Curtis: Despite all odds, BC football defended Fenway Park and beat the AAC champions by double digits! What did you take away from that game?
Arthur: Thomas Castellanos is an absolute baller and I’m so happy he seems set with being at BC. That was not an easy team that the BC offense outplayed but they did and Castellanos played a huge part.
Curtis: I was also really impressed with Castellanos and his performance alongside Robichaux has me (tentatively) excited for next season already. If BC can truly start to center their offense around those two, and the OL still plays as well as this without Mahogany like they did on Thursday, then this team could slow the game down and compete with anyone. The defense was really impressive at Fenway too, shutting out SMU in the second half was no easy feat. I will say I think the Mustangs may have been more at fault than the BC defense was for those stops, because some of that offensive playcalling was just terrible. But I was happy to see the BC pass rush come alive anyway and get some crucial stops at the end of the game.
Niraj: Absolute box office stuff. Defended home court against a future conference foe. That’s what playing in Boston this time of year is all about. Vibes are high and I for one welcome it. To Bailin’s point, I really loved the Castellanos commentary post game. He’s here for it all.
Curran: Yea, Castellanos is the building block. The negatives first — he needs to improve drastically as a passer. Aside from that, he just makes plays when the team needs it most. Whether scripted or through improvisation, he gets the job done. Honestly, one of the brightest signs for me was the play of the young secondary. SMU clearly was heavily affected by the weather and their vaunted offense struggled, but credit where it is due — guys like KP Price and Max Tucker saw heavy minutes and showed flashes that they can contribute next season.
Curtis: What do you think the points of emphasis should be heading into next season?
Curran: Maintain the level of the O-line play, get more pressure on the QB defensively, and build more depth in the secondary. The offensive line is the foundation of the offense. We will have an excellent stable of running backs and a developing core of receivers, but we need the O-line to stay dominant. The D-line was disappointing this season — Ezeiruaku and co. need to get home and create more splash plays next year. Finally, the secondary — Hafley’s calling card — has been incredibly inconsistent during his tenure, especially as the season wears on and injuries take their toll. Hafley needs everyone — from starters like Amari Jackson to the younger guys emerging on the two-deep to incoming transfer guys — to contribute in their role. I’m tired of teams ripping our secondary to shreds because we have no depth.
Kieran: Yeah I think Curran hit on everything right there. Castellanos and the running backs should be good again, but if the o-line regresses at all, it’s going to be a long season for the whole offense. If guys in the program can develop a lot, or Hagley can snag some lineman from the portal, that would go a long way to covering up some flaws that would get exposed without good offensive line play. I’d also like to see someone in the secondary step up and become a leader there. I think the defensive line will be better, so if the secondary can become even slightly above average, BC could have a pretty decent defense. But if the secondary remains the same, opponents are going to continue to exploit it.
Arthur: Focus on discipline and playing complete games. The talent is there and is largely coming back. Don’t let this year’s mistakes come back.
Joe: Hi! Retired blogdad making a cameo in this banter. I just want to say a takeaway for me is that these bowl games still matter. Seeing that dude belt out Mr. Brightside in the cold rain, seeing the players give Haf a Gatorade shower, seeing our fans be able to celebrate something - it matters. Random midweek bowls represent the heart and soul of college football in a way fans of the mega programs will never understand. Go Eagles.
Arthur: I’ll join Joe in the aside. Football is meant to be played in the conditions for love of the game. These plastic manufactured games between teams that couldn’t give a damn about each other water down the product. With the SEC and Big 10 setting up to be big monoliths containing teams that are there purely out of skill and with no familiarity whatsoever it’s refreshing to have people care about dumb games at a baseball field in the rain. I love the idea of the Fenway Bowl, though I’ll admit I had no intention of going. It’s a fun exhibition that gives the seniors one more day between the sidelines. I don’t think the Georgias of the world understand that means something to fans of the have nots of Division I. Not for nothing, the FCS playoffs had to have been the best college football product that I’ve seen in years and what made it good was not just the quality of games, which were quite good, but that there was passion in the game. It was football how it was meant to be played. Ok I’m off my soapbox.