As it turns out, having dealt with the forces of mother nature during last year’s bowl game was not an advantage for Boston College.
In an entirely forgettable game that featured an hour and a half weather delay midway through the first quarter, BC wasn’t able to generate a lick of offense throughout the afternoon. On the other side, the defense, missing star linebacker Max Richardson to a hamstring injury, really wasn’t able to stop the Bearcats’ rushing attack. Quarterback Desmond Ridder had a hat-trick on the ground. He and running back Michael Warren III both tallied 105 yards rushing and broke down the Eagle defense that was simply unable to complete tackles.
Of the offense’s 11 possessions, seven amassed 1 or less yards. That’s incredible. It’s no surprise the time of possession grossly favored Cincinnati 41 minutes to 18. BC was 0-11 on third down, and outgained 459-164 in total yards.
Dennis Grosel did not do himself any favors against a stout Cincinnati front. While the BC offensive line was without starting guard John Phillips, Grosel was too eager to take off with his feet or consistently threw passes well behind the line of scrimmage. While he did face more pressure as the game went along, he failed to make any plays when he did have time to throw including taking a brutal sack in the last minute of the first half while holding the ball for far too long. He finished 8/17 and 87 yards, and only six yards on about nine carries, most of which came deep into garbage time.
BC’s rushing attack either sorely missed AJ Dillon or just wasn’t able to handle the Cincinnati defense. Patrick Garwo busted open a nice 30 yards run in the second half, but apart from that, the Eagles were ineffective running the ball as well. David Bailey only handled eight carries for 28 yards, and Travis Levy added 13 yards on five carries.
Hunter Long had the only other notable play on offense, a 40 yard catch and run that brought BC into range in the first quarter, only to end up with a blocked/shanked/clearly offside 40 yard field goal attempt. The ghost of Daz past reared its ugly head through BC’s kicking struggles as well. After BC’s lone score of the game, a Mike Palmer blocked field goal returned for a touchdown by Brandon Sebastian, Danny Longman kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds for a penalty. Fortunately, no extra point could be missed, as the Eagles, down 31-6, attempted a two-point conversion to make it a three score game. The second half saw Cincinnati score a touchdown on four of five possessions, outpacing BC at one point 200-1 in yards.
Boston College will finish the season 6-7, but looking towards a brighter tomorrow. This game would be entirely forgotten if not for the laughs we shared while staring down the possibility of another delayed/cancelled bowl game. Alas, that’s all we need to remember about it. We are on to a new beginning. A new dawn. A new hope.