It’s been a long time coming for Clemson football edge rusher Xavier Thomas, but it finally arrived Saturday night in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Almost halfway through a season he’d gotten in the best shape of his life for, Thomas finally got on the field, albeit for only 6 snaps, but what a six snap run it was.
Thomas managed two sacks and a quarterback hurry in those snaps, garnering the McFadden-O’Rourke Leather Helmet Award in the blink of an eye.
His impact was immediate as the make-shift Boston College offensive line had no answer.
Thomas wasn’t even sure he was going to play in pregame warmups, but when it was announced earlier that he had made the trip it was the beginning of what turned out to be a feel-good story that was about two months in the making.
The Clemson defensive line is deep and talented, and Boston College’s offensive line is make-shift, but with Thomas and Tre Williams back in the lineup there was really no threat from the Eagles as they were limited to 254 total yards on the evening and the Tigers racked up 11 tackles for loss for -45 yards, 4 sacks (-34 yards) and 13 quarterback hurries.
The Tigers have two more games prior to the off week, at Florida State in Tallahassee next Saturday and then they will host currently undefeated Syracuse in two weeks in Death Valley.
Still not 100%, Xavier Thomas gives Clemson football added depth on edge
Boston College’s offense was never going to be much of a threat against the Clemson defense, but mobile Florida State and quarterback Jordan Travis and Syracuse and quarterback Garrett Shrader could be a different story and having a healthier defense that includes Xavier Thomas terrifying quarterbacks off the edge is a nice option to have for Wes Goodwin’s defense.
For Thomas, he’s still having pain in his foot, so he’s not 100% yet, which should put offensive lines around the ACC on notice.
XT is back and you’re going to feel it.