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VT 23, BC 10: The Key Play

So frustrating...

Virginia Tech v Boston College Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Do you know that it’s legal to go more than ten yards on a play in football? I know you have to get at least ten yards over the course of four plays, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get ten all at once — or even more than ten! — if you were so able.

This is a bit of an obscure football rule, but it’s an important one to know.

8:35 remaining in the 1st quarter
1st & 10 at the Virginia Tech 47

Josh Jackson pass complete to Sean Savoy for 53 yards — TOUCHDOWN

BC was killed with quick slants all game long. This wasn’t the only one — here’s another one on the drive that effectively ended the game for the Eagles early in the 2nd quarter:

15:00 remaining in the 2nd quarter
3rd & 5 at the Virginia Tech 39

Josh Jackson pass complete to Eric Kumah for 23 yards to the BC 38 — 1ST DOWN

Now, I did pick defensive plays, but BC didn’t lose the game because of its defense. Once again, the D gave us the illusion of being in the game even if we actually weren’t. Giving up 23 points to Virginia Tech isn’t ideal, but it’s not too bad when you consider (1) Tech is good, (2) we are bad, and (3) if our offense wasn’t so incapable of staying on the field, the defense would have allowed fewer points since they’d be less gassed and Tech wouldn’t have been on the field on offense so much in the first place.

But I did pick these plays to pose a hypothetical: Why BC doesn’t try the quick slants more often on offense?

It seems like a play that would fit in well with what we’re trying to accomplish. If we’re going to insist on keeping Anthony Brown in a collapsing pocket rather than trying some more read option to slow down the rush and take advantage of Brown’s feet, then why not whip off a handful of these per game? The offensive line could take a nap on that play if they wanted since the ball would be out of Brown’s hand almost right off the snap.

This does take timing, but that’s the sort of thing that can be practiced. Instead we’re still trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

The more I watch BC’s offense the more I feel like there are plays there that can take better advantage of Brown’s and BC’s strengths and weaknesses. And yet every week I come away feeling like the whole unit is being mismanaged.