It was hardly the most convincing of wins, but a win it was. I should think most Boston College fans would prefer to put this one in their pocket, and turn their attention to next week’s visit from the Midwestern Irish Catholics. While it never truly felt like BC was going to lose to Syracuse, this team has a nerve racking habit of playing to the level of their opponent. The Eagles dominated possession (38:49 to 21:11), easily out-gained the Orange (399 to 240), and won the turnover battle (0-2), they just weren’t really finishing off drives. Still, the Eagles moved to 5-3(4-3), and are now due to play up to their next opponent.
Zay Flowers - Here’s your weekly jaw-dropping Zay play. Full extension, get the foot down, somersault, stick the landing. Who was the last BC player with this kind of playmaking ability on offense? Will Blackmon?
Max Richardson - Richardson was all over the place, and he probably deserves more credit for anchoring this defense all season. With another 10 tackles, he continues to lead the nation in total tackles, and he also came through with 2 sacks on Saturday.
David Bailey - We knew coming in that Syracuse’s porous rush defense might finally allow the Eagles to get the ground game working, and Bailey took advantage. He finished with 25 carries for 125 yards, and Travis Levy added another 73 yards. Hafley pointed to some good offensive line play in his post-game interview, and he seemed relieved that BC was able to scratch out one last first down, rather than give Syracuse another possession.
Missed kicks - It wasn’t that bad, considering one was a 52 yard attempt, but Aaron Boumerhi’s two missed field goals kept this game a little bit closer than it needed to be. I’m not putting this squarely on the kicker’s shoulders, five field goal attempts against a bad defense is moreso a symptom of an offense that wasn’t really clicking.
Missed receivers - Upon checking the box score, I was a bit surprised to see that Jurkovec went 20/29. He flat out missed his guy on a few occasions, and appeared frustrated with himself on the sideline. I believe it was right before the failed 52 yarder that Jurkovec had Flowers wide open for a would-be touchdown and overthrew him, then air-mailed 6’5” Hunter Long near the sticks on the next play.
Penalties - Boston College and Syracuse finished right around even in penalty yardage, but seemingly once per game a BC player commits a wildly stupid deadball penalty. This time the culprit was CJ Lewis. The Eagles should have faced 2nd & goal at the Syracuse 2 with a good chance to go up 20-6 in the final minutes. Instead, Lewis got up and blatantly shoved a man after the whistle (there was a bit of a Neymarian flop, but still). Instead of hammering home the final nail, BC settled for a field goal, and Syracuse got to hang around for just a little bit longer.