problem for BC is that Clemson no longer has trap games.

Every program talks about preparing for every game the same way, but Clemson actually practices what it preaches.

Clemson is 26-1 as a favorite in its past 27 home games dating back to 2012, according to OddsShark.com. The Tigers are also 17-1 as a favorite in ACC games dating back to 2014, and are 25-2 in ACC home games as a favorite dating back to 2010.

Part of that is because Clemson does a great job in preparation, but another part of that is because the Tigers have recruited so well that even if they don’t play their best game they have enough talent to win.

The one exception to this rule occurred last season when Clemson was upset by Pittsburgh at home, but that wasn’t a trap game.

The loss to the Panthers was sandwiched in between games against Syracuse and Wake Forest, hardly marquee matchups.

In the loss to Pitt, Clemson was hurt by weaknesses that were exposed earlier in the season.

The Panthers took advantage of Clemson’s turnovers in the red zone and struggles covering running backs and tight ends to edge out a last-second win over the Tigers.

Clemson eventually got those mistakes figured out and went on to win the national title.

The Tigers may lose at some point this season, but don’t expect the loss to be in a trap game.

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