Boston College is bowling, and it sured up it's resume with a decisive 28-7 win over the Syracuse Orange in Chestnut Hill. Let's take a look at what went right and what went wrong for the Eagles.
Linebacker U: Just when you think BC has shown all of their cards this year, linebackers Sean Duggan and Mike Strizak come up and make two huge interceptions. Unfortunately, later in the game, Duggan got hurt, but the two of them prevented Syracuse from doing anything up the middle either passing the ball or trying to run it. Neither of these two linebackers have had their names called much this season, but they certainly made their marks yesterday.
The entire defense for the matter: Syracuse's offense was absolutely putrid, but hat tip to the BC defense for making sure that they looked like that on the field. The Orange did nothing the entire game, scoring their only points after a short punt by Alex Howell and a good return gave them excellent field position. A.J. Long looked completely uncomfortable the entire game, getting sacked three times, twice by Seyi Abedayo. As I mentioned on Twitter, BC had the ranked defense last year, and they moved all the way up to 12th this season. A masterful coaching job by Don Brown, and wonderful performance by the players.
Ryan Day's Gameplan: Speaking of solid gameplans, Ryan Day had another good game yesterday. Syracuse was clearly strongest up front on defense, and completely clueless on offense. To prevent the Orange from getting short field position, he mixed up a solid blend of running and passing. He didn't rely to heavily on the pass, which was good because it prevented BC wide receivers from dropping the ball, and Tyler Murphy from taking unwise chances. The offense didn't have to do a lot yesterday, but Day put them in the position not only to score points but also prevent Syracuse from doing anything.
Myles Willis Take It The House: Talk about starting off a rivalry game with a statement play. I haven't been able to re-watch the game yet, but I counted at least two bone crunching blocks on the return by the Eagles. Willis basically scampered in untouched, and from then on it was all BC.
Tyler Rouse: In a year that was highlighted by big runs by Jon Hilliman, the emergence of Marcus Outlow, and scrambling of Tyler Murphy, it was great to see New York's own Tyler Rouse take it to the school that ignored him in the recruiting process. It was also really nice for Syracuse to insist on tackling him by the face mask twice on the final drive. Honestly after that nonsense, I wanted him to pound in seven more points for the Eagles. But Addazio is classy and I am not. What can you say?
Tyler Murphy: In his final home game, Tyler Murphy broke the all time ACC record for QB rushing yards. He also threw a beautiful pass to Sherm Alston which basically put the game away for BC. What can be said about him that hasn't already been said? He has been an absolute joy to watch this season, and it must feel so good for him to go to a school where his talents could be properly utilized. You truly are an Eagle, Tyler.
WE DIDN'T MISS AN EXTRA POINT!!!!!!!
Pace of the game: I'm sure it was like this watching it at home, but that game DRAGGED and seemed to have no rhythm. There were challenges, and TV timeouts, and timeouts, and more TV timeouts. BC never seemed to be in danger of losing this game which kind of led to that malaise around the 3rd quarter. The crowd wasn't bad, and seemed into it for most of the game, but man, with Syracuse clearly checked out, I just wanted it to end a half hour sooner.
Syracuse's Offense: This post usually focuses on BC's positives and weaknesses, but I couldn't resist for this game. Syracuse without Terell Hunt looked completely lost on offense the entire game. They had their one scoring drive, set up with great field position, but other than that drive they had 85 yards of offense the entire game. A.J. Long looked completely lost out there, they threw Austin Wilson out there who threw an interception on his second pass attempt, and the run game was nil. Syracuse averaged 2.2 yards a carry to end the game.
Gameday Blips: Couldn't be a BC homegame if there wasn't another mess up on the game experience front. Yesterday's crowning achievement was the brand new hi-def scoreboards, which happened to not work for almost an entire quarter. When the game was dragging, and believe me yesterday's game dragged like a no-legged zombie from Walking Dead, not having working scoreboards makes it even more brutal.
Drops: Wide open!!!!! DROPPED. A handful of more brutal drops for the Eagles yesterday.
Syracuse Losing Its Cool: When you are 3-8, and your team is listless and getting their butt whooped against their rivals you have a tendency to lose your cool. Yesterday was a prime example. Syracuse had the ball, a play occurred and then boom, massive melee on the sidelines. The team with the cooler head prevailed as Steve Addazio was able to keep his guys on the sidelines and prevented the Eagles from any personal fouls, while Syracuse had a player ejected and ended up with 2nd and 35. Then to end the game, Syracuse let all their frustrations out by facemasking Tyler Rouse twice on the same drive. It's one thing to lose, it's another to become completely unhinged. Poor form ending the game by the Orange.
The Orange's Unis.: Those colors were bad, and the numbers were even worse.
Field Goal Kicker Blues: Mike Knoll missed another one. BC really didn't have much of a choice there as it was 4th and goal from the 18. Guess I would rather have the field goal kicker take a shot at it. I guess.