All game long, the Boston College Eagles had played like a team primed for a major upset. They had done everything you need to do to pull off a shocking road victory.
They had caused turnovers, run the ball, hit a few big plays, but most importantly, had not made any critical mistakes.
That all changed with one snap decision.
Early in the fourth quarter, just after Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd had scored to give the heavily favored Tigers a 17-14 lead, Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig went off the script. All game long he had been a game manager, taking shots only when they presented themselves.
Then, with the Death Valley crowd rocking on a third-and-five, Rettig made the crucial mistake that erased any chance the Eagles had at stunning the college football world. After being flushed from the pocket, Rettig rolled left as Clemson linebacker Tony Steward pursued. Rather than taking a sack or throwing the ball away, Rettig tried to get the ball down field, took a hit and coughed the ball up.
Tigers defensive end Vic Beasley scooped the loose ball and walked into the end zone from 13 yards out to give Clemson a 10-point lead.
With one play, the entire Herculean effort of the Eagles was wasted. Trailing by 10, the run-heavy Eagles had virtually no chance of rallying for the win in a tough environment.
Rettig had played relatively well until that point, and made the best play of the day for the Eagles, rolling left and throwing back on a designed play to Alex Amidon for a 69-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.
However, with one poor decision, the game was suddenly out of reach and the upset was not to be.
B.L. is an ACC football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip or on Google.