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INSTANT REACTION: QB Still Unsettled, But BC Tops NIU, 17-14

A win is a win

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Other than the win, the one thing most BC fans were hoping to see was some clarity in the QB race. There wasn't quite a clear answer to the question, but the Eagles were able to pull out an important win over a quality Northern Illinois team.

Troy Flutie got the start and the BC offense promptly went nowhere. The Eagles went 3-and-out on the first two drives of the game before Jeff Smith saw his first action, breaking off a 20 yard run on his first attempt. But a penalty on third down stalled the drive on the next set of downs.

From there, it was a punting competition between BC's Alex Howell and NIU's Jacob Ambrose, until Jon Hilliman started to plow his way down the field in the second quarter to set up a well executed play-action pass for a touchdown from Troy Flutie.

The BC defense once again came to play, and didn't allow an NIU first down until the second quarter. Unfortunately, as nice as Troy Flutie's touchdown pass was, he came out with a brutal throw right into the arms of NIU's Shawun Lurry on the very next drive. Lurry returned the pick 75 yards to the BC 4 and the Huskies were able to punch in the touchdown to tie the game.

After losing his shoe on a play in the third quarter, Troy Flutie left the field to be replaced by Jeff Smith, who really started to pick up the offense. With two potential runners to key in on, it dramatically opened up the BC running game, and Jon Hilliman found the endzone at the end of a very well done 12 play, 80 yard drive to put BC back in the lead.

Smith started the next drive and marched the BC offense down the field before giving way to Troy Flutie in the red zone. The Eagles couldn't reach pay dirt, but freshman kicker Colton Lichtenberg split the uprights to put the Eagles up by 2 scores at 17-7. With the BC defense putting on a show, that should have effectively put the game on ice with 4:40 to go.

Unfortunately, Aregeros Turner from NIU returned the following kickoff all the way to the house for a touchdown to bring the Huskies back to within 3 points.

BC went 3 and out on the next drive with Flutie under center, but the Eagles defense came through in a big way with a four down stop (of course they did) to finish the game and give BC the win.


  • Jon Hilliman really picked things up after a tough first two games, rumbling through the line for well over 100 yards and giving the BC offense some life, particularly before Troy Flutie's play action touchdown pass.
  • I have been #TeamSmith since Wade went down, but it is now clear to me that the offense functions better with the ball in his hands. The opposing defense can't lock in on the running back and as a result both the QB and RB were able to pick up a ton more yards.
  • Why did Addazio pull out Jeff Smith while in the red zone prior to BC's field goal to go up 17-7? He was moving the ball very, very well, and his legs would have been a nice weapon down there.
  • I am one of Addazio's biggest cheerleaders, but the first half clock management was a new level of bad. I understand that you're dealing with young guys under center, but instead of taking a timeout with 15 seconds left, they opted to spike the ball with 7 seconds left, pretty much eliminating any hope of using the timeout at all, and then they had to call timeout after spiking the ball anyway! So, inside handoff, punt, go into the locker room. Come on, man.
  • Obligatory shoutout to the BC defense, who basically had a shutout other than the 4 yard touchdown drive after the interception.

That kicks off your post-game coverage; we'll have much more for you over the next few games. It was an important win for the Eagles, and we'll take the 3-1 record and move forward.