The Clemson Tigers will be without wide-receiver-running-back-kick-returner-punt-returner extraordinaire Sammy Watkins for this weekend's game against Boston College.
The news comes from the Clemson athletics official Twitter account:
WR Sammy Watkins will not travel with the team and will not play at Boston College on Sat.Has been diagnosed with an abdominal virus.— Clemson Athletics (@CU_athletics) September 27, 2012
This is bad news for Clemson, which really could have used Watkins to fully take advantage of a Boston College defense that has had trouble stopping teams through the air.
The Eagles rank 112th in the country in opposing QB completion percentage and 63rd in passing yards allowed per game, and it appeared as though Clemson—which really needs a win following last weekend's collapse against Florida State—was going to take to the air to help get through this tougher-than-it-looks ACC road game.
That's certainly still possible with Tajh Boyd at the helm, Andre Ellington in the backfield and DeAndre Hopkins on his way to a career year, but the loss of Watkins hurts nonetheless.
The dynamic sophomore can just hurt opposing defenses in so many ways. He can return kicks, he can run the ball and he can even throw it (433.4 QB rating) a little bit. But most importantly, he stretches the field and instantly makes Clemson more dangerous.
Watkins is nearly impossible to game plan for, and now Frank Spaziani and Bill McGovern are off the hook.
Boston College is only averaging 22.5 points per game this year, but against a Clemson defense that might struggle against a few high school teams, the Eagles figure to be able to light up the scoreboard.
With Watkins in the lineup, the Tigers would have been fine with a good ol' fashioned shootout. Without him, however, things suddenly become much more dicey.