Saturday's game was supposed to be an easy blowout for the Eagles, heck they were favored by 24+ points. However as we have seen time and time again, nothing comes easy for Boston College, and it took two long runs at the end of the game to seal this victory. There is a lot to talk about in this game, so let's get down to this week's installment of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
Andre Williams- Now the nation's leading rusher, Williams was again the difference maker in this game. He broke BC's single game rushing record, previously held by Montel Harris, and scored the two touchdowns to seal the game. Nothing he does surprises me anymore, as he makes big play after big play systematically wearing defenses down in the process. The one thing that the Aggievision announcers got right was when they said that part of the effectiveness of Williams is that his early runs pay dividends later in the game as defenses tire out trying to tackle him. BC play by play guy Jon Meterparel went to twitter saying that Williams should be in the Heisman conversation. While I disagree, I think his name will be coming up for the Doak Award and All American conversations in December.
This play: We needed a HOLY S*** moment from Andre Williams and got it early in the game on a 4th and 1. Watch if you haven't see it already.
Chase Rettig: With the defense a complete disaster, BC got lucky that "Good Chase" showed up in Las Cruces. The senior quarterback was efficient, and made some big plays. He wasn't perfect to say the least, and got Harrison Jackson killed on a crossing route on a pass that should have never been thrown, but Rettig made his plays. He didn't often go deep on his passes, which is good, and all of the long pass plays were relatively short passes that had huge yards after the catch. His touchdown pass to Harrison Jackson showed some nice touch in the end zone between two defenders as well.
All The Receivers: There were good plays to go around here, and finally we got to see some of the wide outs make some plays. Mike Naples started the game off with a huge catch, luckily there was no one within ten yards of him when he caught, but still he made the play. Jake Sinkovec got good yards after the catch on a dump off pass, and Harrison Jackson made a nice play in the end zone for his first touchdown as an Eagle. Alex Amidon again used his great speed to make a play for a TD, but for the most part was stuck in Bubble Screen hell for a better part of the game. I know it's New Mexico State, and their defense was atrocious, but it was good to see Rettig utilize more of his players in the passing attack.
Nate Freese: Last week the Groza watch list came out, and the Boston College place kicker was left off. Saturday Freese continued to show that he is one of the best kickers in the country. He nailed a 51 yard field goal, and a 39 yarder to stay perfect on the season. Also every kickoff he had went through the back of the end zone.
Offensive Line The Last Two Drives: Great play by Andre Williams on both the runs, but you have to give credit to the line on the two runs. On the first one, Bobby Vardaro opened up a hole the size of a bus for Williams, and on the second one Matt Patchan made a great sealing block. While I wasn't overly impressed by their play for the first three quarters of the game, they were a difference maker at the end.
Myles Willis's TD: Part of the run was dumb luck, but the kid still made the most of it and took it to the house for a 98 yard TD return, just when it looked like the Aggies had all the momentum.
The Pass Rush: I will address the entire defense later (in The Ugly), but I wanted to address this part of the game first. Clearly the loss of Kaleb Ramsey and Jaryd Rudolph were huge to Boston College's pass defense, because until NMSU's last drive it didn't seem like they could generate a pass rush at all. Some of this was because of the injuries, some of it had to do with the tempo the Aggies were using (quick no huddle), but where were the dudes? Andrew McDonald was untouched most of the game allowed to pick apart the game. Kasim Edebali was mostly invisible until the end, and Truman Gutapfel and Connor Wujciak were ineffective.
The Non Targeting Call: I hate this targeting rule with the fire of a thousand suns. To ask football players to make a split second decision with an ejection on the line is ridiculous. However, on Saturday the shot that Harrison Jackson took was clearly a targeting call. The Aggie defender left his feet and hit a defenseless receiver helmet to helmet. Yet it wasn't called. In a scary moment, Jackson collapsed on the sideline after the hit. Let's just hope he's ok.
Two Minute Drill AGAIN: BC had just scored on a beautiful pass from Rettig to Jackson and it looked like they might take a comfortable-ish 10 point lead into the half. Wrong. With 3:05 left, the Aggies caught BC's defense flat footed and systematically marched down the field, 9 plays for 75 yards, with the coup de grace being a touchdown run by Xavier Hall on a 3rd and 10 with 1 second left on the clock. He went in untouched. I don't know what was going on there, but allowing that to happen like that is almost more inexcusable than the Hail Mary by Jameis Winston that put FSU up against BC back in October.
The Crowd at Las Cruces: The reported crowd at Aggie Stadium was 14,000, but clearly there was no more than 5k there. The entire stadium looked empty.
The Entire Defense: What a putrid performance by Don Brown's crew. New Mexico State's offense was averaging 350 yards a game (mostly against Sun Belt opponents), but against BC they put up 539 yards. Completely inexcusable. As noted before they got zero pass rush, the secondary was a disaster, and they allowed Andrew McDonald to go 41/55 in the air. I don't like pointing out one play in particular, buy Manny Asprilla has got to make that interception (the one that was thrown RIGHT AT HIM). This defense is very tough to watch on games they aren't clicking, and Saturday was a prime example of that (also see USC/UNC). Don Brown is getting a pass for now, because it's clear there isn't a lot of talent or depth in this group, but he has got to get some more dudes out there that can make some plays because what we saw on Saturday is going to get them beat by better teams.
Aggievision: Woof that was some hokey high school-esque production there. The announcers thought that everyone on the Eagles were bound for the NFL (I'll eat my hat if Chase Rettig is a QB in the pros), they used great analogies like Hucka Chucka football (a key to the game!). The student crew running the cameras looked like they were taping with Betamax, and missed plays all over the place. I could go on and on about this but our commenters said it best:
"They throw a lot of balls to a lot of different receivers." aka I’ve never watched this BC team before. Ever." - DCash
"These two announcers sound like they are doing it from a card table at the Elks Club"- bc1863
"Boy are they going to be excited for Windows ’95 at NM State"- Wisconsineagle
"He just called it a Point After Touchdown attempt. The only other person who legitimately called it that is my grandfather. Who’s 88 on Monday and wore a leather helmet. And tan uniform"- New Guy
"We’ll be right back after we change the reel on our camera"- DCash
And of course the "screen grab" that wins the internet: