Boston College had a first down at Clemson’s 42-yard line. BC’s center then air-mailed a snap many yards backward, and the Eagles recovered at, uh, their own 26, after a loss of 32 yards. This, in turn, brought up a substantial second-and-42 situation.
On second-and-42, BC lost five yards on a run. This brought up, uh, third-and-47:
They lost two more yards. Fourth-and-49.
Then the Eagles drew up the most creative fourth-and-49 play in the country, one that will have coordinators all over the sport taking notes.
Clemson’s Amari Rodgers called for a fair catch and settled under the ball, as he’s done many times. BC coverage man Taj-Amir Torres brushed Rodgers as he ran past him (read: interfered with the catch, denying Rodgers a fair shot to make a play on the ball) and forced a fumble, which the Eagles recovered at the Clemson 42. Because kick/catch interference is not on the NCAA’s list of reviewable fouls, Clemson had to deal with this silly turnover.
It’s worth noting that BC’s recovery came at the exact same spot, the Clemson 42, where this series of downs started. The fumbled 37-yard punt still didn’t get the Eagles far enough for a first down! I’d argue the rulebook should’ve made this a turnover on downs anyway, in a more just society, but it’s a credit to BC that it was able to innovate in this fashion.