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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 not aWake

Athletics Director Martin Jarmond greets members of the football team in the pre-game Eagle Walk. Best part of the day.

The statistics from today’s BC home opener against Wake Forest were not very different between the teams . . . except for one prominent and ugly variance — turnovers. The Eagles committed 4 while the Demon deacons had none and that divergence was a major reason for BC’s 34-10 loss.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown accounted for 3 of the 4 turnovers, 2 of his 3 interceptions either immediately or penultimately leading to Wake Forest touchdowns. One was particularly damaging. With Wake ahead 14-7 and less than 2 minutes left in the first half, Brown threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Instead of the possibility of tying the score or cutting it to 14-10, the Eagles went into halftime down 21-7.

Brown, who had shown promise in the opening victory over Northern Illinois, had a much more difficult time against this ACC opponent. Today, he was 11-of-29 for 119 yards, passing for one touchdown and with the aforementioned 3 interceptions. Darius Wade, the senior who lost the starting position to Brown pre-season, replaced Brown with 4:23 left in the 3rd period. Wade finished the game 7-of-12 for 44 yards.

Colton Lichtenburg continued his unblemished field goal performance for the season, with a 30-yard kick in the 3rd to make the score 21-10 in favor of Wake.

The teams were separated by only 4 yards in total offense, 309 to 305 in Wake’s favor. BC gained more yards passing, 163-151, but were short in rushing, 142-158. The Eagles had 19 1st downs to 15 for Wake. The Eagles had 82 offensive plays, 10 fewer than in the opener, but were as mediocre in terms of efficiency, gaining 3.7 yards per play.

Some of the San Diego Eagles at the Wake Forest gamewatch.

Next up, Notre Dame. An early game, 9 am PT.  UPDATE: ACC switches BC-ND kickoff to 12:30 pm PT. Remember, at Striders, fans in BC garb get a 20 percent discount off food and drink. And we will have BC swag to give away to lucky fans. Come on, it’s Notre Dame!