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Defensive Battle Favors the Seminoles

Continuous heartfelt defensive stands kept Boston College in the game for over three quarters.  Yet BC’s anemic offense was so dysfunctional that the closest scoring play was a missed safety in the second quarter…by the defense.  To top it all off, BC lost its starting QB, Darius Wade, for the season thanks to a late game ankle injury.

orl-fsu-bc-2015-13-20150918Florida State scored on its opening drive thanks to an Everett Golson touchdown pass, but couldn’t make any progress against a stalwart Eagle defense after that.  The feared Dalvin Cook was held to only 54 rush yards.  Golson threw for only 119.  The ninth ranked Seminoles, who have had a formidable offense for years, totaled only 219 yards.

The Eagle defense proved on a national stage, against a top tier opponent, that they were the real deal.  They just might be one of the best units in the nation.  However, the offense looked like it might be one of the worst. The Eagles totaled only 195 yards, and were never once in scoring position.  Darius Wade completed only four of twelve passes; John Hilliman rushed eight times for seven total yards, and fumbled a ball to essentially close out the game.

With 12:20 to go in the final quarter, the Eagles were still holding onto hope for another Red Bandana Game miracle.  It was 7-0, as it had been essentially the entire game, and BC had the ball almost at midfield, a rare sight.   Addazio called for yet another run up the gut, and Hilliman got the ball on a draw play.  After being initially stuffed at the line, Florida State defenders swarmed, and Hilliman lost his hold on the ball.  FSU’s Jalen Ramsey picked it up, and took it 38 yards for a touchdown.

orl-fsu-bc-2015-22-20150918The inability for the Eagles to move the ball made the 14-point lead essentially insurmountable, but the BC offense still had to attempt to make something happen.  However when they came back out, the same mess from the first 50 minutes returned, and QB Darius Wade ended up breaking his ankle on a play where he was sacked.   The sophomore signal caller will miss the remainder of the season.

The offensive situation going forward could not be more of a liability.  The backup QB’s are freshman Jeff Smith and sophomore Troy Flutie.  Smith will probably be the starter next week against Northern Illinois, but he is primarily a running quarterback like Tyler Murphy, which would take the pass dimension out of the Steve Addazio offense yet again.

Additionally, the young offensive line that dominated the mighty Bison of Howard looked absolutely abysmal last night.  Florida State dominated the trenches every single BC snap, and the running back corps had almost no holes to even attempt to run through.  This kind of play will be the nail in the coffin for the offense if it doesn’t improve.

orl-fsu-bc-2015-28-20150918The play calling by Addazio might have been worse than any of the player performances though.  For some reason the head coach seems to have memory lapses in which he thinks running the ball up the middle with a severely overmatched offensive line is the solution.  For BC to have any success in the ACC this season Addazio needs to hit the drawing board again and figure out how to make something happen with the offense.

Realistically, BC isn’t in much trouble yet.  The Eagles need to win five of their remaining nine games to make a bowl game.  FSU was arguably the toughest opponent on BC’s schedule- but Clemson and Notre Dame still loom.  The Eagle defense looked phenomenal for the majority of the game though, and will be able to keep BC in games that would otherwise be blowout losses.

If the offense improves with one of the new QB’s, the Eagles can still have a successful season.  There is a lot of work to be done though, and last night’s offensive performance leaves absolutely nothing to be hopeful about.

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