Steve Addazio has a plan and he’s sticking to it. In a lopsided victory against the Maine Black Bears, Boston College out rushed their opponents 413 to 16. Tyler Murphy and Jon Hilliman each had 2 rushing touchdowns, and the game ended with a 40 to 10 Boston College victory. The Eagles are now 3-1, and have an opportunity to make this a special season.
BC started the game quite slowly, with a few embarrassing drives that included a 3 and out and an interception thrown by Tyler Murphy. The Eagles couldn’t even get themselves on the scoreboard until the 4:35 mark of the 1st quarter, when they converted a 40-yard field goal. Finally at the 3:17 mark of the 1st, Tyler Murphy took a run 71 yards for a touchdown and the Eagles never looked back.
Murphy ended the day with 99 total rush yards, and tacked on another rushing touchdown early in the 4th quarter. Jon Hilliman, who also had two rushing touchdowns, added 98 yards on the ground. Sherman Alston added 57, and Myles Willis had 48. The leading rusher on the day though was freshman running back Marcus Outlaw. Outlaw, who played with the backups in the majority of the 4th quarter, took advantage of his playing time and rushed for 107 yards on only 14 carries.
The dominance of the Eagles’ run game has them sitting third overall for rush yards per game. Perennial championship contenders always have a fantastic run game, and if the Eagles can continue their supremacy on the ground, they’ll set themselves up for some more big wins.
The defense once again played a spectacular game. Maine rushed for 16 yards for the entirety of the game, and only totaled 123 passing. If Boston College continues to hold teams to these ridiculously low totals, it will be very hard for other teams to win games against the Eagles. Senior linebacker Josh Keyes once again played a phenomenal game, and he is proving to be a dominant linebacker in the ACC.
Boston College currently ranks 18th in the country against the run, a stat that is skewed by the terrible performance on defense against Pittsburgh. If that one outlier of a game can remain an outlier, the Eagles will be poised for more success.
A developing storyline for the season has been the throwing abilities of QB Tyler Murphy. The Eagles have been committed almost entirely to the run, but their pass game isn’t necessarily there if they need it to be. BC ranks 119th out of 125 teams in the pass game, and Tyler Murphy has missed a number of his passes when the Eagles do throw the ball. In 4 games, Boston College has only 3 passing touchdowns.
All in all, Tyler Murphy has been a great QB for the Eagles in their three victories, and his QBR for last game was 90 (it’s on a 100 point scale, and the average is 50). If he needs to turn to the passing game to win games though it may be a problem. This is something that will need to be seen down the line though, because for now the run is working.
Maine is quite frankly not a team that BC should have had any trouble with. The Eagles did what they needed to do, and for now their concern is with Colorado State next Saturday afternoon. BC is getting closer to the heart of their ACC schedule though, where there are some big time games to be played. If Boston College can continue to play how they’ve been playing though, we could be in for a treat.
Photos courtesy of Winslow Townson, USA Today Sports