The Boston College football team stopped a downward spiral yesterday in Raleigh, beating the NC State Wolfpack by the score of 21-14. The win was BC’s first ACC win since November of 2014, which halted a 12 game conference-losing streak. Of equal importance, it lifted the Eagles record to 4-4, which keeps their bowl hopes alive and well.
Patrick Towles proved his worth as a passer again, despite not throwing any touchdown passes in the game. He completed a lot of important third downs to keep drives alive, was hitting receivers in the hand, and looked poised in the pocket. A costly interception that gave the Wolfpack the ball in the red zone, and the eventual lead, looked like it might doom BC, but the eventual win will assure Towles that he will remain the starter for the foreseeable future.
The Eagles offense was fairly balanced throughout the day, with Towles throwing 33 times for 204 yards, Hilliman running it 20 times for 74 yards, Jeff Smith taking a 60 yard sweep for a touchdown, and with running back Davon Jones throwing the Eagles only touchdown pass on a trick play, where he hit tight end Tommy Sweeney to take the lead with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The BC defense started to show signs of dominance again; they suffocated the NC State run game, allowing a mere 31 yards on 23 carries. QB Ryan Finley did throw for 307 yards on 41 attempts, but a 79-yard broken play touchdown was the only real disruption done by the Wolfpack offense. The Eagles forced two incredibly timely interceptions in the second half, including one by Kam Moore in the end zone that sealed a victory for BC.
The win was a huge surprise for BC fans, as many expected the loss to Syracuse last week to lead to another season without an ACC win, another offseason with no bowl game, and the eventual firing of Steve Addazio. A lot of that changes now though.
The Eagles will likely be massive (MASSIVE) underdogs against Louisville and Florida State, which means that they will need to beat UConn and Wake Forest to finish the season at 6-6 and to make a bowl game. Both of those games are very winnable for the Eagles.
The BC football program was given a new breath of life with the win, and fans will likely be turning out with bowl hopes still alive on The Heights. That being said, I would still love to see Addazio gone come 2017. One win, or even sneaking into a low-end bowl game, can’t fix every mistake he has made with this program.