Imagine if I told you this two days ago: Boston College would pass for 441 yards, earn 29 first downs, score 32 points and would still lose. You probably would have called me crazy, right? Well that is exactly what happened today at Chestnut Hill as the Eagles dropped their opener to the Hurricanes 41-32 at Alumni Stadium.
Today, the new look Boston College offense showed that they have the ability to score and move the ball far more efficiently than they have since the days of Jeff Jagodzinski. The Eagles jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead on a rumbling touchdown run by Andre Williams and a great dump down pass from Chase Rettig to Jake Sinkovec. They were almost unstoppable as they moved up and down the field, grabbing first downs with ease and shutting down the U. But Miami stormed back, running the ball down the Eagles throat, capped by a one yard run by Eduardo Clements, bring the Canes back to only a seven point deficit.
Chase Rettig not only looked like an ACC ready quarterback, he looked superb. Rettig threw for 441 yards and two touchdowns, making reads quickly, rolling out and hitting a bevy of his targets. Rettig looked calm, confident and accurate, with his only mistake being a pick six that occurred when Denzel Perryman caught him staring down a receiver at the end of the first quarter that tied the game.
MIami took the lead in the second quarter on a 52 yard run by Duke Johnson, who broke numerous tackles on his way to the end zone. BC tacked on Nate Freese field goals of 27, 30 and 37 yards to finally take the lead back in the third quarter.
But two brutal fourth quarter turnovers proved to be the final straw for the Eagles. Fumbles by Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble on consecutive drives gave Miami excellent field position and led to 10 Hurricane points that proved too big of a mountain for the Eagles to climb.
The Eagles mounted a comeback, led by a poised Chase Rettig, but it was not enough. The Eagles were stood up at the goal line on two consecutive plays, and Miami gave the Eagles a safety instead of punting it to end the game. Offensively the star of the game was Alex Amidon who recorded 10 catches for 150 yards, as well as Tahj Kimble who caught 8 balls for 130 yards.
BC's offense looked strong and first year OC Doug Martin proved that his game plan is exciting and finally the team will have an offense that can move the ball efficiently. There were a litany of problems though in terms of execution that caused the Eagles downfall.
First the defense struggled mightily. In terms of stats they allowed 208 yards on the ground, but just the eye test alone showed some troubling signs. The cushion Spaz usually has his corners give allowed Stephen Morris to hit his receivers on short slants and screens over and over again. Canes RB Mike James seemingly ran over defenders at will. Most of this was because BC's defensive front seven was getting completely blown off the ball.
Also if you watched the game, you probably saw BC turn the ball over. And if you didn't see Kimble or Williams fumble the ball, you probably saw a few key drops. The biggest drop was Brian Miller, who had a ball glance off his fingers in the end zone, leading to a BC field goal. Alex Amidon and Spiffy Evans also had numerous drops during the game. It could have just been opening game jitters, but they need to be more steady in the future.
Today the Eagles showed their fans a lot but also left many questions to be answered.
Can this defense improve so that they can defend against offenses that will be much more efficient than Miami? Will this offense continue to make careless turnovers? Will every game be a shoot out this season? This team is certainly going to be interesting, strap in folks it's going to be a wild ride.