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Random Sunday Musings - BC vs. Wake

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Following the Eagles 6th win of the season, a stream of consciousness

Eagles celebrate the game winning TD vs Wake
Eagles celebrate the game winning TD vs Wake
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

So the 2016 Boston College football team is bowl eligible.  The Eagles "stirring" 17-14 win at Wake yesterday got BC that coveted sixth win, meaning that they won't have to back door their way to a bowl game via the APR route, but can proudly arrive in St Petersburg, Detroit, Shreveport or whatever other destination is chosen for them.  Then I got to reading some of the articles here and some of the responses by the masses and realized most of us feel the same way..which brings me to point one on a Sunday afternoon.

  • I have never felt so "bleh" about BC football going to a bowl game than I do this year.
    • I know that sounds incredibly cold and I suppose spoiled and selfish, but the truth of the matter is that I am not excited about a bowl bid for this team.  While I am very happy for the players, I am disappointed for the program in that it what the Wake win did was solidify the return of Steve Addazio for 2017.  I am still very much of the opinion that despite going 6-6 and getting to the "If A Tree Falls In The Woods Bowl", the trajectory of this program is down not up.  Like most of you, I felt that minimally, BC was a 6 win team in 2016 (pre-season I had them 7-5) and it was all based on a horrible non conference schedule, two absolute gimmes in the conference and the belief that the team had improved enough to win one against Georgia Tech, NC State or Virginia Tech.  Many of you felt this was an 8 or 9 win team, so I certainly wasn't alone.  This team, which stayed very healthy through the course of the year, was the 33rd most experienced team in the country entering the season and was picked by many to be one of the most improved teams in the country, underachieved.  BC played the 128th (out of 128) ranked non conference schedule, so being "bowl eligible" in a day where there are more bowls than teams with plus .500 records is nothing to celebrate.  It was noted in the Globe today that Addazio became only the second coach to take a team to a bowl game in three of his first four seasons, joining Cowboy Jack Bicknell.  Well that all sounds great, but in 1982 when BC qualified for its first bowl appearance in 40 years, there were only 16 total games, not the 41 games there are now.
    • 167 yards total offense wins a game
      • Once again, not really sure if this is something to be proud of or not but the Eagles won Saturday's game with just 167 yards of total offense.  This is the fewest yards of offense generated by a winning Power 5 team in a game all year.  I didn't go through the Group of 5 wins, but it is possible that no team winning a game this year did less offensively then BC did vs Wake yesterday.  After last year's horror show offensively, BC finishes this season at 288.3 yards per game, good for 127th in the country (just ahead of Rutgers and just behind Wake Forest).  This marks a 13 yard per game improvement from 2015, where BC finished 126th in the country.
    • Harold Landry's post game interview with Jen Hildreth
      • Although the Eagles get no air time in the local media, if you think the players aren't in tune to what goes on with social media and blog posts like BCI, think again.  Landry, who was once again just fantastic yesterday, make it a point to praise the coaching staff and state that he didn't want any other coaches than the ones he has right now.
    • Improved play of the DBs
      • Granted, the Wake and UConn WRs aren't the caliber of the ones Clemson, Louisville, Florida State or even Syracuse (WTF was that with Pitt BTW?) brought to the game, but clearly the defensive staff worked very hard with all the DBs over the past few weeks in locating the ball and it shows.  The number of successfully defended passes in one on one situations, staying away from flags and making plays on the ball, is up considerably and one had to feel really good for Lukas Denis ending the game with that interception.  Denis was mercilessly attacked by Deondre Francois in the FSU loss and made that game clinching play. Excellent job by the players and the staff!
    • D-line slides then responds
      • For a while there, the defensive line just didn't look like themselves.  This wasn't a great Wake offensive line by any stretch, but the D line was pushed around and although not gouged, wasn't up to the very lofty standards they have set for themselves, until the very end of the game. Then the best of what this team has, lead by Harold Landry stepped up to seal the deal.
    • Why did Steve Addazio seemingly blame Patrick Towles for the clock mishap at the end of the first half?
      • It seems that in every tight situation, the Eagles are slow making a decision, slow getting the play in and slow getting to the line of scrimmage and this was no different, but Addazio is standing there on the side line, next to an official and has every ability to call timeout.  This was something that although the players may or may not have executed properly, Addazio could have prevented with better game management.  I guess we've never covered that here before though have we?
    • Patrick Towles feel..or lack of it...in the pocket
      • We all are a bit jaded living in the region and seeing Tom Brady play QB on Sundays, but on the flip side, I don't know if I have ever seen a QB with less feel in the pocket, particularly for a grad student, than Patrick Towles.  More than once yesterday, with the option to step up in the pocket and throw, Towles tried to escape to the outside and ran right into an onrushing lineman.  Seems like something that by now this staff would have figured out.
    • Scot Loeffler - screen, draw, something
      • It is unlikely to happen in 2016 and it is rare than a team can be all things to all people, but with the way the line has struggled to protect, wouldn't you figure by now that we would have seen the Eagles run something to get the pressure off Towles?  We've seen a very occasional screen, but no draw plays, nothing that would slow the rush and give Towles and the line a chance.
    • Attendance at the bowl game
      • Boston College has a reputation as a poor traveling school for bowl appearances.  Take away the 82 Tangerine Bowl, 84 Cotton Bowl and 2014 Pinstripe Bowl, the rest of the games have been pretty much friends and family only.  That brings us to the "If A Tree Falls In The Woods Bowl".  While a trip to St Petersburg may excite some, if the Eagles go back to Shreveport or wind up in Detroit, that small crowd we saw on TV at Wake may be the sum of BC supporters for this one.