It wasn’t the prettiest of games to sit through, but Boston College got the job done today 30-16 against Rutgers. In the first road game of the season, the Eagles came out of the gate strong, much as they did against Kansas, scoring on the first drive. The remainder of the first half proved to be an unsightly affair, riddled with some ugly offense and poor tackling that gave flashbacks to that same contest. The game settled down in the second half, and AJ Dillon proved to be the difference maker, wearing the Rutgers defense down alongside a stellar offensive line, posting 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Anthony Brown looked very shaky throughout the contest. He resorted to using his feet much more which was really to the benefit of the Eagles. He ended with only 159 yards in the air.
The Scarlet Knights were fielding backup quarterback Art Sitkowski today, but he had an absolute field day with the Eagles’ defense. Sitkowski posted a career day with 304 yards, one touchdown, picking up right where Carter Stanley left off last week. The BC defense did contain the Rutgers rushing attack to under 80 yards overall, but much of that might be attributed to the strong passing attack.
After a few initial blows from Dillon to start the game, David Bailey busted open a 42 yard run to open the scoring. Rutgers soon tied the game as the same poor tackling issue reared its ugly head. Scat back Raheem Blackshear broke free to catch a short pass and took it 74 yards to the end zone, as safety Mike Palmer took a bad angle attempting to make a stop. Blackshear caused headaches Out of the backfield and was a perfect example to demonstrate how the Eagles tackling woes are troubling.
Quickly thereafter, Rutgers marched down the field, but were held to a short field goal after facing fourth and goal. One BC punt later and it felt as though things were about go wayward. Brandon Barlow forced a fumble and BC found a way to recover, allowing Brown to sneak it in a few plays later. BC’s offensive line easily allowed Brown to pick up crucial yards throughout the game.
The next few possessions resulted in bad offense and plenty of punts. Rutgers punter Adam Korsak did a really great job flipping field position with all three punts in the first half being placed inside the 20. The last Rutgers drive of the half was held to a field goal thanks to some heroic efforts from linebacker Max Richardson.
The end of the first half saw some good, bad, and ugly. With only 44 seconds and two timeouts, Anthony Brown quickly drove the Eagles down the field, completing long completions to Hunter Long twice and Ben Glines. After spiking the ball with 11 seconds at the Rutgers 15 yard line, BC inexcusably took a delay of game penalty. While not as heavily penalized as the opposition on the day, the Eagles did themselves no favors with seven penalties they took. From there, Brown chose not to take a shot into the end zone and missed a wide open Chris Garrison in the flat. With seven seconds left, a tackle on a Brown keeper actually saved enough time for BC to actually put three points on the board. The half ended 17-13 with a good 37-yard field goal by Aaron Boumerhi, and a whole lot of questions.
The second half was almost all Dillon and the offensive line. The Rutgers defensive line was clearly overmatched by what seemed to be a much bigger and more imposing BC offensive line. Dillon amassed about 90 yards in the second half and the line allowed zero sacks on the day, enabling Dillon to do damage. As a team BC rushed for 272 yards, fairly balanced in both halves.
Now, the remainder of conference play begins. It’s Parent’s weekend on the Heights next Saturday with Wake Forest coming to town. The Demon Deacons are 4-0 with wins over Utah State and UNC. The Eagles are not well organized at the moment, and they will hope to better execute next week.