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Duke 9, Boston 7: By The Numbers

A look inside the statistical breakdown following the Eagles' second straight conference defeat.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

9. Total number of passing attempts in the first half of Saturday's game. That's about right where Boston College was a week ago, when they attempted 10 passes in the first half against NIU. The only difference was that last week, they completed four of the passes, including one for a touchdown, while they went 0-9 this week in the first half.

10. The total number of rushing attempts by Jeff Smith alone in the first half. Smith tallied 59 of the Boston College 100 yards of offense in the first half. Troy Flutie only saw time on the first couple of drives, then ceded the position to Smith, who came in and amounted for more than half of the BC offense on his own.

3. Number of field goals Duke's Ross Martin hit during the game. That's more than what BC has hit all season. After going 2-3 to open up the season with only the miss by Alex Howell, BC is now 2-5 on the season following two straight misses. It's an extremely small sample size, but it's a good indication that for the Eagles, nothing ever really gets in sync with itself. When one or two things go well, there's a step backwards somewhere that gets taken.

205. Yards accumulated by the Boston College offense in the second half. In stressing the importance of "60 minutes," BC would've had over 400 yards of offense if they managed to do that in the first half. Had that been the case, BC would've outgained Duke 400-plus yards to just 228. You have to think that they would've pulled away with a victory if they could've executed in the first half even marginally better.

16.67. The average number of yards per drive by the Boston College offense in the first half against Duke. This is a step back from the 20.25 they averaged against FSU and the 18.7 they averaged against NIU. Not surprisingly, the Duke game was also where the passing offense failed to complete even a single complete pass in the first half.

34.67. In the second half, the average number of yards per drive by BC more than doubled. Against FSU, BC only averaged 15.5 yards per drive in the second half, but they averaged 30.2 yards per drive in the second half against NIU. That indicates that the team plays substantially better in the second half than they do in the first. Unfortunately, the slow start is something they have yet to overcome, resulting in the two losses. If they can improve even marginally in the first half, they'll be in a position to put up more points.

This also indicates that BC really struggles to adapt in game. When they have to make in-game adjustments, they seldom are able to, something attributable to youth and inexperience. They go out and run the plays as given. There are no presnap reads and no audibles, but I also don't think they're really capable of it yet. At halftime, they're able to adjust and coach up the players as to what they're seeing, resulting in an improvement. Unfortunately, though, execution needs to get better.

31:50. Time of possession by BC, nearly 50-50 in the game with the Dukies. The field was only tilted towards BC in the first and third quarters, with the Eagles holding onto the ball for over eight minutes in both of those quarters.

31. Percentage of third downs converted by BC. That's well behind their season execution of 44% entering the game and it dropped them out of the top 50 in the FBS. At 41% on the season, BC is 31-75. Clearly that's something the team needs to be better at, even though two of their games came against top-ranked defenses. That's on the players executing the game plan, but it's also on the coaches to get better at what plays they're calling. Remember - the players aren't calling audibles and, owing to youth and inexperience, can't pick up the schemes the right way.

20. Percentage of third downs converted by opponents. BC's defense ranks third nationally in this regard after holding Duke to 4-17 on third downs.

95. Passing efficiency ranking of the Boston College offense. For all of the knocks against the team, they don't commit many turnovers, having thrown only two picks the entire season (one of which was a Hail Mary pass by Darius Wade against FSU). Teams who are currently worse than BC in efficiency - Northwestern, Michigan, Louisville, and South Carolina. That doesn't exactly mean the passing game is good, though. It just means they could be substantially worse.

122. Ranking of the passing offense by BC after five games. Teams currently worse than BC: LSU, Air Force, Army West Point, Navy, and Georgia Southern. All of those other teams are currently in the top ten nationally running the football, with GSU at #1, Navy at #3, Leonard Fournette at #4, Air Force at #5, and Army West Point at #10. BC is 23rd in the nation running the football.