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Junior wide receiver and punt returner Michael Walker

Boston College played a second member of the Mid-American Conference and gained a second victory today, defeating Central Michigan University, 28-8, on Parents Weekend in Chestnut Hill.

While not scoring a touchdown himself, junior Michael Walker set 3 of them up with punt returns, including a career-long 61-yard return that led to BC’s first touchdown. Walker overall gained 128 yards on 4 punt returns. Junior running back Jon Hilliman scored 3 touchdowns, 2 on the ground and 1 on a pass reception.

Freshman running back A.J. Dillon gained 120 yards on 25 carries, scoring 1 touchdown. The Eagles in total gained 224 yards on the ground and 85 yards through the air, on 14-21 passing by quarterback Anthony Brown.

The Chippewas were particularly ineffective in the first quarter, gaining only 26 yards total, with nearly all of those wiped out by 20 yards in penalties. They did score first, however, tackling Hilliman in the endzone for a safety on BC’s second series. With Walker giving the Eagles short fields, BC led the game 21-8 at halftime, but CMU had picked up its offense, leading the Eagles in yards gained, 137-133.

Statistically, the game remained close to the end, with BC finishing with 74 plays for 309 yards and Central Michigan 76 plays for 296 yards.

Eagles moved up to 2-3 for the season overall. They play Virginia Tech Saturday at home.


4th quarter fade

San Diego’s own Ray Smith, defensive tackle, from Cathedral Catholic HS. John Quackenbos photo.

Hard to know which team’s fans were more surprised when BC and Clemson entered the 4th quarter tied 7-7 in yesterday’s game in “Death Valley.” Easier to guess whose fans were more worried, as #2 Clemson faced the possibility, at least, of their first defeat of the season, and to a 34-point underdog, in front of 80,525 on Family Weekend.

Both Clemson and BC, however, returned to form as the 4th quarter moved along. The Tigers blanked the Eagles over the last 15 minutes and added 27 points, scoring touchdowns on 4 consecutive possessions. Final score: Clemson 34, BC 7.

In that final quarter, Clemson had 11 first downs to BC’s 2, 164 yards rushing compared to BC’s 18 yards, and 49 yards passing to BC’s 19 yards. The Tigers ran 27 plays for 213 yards (7.9 yards per play) in the quarter, while the Eagles had the ball for 13 plays, gaining 37 yards (2.8 yards per play).

If the first three quarters were nearly a standoff, at least on the scoreboard, the 4th quarter was the rout anticipated by many. Over the whole game, Clemson ran 84 plays for 482 yards, 342 of them on the ground. BC had 66 plays for 238 yards, 141 through the air.

BC quarterback Anthony Brown was 14-30 with 1 interception. Leading rusher for the Eagles was A.J. Dillon, who gained 57 yards on 18 carries and scored BC’s touchdown on a 1-yard run. BC falls to 1-3, 0-2 in the ACC. Game next Saturday at home against Central Michigan.



BC photo by John Quackenbos

A couple of stats for the Eagles Saturday against Notre Dame looked good. They out-gained the Irish in passing 215-96, ran more plays 85-78, and gained more 1st downs 22-19. Notre Dame’s better stats, though, were greater both in number and in scale, culminating in a 49-20 runaway win over BC.

The Irish rushed for 515 yards, falling 1 yard short of the most ever allowed by the Eagles (Army 2012) and tying the same total allowed to Army in 1985. (The Army teams have had a history of marching through Eagle defenses over the years.) Total offense for ND was 611 yards.

BC had allowed 322 yards rushing in its first 2 games. The Irish ran for only 25 yards less than that total in the second half. Notre Dame ran for at least 35 yards 6 times, 3 of them for 60+ yards. In its first 2 games, the Eagles had allowed only one run longer than 29 yards.

“Our bell cow was defense,” BC coach Steve Addazio said in the Boston Globe. “And we don’t give up rushing yards like that. . . . We don’t do that, but we did.”

The game was actually competitive, score-wise, into the middle of the 3rd quarter. BC scored first on a 38-yard field goal by Colton Lichtenberg in the 1st quarter, who had another successful field goal from 41 yards in the 3rd quarter and who has not missed a field goal or point-after yet this season. Notre Dame scored 2 touchdowns in the first half, and the Eagles scored a touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Anthony Brown to WR Charlie Callinan. The teams went into halftime with ND up 14-10.

RB Jon Hilliman. BC photo by John Quackenbos.

Lichtenberg’s 2nd field goal brought the score to a 1-point margin, 14-13. On 5 of their next 7 possessions, the Irish scored touchdowns. The only other BC score during the 2nd half was a 14-yard TD pass again from Brown to Callinan. It was a career high 7 receptions by Callinan for 2 touchdowns on the day.

Junior RB Jon Hilliman gained 122 yards on 22 carries, his 6th career 100-yard game. Freshman A.J. Dillon added another 60 rushing yards on 16 carries. QB Brown was 22-40 for 2 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions.

The Eagles fall to 1-2 and return to conference play Saturday against, ahem, #2 Clemson, which took care of Louisville at Louisville, 47-21, yesterday. Kickoff is again at 12:30 pm PT.