I do hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are looking forward to a great 2013! With that in mind, let's roll forward to weeks 3 and 4 of the NCAA Relegation League.
When we left off last week, reviewing weeks 1 and 2, your Eagles had gotten off to a 1-0 start, beating Kentucky 42-35 in Lexington on September 8. In weeks 3 and 4, the Eagles were able to match their win total from the real 2012 season, but were unable to keep the undefeated season in tact.
On September 15 in the home opener against Minnesota, BC rolled to a 37-3 lead after three quarters before the Golden Gophers put up 22 in the final quarter to make it a more respectable 37-25 game.
The clear star of the day was Deuce Finch, who ran for 131 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown and also caught 3 passes for 101 yards and another two touchdowns. His first receiving TD was a 62 yard check down from Chase Rettig to make it 10-0 Eagles in the 2nd quarter and he followed that up with two scores it the 3rd quarter, a 31 yard pass from Rettig and a 25 yard run which ballooned the margin to 37-3.
Rettig had a less than stellar outing outside the TDs (15-38 246 3 TD, 2 INT).
Although BC had the big lead, statistically the game belonged to the Gophers who outgained the Eagles, 491 to 405, including 363 yards passing from Max Shortell.
Check out the full box and play by play here: at BC 37 Minnesota 25
Then it was a real in season rematch when BC traveled to Evanston, IL and took on Northwestern. Much like the regular season game, it was one a lot thought the Eagles could win and much like the Minnesota game, the defense melted down in the 4th quarter, coughing up a 27-13 lead and losing 30-27 on a Jeff Budzien 46 yard FG with just 0:03 remaining.
Talk about deja vu though, NU ran for 359 yards on 59 carriers, including Venric Mark's 25-225.
Once again, it was Deuce Finch who was the offensive spark for BC rushing for 84 yards on 21 carries and 2 TDs, while Chase Rettig was a more solid, if not spectacular 21-35 280 1 TD, 0 INT.
So how did the 4th quarter melt down happen?
NU drove 11 plays and 78 yards bridging the end of the 3rd quarter to cut the margin to 7. After getting one first down and moving to their own 47 BC had to punt and the Cats answered quickly going 81 yards in just 4 plays including a 33 yard run by Christian Jones followed immediately by a 31 yard scoring run from Venric Mark to tie the game at 27.
BC had a great chance to take the lead, driving from their own 25 to the NU 13 where with 4:47 left, Tahj Kimble coughed up the ball.
Each side would force the other to punt in the last four minutes before NU started the game winning drive with just 49 seconds remaining from their own 28. Passes from Trevor Siemian to Christian Jones covering 27 and then 14 yards (can't you see the Spaz cushion now!) set up Budzien's winning kick.
Check out the box score here: at Northwestern 30 BC 27
You can also check out the cumulative season stats for the Eagles here and compare them to what really happened in 2012. 2012 Relegation Season Stats through three games.
BC now 2-1 on the season, returns home to Alumni to face Rice (0-4) and then heads to Lubbock, TX to meet Texas Tech (3-1). BC sits 1.5 games behind division leader Utah State (4-0).
In Big Boy Conference A matchups the past two weeks;
Week 3: Notre Dame squeezed past TOB and NC State 19-16 in 2 OT, Virginia Tech upset Stanford in Palo Alto 21-20, Oklahoma State put a beatdown on USC winning 48-20, Rutgers stunned South Carolina in Columbia, 13-9, Penn State stayed perfect dumping Texas 41-20 and Vanderbilt shocked Oklahoma in Norman, 31-17.
Week 4: Alabama moved to 3-0 allowing only 12 points in three games blasting Missouri 38-3, Ohio State won the battle of the 2012 undefeateds besting Notre Dame 17-12 in Columbus. Stanford won the Rose Bowl preview in Madison, 9-7 over Wisconsin, the battle of USC's went to the Trojans at home, 57-24 giving them their first win of the year and Penn State saw perfection end at the hands of Vanderbilt (again!!) 29-27.
Still too early to be predicting playoff participants, etc. but we are down to the following undefeated teams:
Conference A: Ohio State, West Virginia, Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Florida
Conference B: San Jose State, Fresno State, Connecticut, Arkansas State, Utah State
Conference C: Middle Tennessee
Check out the current standings and game reports here: Week 3-4 Standings
The next update will be after week 7, the midway point in our season. Let's see if the Eagles are still in the mix for promotion at that point or if they will be drifting toward another season with the junior varsity.
Of note, WhatIfSports.com categorizes the offensive style of each team and uses the terms balanced, west coast, favor pass, heavy pass, favor run and heavy run. Interesting that the pendulum has clearly swung toward run offenses as not only the trend, but the way successful teams operate. Of the current top 25 teams in the country, 20 of them are considered favor or heavy run including 9 of the top 10 teams (Texas A&M is considered balanced). Not included in that list of course is Ohio State who is also listed as heavy run.
Does this put the Dazzler on the right course then? Gives us the subject of a poll. Is the way to win the current college football landscape via the run?