It’s becoming expected. BC and the dominating defense hang around all game, put up major stop after major stop, and then implode. Yesterday’s game in Durham proved no different, as the Eagles fell 9-7 to the Duke Blue Devils.
The game started out with a back and forth of stalled drive and traded punts, until Duke was able to hit a 36-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. After another BC punt, Duke found themselves with another offensive burst against the stalwart Eagle defense, and took a 6-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
On the ensuing drive, the Eagles met two new foes: the referees, and their own special teams. QB Jeff Smith (one of the two who played for BC yesterday) tossed a ball into the end zone on a third and twelve, and it appeared that the Eagles own Thadd Smith hauled the ball in on a tough catch to score the first BC points for the day.
The Eagles would’ve been able to take the lead (pending the extra point), but the referees ended up ruling the play an incomplete pass after some deliberation. The call was upheld after further review, and Steve Addazio was livid with the call. BC was facing a fourth and twelve, or a 42-yard field goal attempt.
In classic Eagle kicking unit fashion, BC did not convert. Holder Bobby Swigert could not round up an iffy snap, and the Eagles did not even get the kick off. The Blue Devils got the ball, advanced it a little bit, and banged through a 53-yard field goal. BC went into the locker room down 9-0.
In the first half the BC offense was, put simply, terrible. The QB tandem of Flutie and Smith combined for a whopping ZERO completions. With Hilliman and Willis out, the load of the carries for the backs was split between Rouse and Outlow, neither of whom impressed. The second half saw some slight improvement, but this offense continues to be the cause of a majority of BC’s issues.
After a muffed punt by Sherman Alston that was ultimately forgiven by a monstrous (yet again) defensive stand by the Eagle’s D, BC was still only down nine with the third quarter winding to a close. Then Flutie hit receiver Thadd Smith for a 66-yard touchdown pass at the very end of the third quarter.
With a two-point deficit and Flutie looking to find some rhythm, hope was high for Eagles everywhere. But alas, lackluster offensive play on the next drive left BC with very little time left to make a move. Eventually in the fourth quarter though BC pieced together a 49-yard drive that ended in a field goal attempt from freshman kicker Colton Lichtenburg. Again, as is tradition, he missed the 45 yard would-be game winner.
BC fizzled out to end the game, and lost 9-7. Now 0-2 in ACC play, BC will have to really step up in the remaining conference games. Next weeks home contest against Wake Forest is a great opportunity to do that.
The Eagle defense continues to be one of the premier units in the nation, and it keeps BC in every single game. However, they don’t produce many turnovers, which leaves the offense with a lot of work. The young offense continues to not step up to the challenge.
Wade, Hilliman, and Willis are all good players that BC was counting on to own the offense this year, and their health issues have made the struggling unit even weaker. There is a lot of inexperience, and it shows. However, the offense often looks truly terrible, and that blame needs to fall on the shoulders of Coach Addazio, who continues to make questionable play calls.
The Eagles season is not a wash quite yet, as there are certainly four winnable games left on the schedule (Wake, NC State, VT, and Syracuse), and wins there would put BC in a bowl.
The defense is capable of hanging with any offense in the country, so the future of the season rests on the development of the offense under the new QB’s. The Heights will be waiting eagerly to see how the unit looks next week.