Boston College held their spring game at a windy Alumni Stadium today, and just like 2015 it was the defense that shined. The final score doesn't show it, but the offenses did have some successes moving the ball, but some errors near the goal line stalled out their opportunities.
One of the biggest surprises was sophomore quarterback Darius Wade, who clearly had the best day at his position. He had good footwork, got rid of the ball quickly, made good reads, and had excellent chemistry with tight end Tommy Sweeney. The two of them connected on 3-5 plays of 10+ yards during the game. I thought Wade did a nice job with his feet, moving away from the pressure and still using his arm to make plays. He finished with no touchdowns, but it looked like he was practicing a certain play that he tried three times in the end zone, an end zone shoulder route to Drew Barksdale/Michael Walker.
Patrick Towles, didn't have a very good game for the Eagles. He was quick to throw the ball deep, and struggled with his accuracy. He almost threw a bad interception on a ball he never should have thrown. Some of it wasn't all on Towles, as Team White's offensive line struggled mightily, leading to a ton of pressure on the quarterback. Speaking of offensive line, there were still many of the errors we saw last year, specifically holding and fast start penalties that killed promising drives.
On defense two linebackers had really good games, Tanner Karafa and Jimmy Martin. Both had sacks, while Martin had a big interception on Anthony Brown that set up the offense on the 30. Harold Landry also had a sack. The secondary did a nice job sticking close to wide receivers on the longer throws. The big error of the game was a botched punt return by Thadd Smith that ended up being kicked out of the back of the end zone. Wind was blowing pretty hard during the game, but that was a tough play to watch.
Colton Lichtenberg hit two field goals, Mike Knoll was fine on his punts. Jeff Smith, the former QB, moved to wide receiver where he had mixed results. Many of the short passes he received he did a nice job with his feet to extend the plays, but struggled on the longer routes. He also returned punts, but looked very uncomfortable. Troy Flutie, also moved to WR and was on the field as well, but didn't make any plays.
In terms of wide receivers, Drew Barksdale made a nice catch on a long pass, as did Thadd Smith. Charlie Callinan was out for the game with a leg injury, as was Jon Hilliman. Richard Wilson, Myles Willis and Davon Jones all had nice runs, but honestly BC looked like they were working more on the pass plays today than the runs. Also hard to gauge the talent on the RB squad when refs blew plays dead the minute a defender wrapped up the ball carrier.
Was the final score indicative of the talent on offense? It's hard to say. True they didn't score, their red zone choices weren't very good and there certainly were mistakes, but there certainly were improvements. They were able to throw tons of short and intermediate passes (specifically to the tight ends) , something that we didn't see last year, and took some shots downfield.