Boston College came back in thrilling fashion on Saturday, overcoming some mental lapses to win on a last second field goal by Nate "How the hell is he not nominated for the Groza" Freese. On the day we got the usual from BC, one home run pass from Chase Rettig, good enough defense, and a healthy heaping dose of Andre Williams. Let's take a look at what BC did well and what they didn't.
Andre Williams: Unless he gives me a reason too, I am going to continue Brian's tradition and leave #Andre2000 here. He again went for over 250 yards, scored two touchdowns, and made one of the craziest stiff arms I have ever seen. He continues to just wear down defenses, making a big run here and there, but looking contained and then WHAM fourth quarter insanity. All of this with one good shoulder. His stats don't need repeating, and all that is left is a possible Heisman run but Saturday was another magical performance by one of the greatest to don the maroon and gold. Plus he says things like this, which makes me love him even more.
Andre Williams: my goal this year was to win. Accomplishments are a derivative of success. Our success is winning these games. #andre2000— BC Football News (@BCFootballNews) November 24, 2013
The Stiff Arm Heard Round The World: One more time, because I don't think any of us are getting sick of watching this.
Nate Freese's 52 Yard Field Goal: Clutch would be an understatement for the senior place kicker who drilled a 52 yard field goal to win the game, just moments after Randy Edsall tried to ice him. I never quite understood the mindframe behind icing a kicker and I think Freese said it best after the game when he said that it gave him more time to think about the wind and how to kick it. Thank you one last time Randy Edsall.
The Offensive Line: As I was driving home from my in-laws after the game, I was tuned into Jon Meterparel who was glowing about the offensive line, but especially the guard play. They aren't mentioned often, but Harris Williams, Seth Betancourt and Bobby Vardaro did a fantastic job pulling on many of the Andre Williams runs and as Meter said "they ran up and down the field as much as Williams". Most often we glow about Ian White and Matt Patchan (and again they should be recognized), but I want to give a major shout out to the guards who had a fantastic game on Saturday.
The Defense: Normally I wouldn't put a defense that allowed 26 points up in this category, but you need to look at the big picture of where the offense and special teams put them. They allowed a touchdown after Chase Rettig fumbled the ball at the one yard, another one where Maryland got the ball at midfield. Basically they gave up one touchdown on a drive that was completely their fault. Other than that they held the Terps to 253 yards, and despite what the announcers said they pretty much contained C.J. Brown all game. Bryce Jones had his usual trip in the end zone, and a muffed that leads to a touchdown and a field goal but for the most part BC's defense played mistake free football. The front line also ended the game with six more sacks giving them 32 for the season, or more than 5x the amount they had in 2012.
Chase Rettig's resilience: I admit I was on Twitter hollering for BC to do something about him after he started the game 1/9 for 1 yard and an INT in the first half. Add in the terrible decision to try and pick up the fumble instead of falling on it, which led to a Terp touchdown. HOWEVER, Rettig seemed like a completely different quarterback in the second half. After BC left the locker room after half time, Rettig left the frazzled QB we saw in the first half there as well. What we saw in the second half was game manager Rettig, who went 5-5 for 111 yards and one touchdown including a BEAUTIFULLY scripted pass to Alex Amidon that brought BC back into the game.
The Blocked Punt: Manny Asprilla went in basically untouched and destroyed the punt giving BC all they needed for Andre Williams to punch in for the Eagles first score.
The Bad & The Ugly (special for this week because I have no idea how to separate the bad and ugly because all of the following were both)
The Blocked Extra Point: Nate Freese took the blame for this after the game, but it wasn't just his fault, the entire team was just standing there as Maryland took the ball back for two points. I hope BC's Special Teams coach ripped them a new one after this, because there was no reason for the team to give up on a play before the whistle blows.
The Muffed Punt: Before the game I was really hoping BC would try something other than David "let's the ball sail over his little head" Dudeck on punts. Be careful what you wish for. Bryce Jones had no business trying to return that punt as about three or four Terps were converging on him. FAIR CATCH THAT OR WAVE IT OFF AND GET OUT OF THE WAY. Because of that little brain fart, the Terps got great field position in a game that BC could ill afford to give.
Chase Rettig In The First Half: What a tough first half for the senior quarterback. He looked absolutely lost out there making two big errors including the fumble that he tried to scoop, and failed to do so, that gave Maryland the ball at the one yard line. His passes were awful, on many of them he wasn't even in the same vicinity of his wide receivers, the most egregious being the interception by Sean Davis. How he turned it around the second half could be seen as a miracle, but was more of a testament of the character of Rettig.