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Boston College 23 Northern Illinois 20: Thumbs Up And Thumbs Down

NCAA Football: Boston College at Northern Illinois Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College escaped last night with a victory against Northern Illinois. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but in the end a win is a win. Let’s take a look at what went right, and what didn’t.

Thumbs Up

Anthony Brown: It was his first start at the collegiate level and for the most part it went as well as could be expected. He started off with a bad interception, throwing the ball behind Tommy Sweeney, but he rallied and finished the game with two touchdowns (one to Ray Marten, the other to Michael Walker). While there certainly were stretches where he struggled, you can see the potential, and that is exciting for the future of the program. And oh boy that touch on the long ball.

Colton Lichtenberg: While the announcers spent most of the game mispronouncing his name, or referring to him by his teammates nickname “Das Boot”, Lichtenberg delivered on three fields which in the end was the difference in this game. And these three field goals weren’t just little chip shots. A solid kicking game certainly is a plus for this season.

Kobay White: All preseason we had heard that he was going to be a threat, but we had heard that about wide outs for years. He delivered in a big way on Friday night. He made a fantastic one handed catch, and finished the game with 6 receptions for 76 yards.

Tempo: Again there was lots of talk about this going into this game, and it certainly showed potential. There were a ton of mistakes that cut down the drives (Michael Walker’s drop being one), but I can see how it could work. Clean up the mistakes, but I am very positive on the potential of this.

Lukas Denis: Two great plays by the cornerback, if he takes that first dropped interception back, we are talking about a very comfortable BC win.

Two Minute Drill: Steve Addazio was masterful in his use of timeouts and play calling to score a huge touchdown going into the half. Credit when credit is due, this was the best drill I’ve seen from Addazio since he came to BC.


The Offensive Line: The play the offensive line has to be BC’s biggest concern going forward. They struggled big time in this game. Jon Baker miscommunicated with Brown at one point and hiked it when the QB wasn’t ready, transfer OL Marcel Lazard was yanked at one point with Chris Lindstrom slotted over to tackle, and Aaron Monteiro didn’t look improved at all getting bowled over by linebackers multiple times during the game. Brown got rushed, running lanes were filled, and holding penalties killed big plays. The play of the offensive line was inexcusable.

Jon Hilliman: “First down, Anthony Brown hands it to Jon Hilliman who is swallowed up by the NIU defense behind the line of scrimmage!” I felt like this happened on almost every set of downs. Now part of this was on Daz for being so predictable at times, but Hilliman also looked very hesitant attacking the hole and struggled shrugging any tackles. I was stunned that Addazio didn’t use Davon Jones or A.J. Dillon more when Hilliman was struggling.

Harold Landry: All the hype of this game was regarding this highly touted defensive end. There were huge portions of the game where Landry was on the sideline. Why? I don’t understand why BC’s most talented player watched NIU drive while on the sideline. Credit to NIU they did a nice job neutralizing him with quick throws and running the ball away from him.

Zach Allen: Landry wasn’t the only one who struggled yesterday, Allen looked out of place on the option play, he missed tackles, it was just a bad game for him.