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INSTANT REACTION - Duke 9, Boston College 7: Eagles Fail To Recover From Sluggish Start In Loss To Blue Devils

Eagle defense put in the majority of the work, but the offense just couldn't do enough against Duke as the Eagles fell to 3-2 on the season.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the week, when talking about the offense, I reiterated a single point about having patience with them. That patience would be tested completely and in its entirety, especially during game situations. The execution simply wouldn't be there for long swaths, and it would be incredibly frustrating. Weathering the storm is one of those things that's nearly impossible to do, especially when you say something like "zero yards on offense."

This is one of those games where patience is tested, as the Eagles dropped to the Duke Blue Devils by a 9-7 score. The loss puts the Eagles at 3-2 heading into their game against Wake Forest next week.

Here's some immediate reaction on the outcome of the game:

-The defense deserves a collective game ball and first class chartered flights home after their performance against the Blue Devils. BC opened up the third quarter by forcing Duke to go three-and-out, only to have Sherman Alston muff the ensuing punt and give the Blue Devils a first down at the Eagle 15 yard line. Thomas Sirk took the ball down inside the five, then moved it closer to the goal line when he powered to the one. David Cutcliffe made the choice to go for it on fourth down and BC came up with a huge stop.

-There's not a whole lot more we can say about the defense other than that they're trusted to win games - and they're very nearly doing it. They are clearly the best unit in the country, and it's a shame that their performances are wasted by the work-in-progress offense.

-Despite all of the complaints about the BC offense and its ineffectiveness moving the ball, they didn't commit a single turnover.

-After running for 100 yards in the first half with zero yards passing, they gained only 64 in the second half.

-Once again, neither QB did enough to grab the job. After Flutie struggled on the initial play calls, Smith came in and really wrestled the job by moving the ball through read option run plays. But Smith's passing ability really struggled, especially when he proceeded to air it out and overthrow every receiver by five odd yards each time. Flutie, after struggling early in the game, moved the ball in the fourth quarter, but, like I mentioned, couldn't do it consistently enough to get into the end zone.

-Then again, BC started two of their last three drives at their 15 and 24 yard line, and the final drive beginning at midfield but ended with an injury after moving the ball eight yards on the first two plays.

-That said, the offense still has yet to prove it can actually score points with regularity, and they failed to move the ball with consistency over the full course of the game. Flutie finished 5-8 for 129 yards and a touchdown. Smith finished 3-13 for 12 yards. Smith finished with a team-high 60 yards on 11 carries, while Flutie went for 10 yards on three carries.

-When Flutie started opening up the passing book, it opened up Marcus Outlow, who was able to rumble for a 15-yard run after a decent completion. In two plays, BC was able to carve up a top 50-type defense and get into plus territory. Of course the drive then stalled after BC called for a counter on second down that led to the missed field goal two plays later, a model of the inconsistent type play we're experiencing this year out of the offense.

-Flutie really struggled to open up the book to the point where we only saw him sporadically before the fourth quarter. Then he was ripped down and injured, which meant Jeff Smith had to come in and run the offense when he clearly struggled passing the ball. Someone really has to step to the front of the line to grab the offense, forcing the coaching staff to call plays catered to their skill set.

-The special teams is still very much a work in progress. Colton Lichtenberg is a true freshman, so sending him out onto a slick field to kick a 45 yard attempt when the first attempt was a foul-up is asking for it. On top of it all, BC kept the ball on the right hash of the field instead of going to the middle of the field. In the end, though, he was never making that kick.

-Even though you look for positives when the offense has been a "work in progress" throughout the whole season so far, this is another game where BC had a beautiful chance to win and just couldn't get it done. BC is now 3-2, 0-2 in the ACC. Stay tuned throughout the coming hours and days for full postgame recap and reaction.