Another game, another win for Boston College. Most importantly this didn't turn into a trap game. Yesterday is exactly how I expected last year's game to go, but without the you know, Spaz. BC controlled the line of scrimmage on offense, struggled like hell on defense in the first half, got hit with a trick play and the defense tightened up to lock down Army down the stretch. The negatives were few and far between, but let's get to the good, the bad and the ugly.
Andre Williams - Are we believers yet? The senior ran for 263 yards on 30 carries, for five touchdowns. He would have had the BC all time single game record for yards, but he lost a yard on his final rush of the game. Andre Williams literally did whatever he wanted for four quarters against Army. He ran over defender, past defenders, and looked all world out there. Clearly Steve Addazio's game plan was to run the ball against a weak rush defense, and it worked to perfection. Jameis Winston got the Walter Camp Player of the week, but if this was any other week Williams might have gotten it.
Plus, think of how great games like this might look for recruits. I saw one of the recruiting services say that a RB recruit contacted them basically salivating on how BC 'feeds" their running backs. Marcus Outlow, Sherm Allston and Richard Wilson must be dying to get on their maroon and gold and get involved in this offense.
The Offensive Line - After the game, I spent most of my postgame tailgating time talking to family, friends, and a few Army fans about Williams, and most importantly the line. The two names that came up over and over again were the offensive tackles, Ian White and Matt Patchan. The entire game they were destroying their targets, launching Army defenders back 3-4 yards at a clip. They looked phenomenal out there. Of course after the offense runs the ball for 320 yards you want to compliment the running backs, but the game ball for this week should have been to the beasts on the offensive line. What a game.
Spiffy Evans - Finally showed up in the offensive gameplan, catching four passes for 63 yards, and made yet another big play on a punt return.
Nate Freese - One of the biggest complaints I've had about the senior kicker has been his inability to make a long kick. In year's past Spaz didn't even bother trying him beyond 45 yards. But I was pleasantly surprised yesterday with his boot at the end of the first half. He is now a perfect 8-8 on the year on field goal attempts. In games where Addazio wants to control the clock and get points, having a reliable kicker like Freese is huge.
The Offensive Play Calling - The play calling yesterday was beautiful, and not only was it a great move for this week, but sets the Eagles up for Clemson as well. The Tigers are going to try watching the game film to help with pass coverage and will see little to nothing. I like that Ryan Day didn't tip his playbook much for next week.
The First Half Defense - I have to say, I was very concerned watching the first half of the game because it looked eerily similar to the 2012 Army game. BC would hold the Black Knights to a 3rd and manageable and without fail, Army would pick up the first down on the next play. All in all Army went 8-17 on 3rd down conversions in the game, but the first half numbers were probably much worse. BC couldn't get off the field, and the first half turned into a shootout, but you know, on the ground.
Tackling - This was painful to watch. The Eagles had Army players in their grasp all game long and just kept failing to bring down players. They got away with it this week because this was Army, but if they don't improve it's going to be a long trip to Death Valley next weekend.
The Live Bald Eagle Fiasco - He was supposed to be at the game. He wasn't. The Eagle's name was supposed to be announced. It wasn't. What is going on? Does this have to do with the Shutdown, a logistical mistake or is there something else mucking up the works?
Coaching Decisions At The End Of The First Half - Army was driving down the field, putting together a 7+ minute drive against a BC defense that couldn't stop them. Finally, BC started to stall the Army drive, but also allowed Army to continue to drain the clock, all the while having two timeouts in their pockets. They ended up using one, but I thought given the way BC's offense was shredding the Black Knights, it would have been wiser if BC stopped the clock and gave Chase Rettig more time to move the ball.
N.C. State, Maryland and Virginia - Good work, guys.
The Flea Flicker - Holy hell was that broken coverage or what. There wasn't a BC defender within thirty yards of Xavier Moss, as it was clear that BC wasn't going to respect the pass, and hooo boy did they get burned. As Brian so eloquently said yesterday "What is with BC giving up big plays to teams they beat that end up making the news?
The Army Mascot - Beefcake Horse with a sixpack has to be one of the creepiest mascots out there. Just a tad more than UCF's Knightro.
BC Fans At Alumni Stadium - I don't want to get all preachy here, but can Boston College fans please stay for most of the game? I know this is like being a broken record but by the end of the third quarter Alumni was half empty. The student section especially was almost completely empty. Can we please just stay the extra 20 minutes and support the team? Please?