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BC 41, Mizzou 34: The Key Play

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A couple possibilities this week

NCAA Football: Colgate at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, was that fun! It’s hard to remember a BC football game being that exciting in quite some time. As Joe pointed out yesterday, Alumni Stadium was rocking and the game was a back and forth thriller. Whew, the heart rate is just starting to come down.

We sure have plenty of options to choose from for The Key Play this week — the go-ahead touchdown drive alone towards the end of the fourth quarter had a handful of huge moments. You could make a case for Connor Lytton’s 49 yard field goal in the first half, or even Missouri’s ridiculous 56 yarder as regulation expired if you really wanted to go crazy (it certainly would have been if BC had lost).

But no, when it comes right down to it, you’ve only got two serious contenders this week. Brandon Sebastian’s interception to seal the win was a thing of beauty, but the go-ahead score was so well-executed that it needs a full breakdown.

Boston College 34, Missouri 34 — Overtime (clock N/A)
2nd & Goal from the Missouri 10

Dennis Grosel pass complete to Zay Flowers for 10 yards — TOUCHDOWN

Where to begin to give props? Looking back at the play, this is just everyone doing their job, and the result is what ends up looking like an easy score.

Let’s start with the O-Line, who had a superb game all-around but played especially well on this particular snap.

The O-Line just blows Missouri the F up off the line.

First off, love the play design — this is where it becomes very obvious that there are smarter people than me drawing up football plays. The all-right burst of the snap gets everyone thinking the play’s running in that direction and the running back Levy moves to take a handoff over there as well, despite the action being designed to go to the left. But second off, with how much the OL bossed the Missouri front all day, and with how much the Eagles had established the run over 60-plus minutes, it’s like the whole game set this play up.

You love the space Grosel’s got here, thanks to the OL taking control of of the play right off the snap. But what also ends up developing is that everyone going right leaves two Mizzou defenders on the left thinking they’re going to have nothing to do on the play, and well, with that mindset, they sure won’t.

That leaves Flowers coming across the field tailed only by his DB, plus the safety in the middle of the field.

Let’s give a major shout to tight end Joey Luchetti on this play, too, who blocked the Mizzou edge rusher #9 Isaiah McGuire just long enough for Grosel to let the play progress. Luchetti pulled from the right side to block the left with the play going the opposite direction, and did his job just well enough to not have to hold the defender.

Now that the OL (and TE!) have done their jobs to allow the play to develop fully, it’s the skill players’ time to shine. The announcers mentioned it briefly on the broadcast, but Flowers really does use the referee as a little pick. It doesn’t do anything on the safety, but it does mean the DB can’t take the angle he wants, and every little bit is key there because the safety ends up not even being able to make an attempt at defending the ball:

Woof. The poor guy looks like he’s running like a lineman, but it’s because he’s giving up on the play. Why is he giving up on the play? Because Grosel drops an absolute rainbow over his head to hit Flowers totally in stride.

This really is one of Grosel’s best passes of the season, and this kind of play is one of his strengths. He might not have the deep ball cannon that Jurkovec has, but his touch on short- and medium-range passes is quite good and can win some football games (and in fact it just did!). This ends up being one of Flowers’ easiest catches. I’m sure he’d like to have a few more of these the rest of the year.

There was a lot to like in this game from the offense, in particular on the ground, and it all led to the execution of this play. Brandon Sebastian went up and wrestled the win out of Missouri’s hands on the next and final snap, but it was this touchdown that put the Eagles on top for the victory.