BC’s excellent defense scored one touchdown, a blocked punt return, and gave the offense the ball at the Louisville six-yard-line, which permitted another touchdown. But the BC’s offense could do little else, and Louisville won 17-14.
Elijah Robinson returns blocked punt for BC touchdown
The Eagles had four first downs, gained 83 yards total offense, and were 1 of 13 on third-down plays. Louisville gained 370 yards, had 21 more offensive plays, and had possession of the ball for nearly 12 minutes more than BC. The Eagles forced two Cardinal fumbles and intercepted two passes, which may have held Louisville’s scoring down.
Starting quarterback Jeff Smith was injured on BC’s offensive touchdown and was replaced by Troy Flutie for the remainder of the game. Smith’s ability to play Saturday against Virginia Tech is not certain.
Next up, on Halloween, Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 3-5, having lost to Duke, 45-43, in four overtimes yesterday.
Sometimes games end as Michigan-Michigan State did Saturday, with something happening that no one could have foreseen. And other games go pretty much as expected. The BC-Clemson game last night was the latter.
The Tigers, ranked #5 nationally, thumped the Eagles 34-17, with BC’s final touchdown coming with 1:29 left in the game. The Eagles still struggled on offense, gaining 246 yards, including 159 rushing. Quarterback Jeff Smith, selected to be the single BC quarterback, was 7 of 22 passing, for 87 yards and one touchdown. That touchdown, following a BC interception, improbably gave the Eagles the lead 7-0 in the middle of the first quarter.
Clemson was a much bigger challenge for BC’s defense than it had faced in performing well all season to that point, indeed being ranked the nation’s #1 defense statistically. The Tigers had 78 plays, 17 more than BC, and gained 532 yards, 420 through the air. It was a pleasant Homecoming game for Clemson fans.
BC is now 3-4 overall and 0-4 in ACC play. The Eagles have five games remaining and would have to win four of them to become bowl eligible. (Only one of BC’s two wins over FCS schools, Maine and Howard, can count for bowl status.)
That was how CBS Sports described the end of yesterday’s BC-Wake Forest game. The last two minutes of the Eagles’ 3-0 loss to the Demon Deacons were terribly exciting, but ultimately disappointing.
With 2:12 remaining in the game, BC had the ball at the Wake Forest 49. The Eagles, in one of their few offensive “drives” of the game, moved to the Wake Forest 8 before QB Troy Flutie fumbled and Wake recovered at its 4-yard line, with 1:09 remaining. On 3d-and-3, Wake fumbled and BC recovered at the 11-yard line, with 56 seconds left and no time-outs left for BC.
Two rushing plays brought the Eagles to the 1-yard line, 1st-and-goal, with 29 seconds left. Tyler Rouse ran the ball for no gain, and the clock ran out before the Eagles could make another play.
“In my wildest dreams,” said BC Coach Steve Addazio, “I didn’t see 20-some-odd seconds draining off the clock like that.”
“In the last two minutes,” said Wake Forest Coach Dave Clawson, “both teams did everything they could to give the other team the game. They made one more mistake than us.”
BC’s defense continued to be outstanding, without reward.
While the final score reflects a defensive game, BC’s defense continued to be outstanding. Wake Forest could make only 5 first downs and gain 142 yards total offense, 33 yards rushing. BC gained 270 yards overall, 196 on the ground. Flutie and fellow QB Jeff Smith combined for 6-of-20 passing, one interception, for 74 yards. The Eagles had 74 plays in the game, 21 more than Wake, but could not score. BC’s freshman kicker Colton Lichtenberg missed field goals from 31 and 26 yards in the 1st and 3rd quarters.
The only score of the game came in the 3rd quarter when BC fumbled deep in its territory, giving the ball to Wake on the 5-yard line. BC’s defense moved Wake back to the 7, from which the Deacons kicked a field goal.
Next Saturday is Homecoming at undefeated Clemson, and the Tigers’ opponent will be Boston College. Primetime appearance, kickoff at 4 pm PT.