It would be hard to top the disaster that was BC’s drudging at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawks in front of a BC home crowd in terms of crushing my very soul, but...yesterday’s game against Wake Forest came close. Why doesn’t it take the top spot? Wake Forest is a top 25 team and an ACC title contender and BC wasn’t favored by 21 points. However, I was painfully reminded of the sense of futility I felt watching that Kansas game as I watched Wake Forest, very casually, break BC down possession after possession.
I had a sense going in that BC’s defense would not be able to stop Wake on a consistent basis. The defense would need to force a turnover or two and maybe get a stop on third downs. Both of those thing actually happened: BC did manage to force a few punts, and Brandon Sebastian had what a looked like a key interception in the end zone. The defense played about as well as I think any reasonable fan could have expected.
Phil Jurkovec’s return for the Red Bandana game will be a moment I remember for a long time. Red Bandana games should be special games and the surprise of Jurkovec’s return gave this year’s edition something extra. He followed it up with a strong performance against Georgia Tech where it looked like BC was back, but it has been night and day the last two weeks and I’m starting to wonder how healthy Phil really is. I can’t claim sole credit for this observation, as on Saturday I was sitting with a BC Interruption colleague who questioned if Phil should really be playing and that got me thinking. Phil looked off on quite a few throws and I just wonder if his hand is not at 100% and with the weather being as cold as it was yesterday, maybe he couldn’t really grip the ball all that well. That is pure conjecture, but what was clear was that Phil was trying to do everything he could to keep BC in the game. His effort is beyond reproach, but it just wasn’t his day.
Not that he had that much help. Last week, I was willing to suggest that Florida State’s athleticism gave them an edge on BC’s offensive line…not this week, though. BC’s offensive was bullied all game and Wake Forest won this game because of it. Jurkovec rarely had time in the pocket and the holes were not there consistently enough for Pat Garwo and the BC running game. We’ve talked about the playcalling and I’m sure some will bring it up again but I honestly don’t know what BC was supposed to do differently yesterday with the line being dominated like it was. I finally had to accept that this O-line, which we thought would be BC’s strength, has been one of its most inconsistent elements and some would argue its weakest. Coming away from yesterday my biggest concern going forward is can Hafley recruit and develop the offensive line? Because we have the receivers and we even have the running backs now, and we hopefully have Jurkovec for one more year. But yesterday’s game made it plain to see that none of that matters if the Eagles O-line doesn’t improve.
Now we wait to see who the Eagles will face in their bowl game but honestly, I think the time between now and the bowl game is more important because it will give BC the opportunity to re-group.