On Saturday the Boston College Eagles took care of business against the Louisville Cardinals 38-20 in front of a sparse crowd of 31,000 announced fans at Alumni Stadium. It was an easy game, as BC fell behind after Louisville roared back from a 14-0 deficit, but in the second half BC locked down the Cards and won the game relatively easily. Let’s look at what went right and what went wrong in Saturday’s win.
Zach Allen: The senior defender was an absolute monster on Saturday, especially against the option. In a BJ- -esque play Allen on one play tackled both the quarterback, and held on to the running back to prevent either from doing anything with the ball. We were hoping that Allen would be a dominant defender this year, he has certainly stepped up in that role over the past few weeks. He is not only great against the rush this year, but has become an elite pass rusher as well.
Punt Block: For the second week in a row the Eagles blocked a punt, and for the second week in a row Travis Levy recovered it in the end zone. This block was more on Louisville failing to adjust to the punt block rush, instead moving forward to go after the returner, but there were 6 players who could have blocked this, Nolan Borgersen being the player who landed it.
Deja Vu. For the second-straight week, BC blocks a punt, and Travis Levy tracks it down in the end zone for an Eagles touchdown.— Andy Backstrom (@AndyHeights) October 13, 2018
*Nolan Borgersen is credited with the block. pic.twitter.com/9On3RWqFH3
David Bailey: For the second straight year, Boston College had a revelation at running back against Louisville. Last year it was AJ Dillon, this season it was David Bailey who looked like he could be a fantastic back up for Dillon, and deserves to get 5-10 touches a game from this point out. Finishing with over 100 yards, he was physical and moved well, and was the offensive MVP of this game.
Wyatt Ray: Another huge game for the defensive end, Ray finished with three sacks in the game. He now leads the nation with 8.5 sacks.
Second Half Adjustments: It’s been a while since we’ve seen BC become unglued than actually be able to put it all back together and finish strong. That is what we saw on Saturday. After the two fumbles (see below), BC gave up what looked like a cozy lead to a Louisville squad who suddenly had life. But they put their foot on their throat in the second half, shutting them out, while outscoring them 14-0. The defense looked like a different squad the second half, players like Brandon Sebastian looked much improved, and Louisville looked hapless.
The Entire Defense: Louisville had two drives where they put up points, and they were gifted 7 points, when the ball was fumbled on the 4 yard line, and they replays showed they were stuffed on 4th down but you know, ACC refs. Other than those two drives, BC’s defense was solid, and in a game that I thought was going to be a shoot out, it actually really wasn’t.
Salted Pretzels: YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
Bad Turnovers: BC came out and punched Louisville in the face with two quick scores. But they let the Cardinals back into the game with fumbles by Ben Glines and Michael Walker. Glines has been serviceable the past two weeks, but shouldn’t have been the primary back, as he fumbled it twice. Fortunately Addazio recognized that and made the switch to Bailey after the fumble, and put Glines in a better role sharing the load. Michael Walker on the other hand, worries me. His fumbling has been brutal this season, at some point Daz needs to make the change before it costs BC a game.
Penalties: See what you will about Steve Addazio the past few seasons, but one thing his teams are usually not highly penalized. Last year BC was fourth in penalty yards allowed, and while BC is in the top 40 in penalty yards allowed this year, they are 89th in penalties called. What that says to me is that the team isn’t disciplined and have been making a lot of mistakes, ones that should be easy to fix. Lots of false start and holding calls on offense. There were 7 penalties called this week, the most egregious being the hold by Aaron Monteiro that negated a David Bailey touchdown.
Bobby Petrino: I don’t usually call out opposing coaches but what he did to his starting quarterback on Saturday is completely unacceptable. According to Puma Pass, when asked when Petrino told him he was going to be replaced he said “He didn’t. I just saw Jordan [Travis] warming up.” Classy move by a coach in charge of a program that is completely circling the drain.
The Weather: Cold, dreary and raw,