NEWTON, Mass. -- When Sammy Watkins didn't make the trip to Chestnut Hill because of a viral infection, the chances of a wide receiver creating a personal highlight reel on national TV seemed to take a serious hit.
Though he didn't have a catch in the first quarter, Amidon was everywhere for the next three.
On a fourth-and-1 late in the first half from the Clemson 31-yard line, the Eagles rolled the dice. Lining up with an empty backfield, with Chase Retting in the shotgun, they made it clear they weren't just going for the first. Rettig found his favorite target, Amidon, open over the middle and the speedy wideout ran away from a Tigers defender and into the end zone.
Trailing 38-21 late in the third, Rettig faked the handoff, then rolled to his right. Amidon wasn't pressed at the line and after faking an out-cut veered sharply left and came open over the middle. Rettig saw him running free and let it fly from the Eagle logo at midfield, hitting him in stride at the 5 for the 42-yard TD.
The junior wideout finished with eight catches for 193 yards and those two scores.
"He was just being Alex," Rettig said after the 45-31 loss to Clemson. "He never stops. He probably played every snap. He played well."
Unfortunately for the Eagles, Hopkins had answers. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder finished with 11 catches for 197 yards, including a 35-yard score that countered the 42-yarder from Rettig to Amidon on the previous drive.
Amidon said it's hard to enjoy his personal success when the team is 1-3 (0-2 ACC).
"That's all it's about is winning, so at the end of the day you come away and we're 1-3," he said. "That's really the only thing I'm looking at right now. It's pretty frustrating."
The 193 yards was the most by a BC wideout since Gerard Phelan had 226 in the Miracle in Miami game on Nov. 23, 1984.
It was Amidon's fourth career 100-plus-yard game, third this season.
The quarterback and the slot receiver both said they enjoy playing this style of offense, in which the pass is prevalent.
"It's something that's kind of new to us, on offense, is being able to move the ball like that," Amidon said. "I think when you're in the game you don't really notice, you just kinda go with it. It's fun being involved in an offense like this, for sure."
The Eagles finished with 369 yards passing and just 51 yards rushing.
Lose this battle, lose the war
When you're 1-2, trying to avoid falling into an even deeper hole and facing a heavily favored opponent, you can't afford to make many mistakes.
The Eagles made more than they could afford against Clemson on Saturday, and it just might have started with losing the field position battle.
After the Eagles' defense held the Tigers to a field goal to make it 7-3, Spiffy Evans fielded the kickoff at the BC 10-yard line and ran it back 12 yards to the 22. But a holding penalty on the Eagles moved the ball back to the 12, and after a three-and-out by the offense Gerald Levano came on to punt backed up in his own territory.
The fifth-year senior had his first bad punt of the season, netting just 26 yards and giving the Tigers the ball at the BC 43. Six plays later it was 10-7 Clemson.
History repeated itself on the next drive, with the offense going three-and-out and Levano failing to bail them out with a 30-yard punt giving Clemson the ball at the BC 41. Six plays later, it was 17-7 Clemson.
Though the short fields for the Tigers definitely hurt, linebacker Nick Clancy refused to place all the blame on that.
"It definitely gave them some momentum, to know that they have a smaller yardage to go," he said. "That's no excuse. We definitely need to execute more on defense. We definitely needed to make more big plays. We let up too many big plays."
Odds and ends
Place-kicker Nate Freese hit a 39-yard field goal to stay perfect this season, at 8-for-8. ... Rettig had the best punt of the day for the Eagles, kicking a 32-yarder in the third quarter to pin Clemson to its 4-yard line. ... Sean Sylvia got his first interception of the season, picking off Tajh Boyd in the second quarter on a pass intended for Hopkins that fell short. ... In his first game back from a knee injury, Bobby Swigert had just two catches for 27 yards. He made his presence felt in another way, though, when he took a flip from Rettig on a reverse and then completed a pass to Spiffy Evans for 28 yards.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.