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NCSU 33, BC 7: The Key Play

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 16 NC State at Boston College Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saturday night’s loss to NC State was pretty unique from usual Boston College losses. In a typical BC loss (and this is in any sport, certainly not just football), you’ll usually see something heartbreaking late, or a blowout that the Eagles are able to make a close-but-not-quite comeback, or just generally anything soul-crushing. That’s our style.

But if there was anything positive out of that debacle against the Wolfpack, it was that it was a pretty quick and painless defeat that didn’t leave any opportunity for late-game agony. Yeah, BC was definitely even with NCSU in the first half, but once things fell apart in the second, oh baby did they fall apart.

12:13 remining in the 3rd quarter
4th & 4 from the BC 42

Grant Carlson FUMBLE, recovered by NCSU — TOUCHDOWN

I think we can safely look to this moment as the point where everything went off the rails.

The first half was truly not bad. BC and NCSU had the exact same number of yards from scrimmage and the exact same number of first downs. So to this point, despite the frustrating call to end the first where the Wolfpack were deemed to have not fumbled the football allowing them to get 3 points and the lead going into the locker room, you really thought that this was going to be a close game.

There’s no real need to break down exactly what happens here — it’s pretty clear that Grant Carlson just flat out bobbled the ball and dropped it on a good snap, maybe even with a somewhat wet ball; what are you gonna do. We’re not going to sit here and crucify one of our better players for a It Happens To The Best Of Us moment. But the end result was the Wolfpack in the end zone and all of a sudden a game that effectively felt like a tie saw the Eagles down two scores.

17-7 Wolfpack wasn’t out of reach, but I’m not sure you could come up with a worse set of successive drives:

Following a Grosel interception, an NC State score, a BC 3 and out, and a bang-bang 80 yard NC State touchdown drive, boom, it’s 31-7 Wolfpack pretty much in the blink of an eye, and yeah, there’s no coming back from that. The Eagles punted on every drive for the rest of the game (except for the Could Things Get Much Worse Oh Yes They Sure Can safety on BC’s last offensive touch of the contest), and your final was 33-7.

That was how we ended up with a quick, efficient, merciful 3rd quarter beating at the hands of the Wolfpack to put the Eagles at 0-2 in the ACC, and now it’s time to reset the expectations for the remainder of the season.