Finally ... Boston College is in the win column. They won against a team they were projected to beat and they did it in decisive fashion. It was an exciting game to watch because BC scored and scored often. The Eagles led this game from the beginning when Hampton Hughes picked off Kellen Pagel until the final whistle in the fourth quarter. For the first time since 2009, BC put up more than 40 points (Northeastern 2009). Sure the opponent wasn't on the same level as some of the teams the Eagles will be playing soon, but again this is a building block for BC.
Easily the MVP of the game has to go to the Boston College linebacking crew. Luke Kuechly had another Luke Kuechly game with 10 tackles and was all over the field making plays in a way only Luke Kuechly can. Nick Clancy also had a huge game, including a 20 yard fumble return in the third quarter while Kevin Pierre-Louis made the play of the game, snatching a fumble from UMass and rumbling for 96 yards for paydirt in the fourth quarter. Great play all around from the linebacking corp.
Montel Harris played and although he didn't put up the stats we all hoped he might, he did change the way UMass approached the BC offense. UMass had to stack the box when he was in the game which opened up Chase Rettig for big passing plays. All around the BC running backs had a great game racking up 193 yards , led by Andre Williams with 95 rushing yards, and Tahj Kimble who scored BC's only rushing TD.
This is the kind of game you want to see out of a young Chase Rettig. He completed 64 percent of his passes, threw for three touchdowns and wasn't forcing passes. He got his tight ends involved early in the red zone leading to a touchdown, and hit Colin Larmond Jr. for two huge touchdown passes. Rettig hit Larmond with touch too, showing that he can throw the ball for accuracy and not just gun them in.
My only critique of Rettig is his continued lack of backside pressure awareness. We saw that during the final play of the Northwestern game, but again today there were plays where he got walloped from behind. He is going to get killed in future games if he can't sense the rush coming from behind.
Can Boston College build upon all the positives of this game and put together a win against Wake Forest? They are going to need to because the Demon Deacons are not a push over like in years past. Tanner Price is the real deal, and BC is going to need to show that they can prevent a solid QB from picking them apart like Jeffrey Godfrey and Sean Renfree did in weeks two and three. The key without a doubt will be the health of Montel Harris. If he can come in and take pressure off of Chase Rettig, they should be able to move the ball, and keep the defense rested and more effective when they are on the field. But the effectiveness of Montel Harris will be a huge question mark.
A win is a win and at this point we should all be happy that BC quieted the critics that predicted a UMass upset. Let's all soak up that good feeling, get ready for Wake Forest and remember that BC football can be fun and entertaining to watch.