Northwestern 24, Boston College 17: Eagles Fourth Quarter Comeback Falls Short In Opener

Chase Rettig #11 of the Boston College Eagles looks to pass in the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2011 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Eagles missed two opportunities early, couldn't find an offensive rhythm in the middle and ran out of time late as the Northwestern Wildcats came away with a 24-17 victory over BC.

After a 69 yard run from Andre Williams on the season's first play from scrimmage, BC's red zone woes continued and had to settle for a 19-yard Nate Freese field goal. Two drives later, the Eagles marched the ball down the field for 67 yards on 8 plays before Freese uncharacteristically missed a 31-yard attempt.

Arguably, the game was lost during two Northwestern offensive drives that spanned the first and second half. Backup QB Kain Colter engineered a 10 play, 80 yard drive towards the end of the first half, capped with a 3-yard TD run to tie the game at 10. After the Eagles decided to kneel the ball to end the first half -- yet another clock management gaffe considering NU was getting the ball to start the second half -- Colter engineered a nearly identical 10 play, 80 yard TD drive to put the 'Cats up 17-10. 

Boston College wasted a solid effort from Andre Williams (22 carries, 114 yards, 2 TD), Ifeanyi Momah (8 catches, 171 yards) and Luke Kuechly (18 tackles and a ridiculous one-armed interception that was nearly returned for a TD). Rettig was good (351 yards) but not great (0 TDs, 1 INT), but I thought that the offensive playcalling was much better than last season. Just didn't execute as well as I would have liked.

The BC D really missed the services of Donnie Fletcher and Kaleb Ramsey, who went down with a left knee injury, especially down the stretch where the Eagles played some very cushy defense.

Unfortunately the Eagles fourth quarter comeback was too little, too late and Spinney's false start penalty burned the precious few seconds BC needed to get in the end zone on the game's final possession.

As I said yesterday, I don't think that the season is lost. There are plenty of pieces in place to still have a good season and we are still 0-0 in the ACC. BC will have to pick themselves up off the mat and come ready to play next week in Orlando.

Will have more on the Eagles' opener later this weekend. For now, leave your thoughts on the game below.

Go Eagles!

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