It was a rough loss on Saturday, but we can hold our heads up high knowing that a team that went 2-10 just two years ago, has 71 scholarship athletes, went toe to toe with a team that hasn't lost since 2012. Now let's take a look at what went right and what went wrong.
Tyler Murphy: He is just an absolute joy to watch when he runs the ball. Even against Florida State the grad school play caller was electric, scoring on a 21 yard run. He did a masterful job of running the read option, though I would like to see him hold it more on some of those first down runs; that being said, RB runs were working well. He only threw ten passes in this game, but he didn't have to throw the ball. If the run is working, why risk it? Florida State had talented corners, and let's be honest, we don't have the receivers to match up with them, so Murphy didn't throw it unless the throw was absolutely there. Turnovers would have made this game a much different story, so tip your cap to preventing the Seminoles from getting short field. And that all starts with Tyler Murphy.
Ty-Meer Brown: While transfers Tyler Murphy, Ian Silberman and to a lesser extent Shakim Phillips have gotten all the attention, it's time we look at Ty-Meer as another huge get for Steve Addazio in the offseason. Mostly a third down safety, he has been a physical presence all season and he reaped the rewards on a tipped ball for an interception.
Run The Damn Ball: The usual stable of Boston College running backs had a big day again, this time against the Seminoles. Marcus Outlow and Jon Hilliman provided opposing styles of running that kept the Noles flustered. The Eagles ended the game with a 4.7 yards-per-carry average.
The Offensive Line: Part of the reason BC was making runs at almost five yards a clip was due to the play of the offensive line. They were beat on a couple of plays, the Mario Edwards Jr. play that blew up on Myles Willis being one, but for the most part they held their own against a team of blue chippers. This group is physical, and we should be in for a treat against Syracuse on Saturday.
Mike Knoll: I know he's missed his share of kicks this season, but with a little more confidence (and a more reliable place holder) I think he will be fine. He nailed a 40-yard kick on the road, and for the first time in what feels like a century, BC didn't miss an extra point. Providing his injury is completely healed from earlier in the season, I'd love to see him take all the FG/XP from here on out.
Rushing Defense: They weren't perfect, but they made the plays they needed to. What impressed me the most was the play of the guys up the middle. Connor Wujciak made a big play when he wrapped up Jameis Winston on a terrible snap, and for the most part it seemed like the Seminoles couldn't move it on the ground for most of the game. That being said Dalvin Cook made a few big runs that helped on the final drive that sealed the win for the Seminoles.
Trickeration: What can be said about that 2nd down play that hasn't already been said. Boston College was running the ball at will against a gassed FSU defense, and with 2nd and manageable BC decided to pull off a highly risky play. Honestly I don't know how I feel about it. On one hand if Josh Bordner threw that ball a moment earlier we would have all lauded Ryan Day and Steve Addazio for making a ballsy call, but on the other when it failed it gave everyone an opportunity to complain and second guess.
The Final Drive: The BC defense, which up to this point had held the vaunted FSU offense to 17 points, looked completely lost on the final drive. They couldn't stop Dalvin Cook on the ground (that kid is going to be a stud), and Winston picked them apart, gashing them all over the field. When BC missed the field goal, I think we all saw the writing on the wall, but this drive was surgical and showed again something we all didn't want to admit: Winston is VERY good in big situations.
Pass Defense: Statistics can lie sometimes, and when you look at the stats on paper and think to yourself that BC only allowed 281 yards in the air and one touchdown/one interception, you'd be happy, right? But watching the game, Winston should have had more. FSU wide receivers missed some easy catches, which bailed out some weak coverage by the Eagles. Rashad Greene and Nick O'Leary had big plays, with the tight end making an easy touchdown catch.
The Uncalled Penalties: So apparently tackling Sherm Allston by the facemask is acceptable, because there were two plays were his head was twisted to the side because an FSU defender grabbed it. Honestly it wasn't even close, but was either called? Of course not. In a game of inches and field position, 30 yards of egregious missed calls was huge. On the other side of the ball there were a few non-holding calls on FSU offensive lineman, but those are missed. The Allston non calls were obnoxious.
Another year, another cheap hit by an FSU defender. At least Matthew Thomas was ejected for this garbage.