On Saturday afternoon, the Boston College Eagles hosted the UConn Huskies up in Chestnut Hill for the 16th all-time match-up for these two football programs. Connecticut earned their first ever win in the series last season, a 13-3 slugfest down in East Hartford, so BC was motivated to earn revenge this season. It was an ugly game at times, but Boston College trusted their rushing attack and eventually pulled out a gritty 21-14 win.
The beginning of the game almost immediately took a turn for the worse for Boston College, as QB Thomas Castellanos let the football slip out of his hands in the pocket and a UConn defender recovered the fumble near midfield. The Huskies then put together a methodical drive on offense, thoroughly outblocking the Eagles and eventually punching it in to take a 7-0 lead. The Eagles were not deterred, though, and got going on offense immediately after. BC put together two methodical drives in a row down the entire field for eventual touchdowns, coming from Kye Robichaux and Alex Broome for a 14-7 lead. BC did a really good job of playing with a fast pace and winning the battles in the trenches, allowing the rushers to gain big chunks at a time.
BC almost did it two more times, but they once again got in their own way. An overthrow in the endzone on 4th down from Castellanos gave the ball back to UConn, and then a bad Castellanos INT in the endzone ended the first half. BC was moving the ball really well on the UConn defense, but the turnovers and mistakes prevented them from taking a larger lead. Meanwhile, the UConn offense looked sloppy and the BC defense held them in check rather easily.
The first drive of the second half was unexpectedly led by Emmett Morehead, BC’s former starter. He led the Eagles into UConn territory, but the 44-yard field goal was missed and BC still only led 14-7. After a UConn 3 & out, Castellanos came back into the game after what looked like a minor left leg injury. He led BC right back down the field with a 30-yard pass to Charlie Gordinier followed up by another TD run for Kye Robichaux to make it a 21-7 lead. But the following UConn drive resulted in a 30-yard rush for a TD, chopping BC’s lead back to just 7 points at the start of the 4th quarter.
With BC’s offense sputtering on their following drive and Castellanos not able to scramble because of his injury, UConn got the ball back and started making their way downfield. But a holding penalty pushed them back into an eventual 4th & 6, and the Huskies decided to kick a long 54-yard field goal instead of going for it, which they missed badly. It was a very questionable decision by UConn head coach Jim Mora, whose team was losing by 7 with under 7 minutes to go.
BC was able to chew clock on their ensuing drive, including a 4th & 5 conversion by Thomas Castellanos on a QB keeper. He definitely was running with a little hesitation, but the injury wasn’t enough to stop the Eagles from running all over the Huskies. They eventually would run the clock all the way to 0:00 and claimed a 21-14 victory over UConn.
- The rushing game is as strong as ever. UConn has struggled to defend the run all year and BC took full advantage. The Eagles finished with 200+ rushing yards on the day, including three rushing TDs. It also allowed them to burn clock at the end of the game and prevent UConn from making a late comeback. The no-huddle also was a big boost for them, keeping the Huskies tired and on their heels.
- TC needs to limit his mistakes. He made some really questionable decisions and mistakes throughout this game and left points out on the field. That’s fine for a game against UConn, but could prove costly against the remainder of their schedule.
- The BC defense was up-and-down, like usual. They played most of the game pretty well, but almost suffered second half collapse when UConn marched down the field to make it 21-14 and then again in the 4th quarter before committing a holding penalty. They’ve been an inconsistent unit all year and I still do not trust them to play a complete game.