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.
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.)
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.