It wasn’t a perfect game out of Boston College, but it was one hell of a quality effort out of the Eagles on Friday night against the University of Miami. BC opened up the playbook on offense and found some big plays on defense to earn a convincing win over the Hurricanes in prime-time by a final score of 27-14.
The game wasn’t even really as close as the score. The Eagles led nearly wire-to-wire, save for a Miami touchdown late in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. More than anything, the Eagles found themselves in a battle because of missed opportunities that could have made the game a lot more comfortable.
BC got things going right off the bat with an almost perfect start to the game. After winning the toss and deferring to the second half, the Eagles held Miami to a punt and started their first drive from their own 12 yard line. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler opened up the playbook with a series of beauties, with a Jeff-Smith-To-Anthony-Brown trick play, a few well-placed throws of his own for Brown, a big AJ Dillon scamper that was one defender away from going 88 yards almost immediately, and a Jeff Smith touchdown reception giving the Eagles the early 7-0 lead.
On 3rd-and-9, Anthony Brown dials up a pass to Jeff Smith on the slant route for a touchdown. BC leads, 7-0. pic.twitter.com/0wITorBL3F— Andy Backstrom (@AndyHeights) October 26, 2018
Miami tied the game on the following possession, but BC went right down the field for another 10 play drive to re-take the lead, and they’d never look back. Another trick play — this time, a Jeff Smith pass to a wide open Travis Levy — put the Eagles right on the front porch of the end zone.
A few plays later, Anthony Brown found himself with 2nd and Goal, and after surveying the field and finding no options to his liking, he opted to just take a leisurely stroll himself for the score.
Anthony Brown fakes the handoff and surveys the field, but nothing's there. Without hesitation, the redshirt sophomore tucks the rock and bolts to the end zone for six. BC leads, 14-7. pic.twitter.com/M4mjgbescQ— Andy Backstrom (@AndyHeights) October 26, 2018
BC had a chance to really twist the screws later in the half. After an absolutely ludicrous 21 play (!!) drive that took over seven minutes off the clock, Colton Lichtenberg was called on for the short field goal from the 4 yard line. He drilled it to give BC a two score lead.
Miami wouldn’t quite go away, though. The Hurricanes got 7 back on a touchdown on the ensuing drive to make it 17-14 into the half — nice to have a lead, but not quite the advantage it felt like we should have.
The defense really started to find its legs in the second half — and in fact, the BC D pitched a shut out over the final two quarters, the second game in a row that they’ve done it. Interceptions by Hamp Cheevers and Taj-Amir Torres turned into a field goal and an AJ Dillon touchdown for the BC offense, and while it certainly wasn’t over yet, the game really started to feel like a party from there.
Right after the turnover, @ajdillon7 receives a handoff out of the shotgun, bounces outside, and sprints past the pylon. Dillon is averaging 6.7 yards per carry tonight--talk about a first game back. pic.twitter.com/6DGGykU03n— Andy Backstrom (@AndyHeights) October 27, 2018
That was basically all she wrote for the Hurricanes with the BC defense taking over the game. Miami was forced into three straight turnovers on downs to end the game — including one goal line stand inside BC’s own 5 yard line — and the Hurricanes went out with a whimper for the loss.
The numbers were very friendly for the Eagles, with BC putting up a whopping 426 total yards on offense. They moved the football with relative ease against the vaunted Miami defense — one of the best in the entire country both on the ground and through the air — thanks in no small part to the return of AJ Dillon, the run game opening up plays through the air, and the creativity on the part of OC Scot Loeffler with the play calling — the trick plays in particular.
It was just a very good, very enjoyable BC win to put the Eagles at 6-2, with 8 or 9 wins suddenly very much back on the table. But things get tougher now for the Eagles, with a road game against Virginia Tech on deck next Saturday. It’ll take at least this good of an effort from BC to come away with a win, but a victory just might see the Eagles peek back into that Top 25 again.