Clemson (2-2 straight up, 0-4 against the spread) star defensive tackle Bryan Bresee has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Bresee, LB James Skalski and RB Will Shipley left Saturday’s 27-21 double-overtime loss at North Carolina St. with injuries.
Shipley sustained a leg injury and is expected to return in three to four weeks. Clemson HC Dabo Swinney said Skalski, who injured his shoulder, will be fine. Whether that means Skalski will be ready to play at home against Boson College on Saturday remains to be seen.
Bresee was a first-team All-ACC selection as a true freshman last year, recording 33 tackles, 11 QB hurries, 6.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, two passes broken up, one forced fumble and a blocked punt. In four games this year, he produced 12 tackles, 4.5 TFL’s, two QB hurries, 1.5 sacks and one interception.
Shipley, a true freshman who was a five-star recruit, had become the Tigers’ featured back in the last two weeks. After being limited to seven rushing yards on four attempts in a 10-3 season-opening loss vs. Georgia in Charlotte, he ran for 80 yards and a pair of TDs on eight carries in a 49-3 home win over South Carolina St.
Shipley had 88 rushing yards and two TDs on 21 totes in a 14-8 home win over Ga. Tech. He left the loss to NC St. after running for 36 yards and one TD on 11 attempts. For the season, Shipley has 211 rushing yards, five TDs and a 4.8 yards-per-carry average.
Skalski has been the heart and soul of Clemson’s defense since 2016. The sixth-year senior has 204 career tackles, 19 TFL’s, nine QB hurries, six sacks, six passes broken up, two fumble recoveries, one scoop-and-score TD and one forced fumble.
Skalski had the horrible misfortune of being ejected from two College Football Playoff games for targeting calls that weren’t malicious hits. Nevertheless, he was tossed from the CFP finals loss to LSU in the first half two seasons ago. Then last year against Ohio St., Skalski was again ejected in the semifinal loss to the Buckeyes.
Clemson will be without both of its starting DTs Saturday vs. BC. Tyler Davis was lost for 7-8 weeks in a injury sustained vs. Ga. Tech.
Swinney’s squad has depth issues at the RB position. Demarkus Bowman, a five-star recruit in the 2020 class, transferred to Florida last year. Lyn-J Dixon entered the transfer portal last week and now Shipley is going to miss several games. The Tigers do have an open date next week after hosting Boston College.
In four seasons at Clemson, Dixon had 1,420 rushing yards, 13 TDs and a 6.5 YPC average. He also contributed 20 receptions for 190 yards and one TD. RB Kobe Pace is going to see increased playing time. He has 93 rushing yards and one TD on 20 carries (4.7 YPC) this year. As a true freshman in 2020, Pace had 75 rushing yards on 18 attempts (4.2 YPC).
The Eagles are undefeated and are off a 41-34 home win over Missouri in overtime. They’re without their star QB Phil Jurkovec, but backup Dennis Grosel has plenty of experience and will be making his 11th career start Saturday at Death Valley.
Grosel has connected on 41-of-64 passes (64.1%) for 477 yards with a 4/2 touchdown-to-interception ratio this year. He has 102 rushing yards and two TDs with a 4.6 YPC average.
Grosel has a 19/8 career TD-INT ratio and four rushing TDs.
BC lost a 34-28 decision at Clemson last season, but it easily covered the number as a 24.5-point road underdog. The Eagles led 28-10 late in the second quarter and were ahead 28-13 at halftime.
As of Monday afternoon, most betting shops had Clemson installed as a 16-point home favorite vs. BC. The Eagles are 17-6-1 ATS in their last 24 games as road underdogs.
Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the ACC Network.