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Boston College 41, Wake Forest 34: Thumbs Up Thumbs Down

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Boston College v Wake Forest Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

It probably wasn’t exactly how Steve Addazio scripted it, but the Eagles came away victorious on the road in the first ACC contest of the season. With the win BC could crack the top 25 for the first time in TEN YEARS!

THUMBS UP

The resilience of the team-When things don’t bounce your way on the road it can be easy to let the negativity infiltrate throughout the team. Consider this:

-The Eagles gave back a 7-0 lead after Michael Walker muffed a punt

-BC gave back a 14-7 lead when Grant Carlson had his punt blocked and returned for a TD.

-BC came back from a seven point deficit on the heels of Wake converting a somewhat lucky 4th-and-3 when a BC defender mistimed an interception that led to a 32 yard gain.

Those are three big ones in the first half alone

Addazio was quick to give his players must deserved credit.

“This team’s got a chemistry, this team’s got something special about them. They’re not deterred, there’s no finger pointing, there’s just strong resolve.”

Anthony Brown: If BC is going to do real damage in the ACC this year then Brown will have to take an even bigger jump from his solid freshman season last year. The QB did just that yesterday by making Wake pay for stacking eight in the box. Brown finished 16-of-25 with 305 yards and 5 touchdowns which marked the first time a BC QB hit the 300 yards/5 TD’s mark since Matt Ryan. Perhaps even more impressive than the stats were the actual throws that Brown made. The touchdown passes to Tommy Sweeney and Ben Glines (among others) were elite accuracy throws that you don’t see a lot of college QB’s make.

Wyatt Ray: Ray set the BC record for sacks in a game (4) which beat the record previously set by Kiwi. The best part about Ray’s sacks is they were timely and not just “empty” sacks piled up. The most important sack came at the halfway point in the 4th quarter with BC leading by 14. Wake had made it to the BC 43-yard line and was rolling, but Ray sacked Sam Hartman on 1st-and-10 to put Wake behind schedule and ultimately led to the Deacons punting three plays later. To top it off, Ray even got a shoutout from the AD!

AJ Dillon: We are probably a little spoiled when a 185 yard and one touchdown performance doesn’t get you higher on the list. Once again, Dillon was a monster ripping off 5.6 ypc against stacked boxes most of the game.

Jeff Smith: Smith has flashed in his BC career at times and done some really nice things. This game was one where it felt like Smith just put it together with 145 yards receiving and 42 yards rushing for a combined 187 all-purpose yards. This had to be the type of game Steve Addazio envisioned from Smith when he switched him from quarterback to wide receiver a few years ago.

The O-Line: You don’t rush for 220 yards and pass for 305 yards without great play from the offensive line. This is hardly the best defensive line that the team will go against this year, but the line did their job. I was particularly impressed with the pass blocking as many times it felt like Brown had all day to throw the ball

THUMBS DOWN

Special Teams: The win was nice but you can’t ignore the special teams miscues yesterday. As the schedule gets tougher it won’t be possible to beat better teams when you spot them 15 points on special teams.

First Down Play Calling (1st half): This one is a little bit of a debate between BC fans and will certainly be a topic on the BCI Podcast this week. I felt the first down play calling left a lot to be desired, especially during the time that BC ran 10 straight times on first down. To me it is an indicator of why the team averaged 6.9 yards per play in the first half compared to 8.35 yards per play in the 2nd half. By the way that 8.35 yards per play in the 2nd half doesn’t even do justice to how good the BC offense was. If you take away the 3 plays for -15 yards when Brown was kneeling the ball, and 3 plays for 3 yards when BC was lining up to clearly just run clock, the BC offense actually averaged an unbelievable 10.8 yards per play in the 2nd half!

The other side of this debate will say that BC needed to run so much to setup play action later in the game. However, my take is that you don’t need to run on 10 straight first downs just to setup a play action pass later in the game.