A night for fireworks . . . and red bandanas

Last night, Florida State held BC to under 40 points for the first time in its last three games . . . and lost by 32. The improbable Eagles soundly beat the Seminoles, 35-3, for the first time since 2009. BC won its 3rd consecutive conference game, something it had not done since 2013. It was a night meant for fireworks.

Eagles fans, mostly students, stormed the field following the victory. While the win should not be considered among the biggest in BC history, this was the first time most students currently at BC had seen the Eagles beat any ACC team at home (there was a win, but during Thanksgiving break). A little slack on the perhaps excessive celebration is warranted.

BC moved above .500 for the season at 5-4 and reached 3-3 in conference play. The only winning record previously this season was at 1-0 after the opener.

The Eagles’ offense was more efficient than abundant, being provided short fields for some of their scores. Overall, BC had 76 plays for 329 yards, 241 of them gained on the ground. Freshman running back A.J. Dillon added 149 yards on 33 carries to bring his team-leading season total to 843 yards. Quarterback Anthony Brown was only 6-20 passing for 54 yards, but both passed and ran for a touchdown. WR, and former quarterback, Jeff Smith was 1-1 passing, with a scintillating 34-yard touchdown pass to Kobay White.

BC’s defense held Florida State to 213 yards total offense, only 64 yards rushing. The Eagles had 20 more offensive plays than FSU and possessed the ball for 10 minutes, 30 seconds, longer than the Seminoles. Florida State lost 2 fumbles, had a pass intercepted, and incurred 7 penalties for 71 yards. The Eagles had no fumbles, no interceptions, and 1 penalty for 10 yards.

Maybe it was the spirit of Welles Crowther infusing the evening that was the difference-maker. Last night was the annual “Red Bandana” game, honoring the life of the 1999 BC grad who — wearing the red bandana he carried with him and had worn throughout his athletic life, including as a lacrosse player at BC — was credited with saving several lives in the World Trade Center during the attacks of September 11, 2001, perishing in the effort. Below is an ESPN feature about the story.

BC players and fans also wore red bandanas in tribute to Crowther. At the San Diego gamewatch, we joined in.

Thanks to Wendy Fai Roos ’85 for supplying our red bandanas!

One major story of the college football season so far is the decline of Florida State. Picked #3 pre-season, the Seminoles lost their opener — to Alabama, 24-7 — and their starting quarterback. Since then, Florida State has beaten only Duke and Wake Forest, falling to 2-5 for the first time under coach Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles need to win out, including a victory over Clemson, to become bowl-eligible, putting a 35-year bowl streak in jeopardy. It was a BC victory to treasure, but it was also a win over what seems a “wounded” team.


Bye week coming up. Next game is November 11, against N.C. State in Alumni Stadium, time to be announced.

Another ACC win!

Kobay White

BC should play Virginia more often.

The Eagles have met UVa only 4 times since joining the ACC Conference and 6 times overall. BC has been the victor each time, including yesterday’s 41-10 romp over the previously 5-1 Cavaliers in Charlottesville.

Two 76-yard touchdowns — a run by junior wide receiver Thadd Smith and a pass reception (but mostly run) by redshirt freshman wide receiver Kobay White — followed a 30-yard field goal from Colton Lichtenberg to propel BC to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. The Eagles gained 256 yards in that quarter alone, holding Virginia to 52 yards offense.

BC and Virginia traded touchdowns in the second quarter, and the Eagles led, 24-7, at halftime, accumulating 331 yards offense. BC added 10 more points in the third quarter and, following a Virginia field goal in the fourth quarter, topped off the scoring with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown by redshirt freshman linebacker John Lamot.

For the game, BC more than doubled UVa in offense, 512 yards to 247. It was the fewest yards allowed by BC to any team this season. Quarterback Anthony Brown was 19-24 for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Running back A.J. Dillon, star of the Louisville game, led the Eagles in rushing with 89 yards on 24 carries. Tight end Tommy Sweeney had 2 wide-open receptions in the end zone.

BC evened its record to 4-4, improving to 2-3 in the ACC. Here, again, are highlights of Saturday’s win.

Next up is Florida State. Once considered a national contender, the Seminoles are tied with BC at 2-3 in the ACC. Game is on Friday, 5 pm kickoff.


Who _were_ those guys?

Freshman running back A.J. Dillon. Photo by Ben Solomon.

Boston College, against Louisville today, rushed for 364 yards, including 272 yards by freshman running back A.J. Dillon. The Eagles gained 555 yards in total offense. They lined up for a field goal with only 3 seconds on the clock to win. And they won, 45-42. Pretty typical for BC, right? Ho hum.

The transformation of the Eagles into an offensive powerhouse against a strong national and conference opponent was reminiscent of the 37-31 BC win over USC in 2014. It wasn’t as dominant today, but it was equally surprising.

Louisville entered the game 4-2 and a 22 1/2 point favorite, but with a porous defense. The Cardinals took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards for a touchdown in the first 3:22 of the game. They added another touchdown later in the quarter, but BC scored to end the quarter down 14-7. Louisville gained 173 yards in the quarter, compared to 99 for the Eagles. Each team scored a touchdown in the 2nd quarter to make the halftime score Louisville 21, BC 14. The Cardinals expanded their offensive edge, ending the half with 323 yards to BC’s 194 yards.

Then came one of the most one-sided quarters in BC history. The Eagles dominated the Cardinals by every measure. Twelve first downs to 1 for Louisville. Total offense of 192 yards (111 on the ground) to 23. Nearly 12 minutes possession to just over 3 minutes. And 2 touchdowns to lead Louisville 28-21. Quarterback Darius Wade, who replaced an injured Anthony Brown, was 6-of-6 passing during the quarter.

The Eagles even added another touchdown at the beginning of the 4th quarter to go up 35-21. But this is Louisville, led by 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Less than 2 minutes into the quarter, Jackson threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to bring the Cardinals within 7. On BC’s next possession, on its 25, Dillon made the best run of the season (maybe several seasons) for BC. Seemingly stopped twice by Louisville, Dillon threw down a defender and ran 75 yards for the touchdown to put the Eagles again ahead by 14, 42-28.

Jackson went back to work for Louisville. He ran for 9- and 41-yard touchdowns to tie the game, 42-42. After forcing the Eagles to punt, the Cardinals moved 33 yards in 3 plays but fumbled, BC recovering and returning it to the Louisville 39. Seven straight runs by Dillon brought the ball to the Louisville 10, where Colton Lichtenburg, who had missed a longer field goal earlier, nailed the 27-yard game winner.

The win was BC’s 3rd ACC win in three seasons.

Dillon was a beast. He ended the game with 39 carries for 272 yards, scoring 4 touchdowns. He did not lose a yard.

The Eagles, who had ranked near the bottom nationally in offensive efficiency, finished with 87 plays for 555 yards, most offense in 9 years.  It was not a stellar day for the BC defense, as Louisville gained 625 yards, 70 yards more than the Eagles, on 12 fewer plays than BC. Not a defensive struggle, but a very enjoyable game to watch and a victory to savor.

For the first time in a while, there are highlights to enjoy.

(I didn’t file a report on the Virginia Tech game that took place last Saturday. I was at the game and just was not able to update the blog. That game, a 23-10 loss, was completely different from today’s. BC looked flat, the stands were nearly empty by the middle of the 4th quarter. I will have video from the game and the football scene, as well as other BC sights, up sometime this week.)

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