Following a disappointing loss to ACC opponent Duke, BC football took another harsh blow in their 3-0 Homecoming loss to Wake Forest. An intense final minute push proved to be too late as the Eagles simply did not have enough time to finish their attempted comeback.
In what Steve Addazio called a “crying shame,” BC failed to finish on their three scoring opportunities, two of which were missed field goals.
The Eagles are now a dismal 3-3 overall, and 0-3 against ACC opponents.
The game had a promising start with Freshman Michael Walker returning the opening kick for 41 yards. It wasn't long before fans were reminded of the reality that is BC Football’s offense -- three straight false starts on the opening drive were just the beginning.
Both teams struggled to generate any offense in the first half of the game. BC again proved why it has one of the top defenses in the country, holding Wake to 124 yards and five first downs, but the Demon Deacons definitely held their own against a rather dissipated Eagles offense.
“Defensively, were playing great, relentless. They’re playing really good football right now; it’s a shame that were so depleted offensively right now,” said Coach Steve Addazio.
A team that in the past two games hasn’t allowed a touchdown, yet also has scored only one touchdown, is going to falter somewhere. What good is the best defense in the country if the offense fails to produce?
Wake Forest saw a weak and inexperienced offense and exploited the holes in BC's team; they took advantage of the mistakes the Eagles made, further magnifying the consistent problems with this squad.
As for the battle for the number one quarterback, Jeff Smith and Troy Flutie took the field at various times throughout the game. Flutie was awarded the start, but Smith played a greater amount. Neither QB performed too well: Smith was 4-12 with 56 passing yards and Flutie went 2-8 with 18 yards.
Both quarterbacks had their success, but they also had their setbacks. Smith’s unexpected 28-yard pass to Charlie Callinan was integral in BC’s first quarter scoring opportunity. That drive set up the 31-yard field goal attempt by freshman Colton Lichtenberg that ricocheted off the right goal post.
However, that was followed up in the second quarter by an interception, which then led to Connor Strachan intercepting Wake’s John Wolford on the following play, ultimately resulting in Smith recovering his own fumble for a loss of 12, and one of Howell’s eight punts of the day.
It seemed throughout the entire game that the majority of play took place in the center of the field. Both teams struggled to make it to the red zone, and if they did, they did not capitalize.
A promising drive in the third, much thanks to numerous penalties called against Wake, led BC to their second field goal attempt. Lichtenberg whiffed his second attempt wide left (31 yards) and BC remained in a three-point deficit.
Flutie was put in with 1:09 left in the game, but with the ball on the five and a QB sneak coming, Flutie fumbled. The promising drive was ended when Wake recoverd the ball on the 4-yard line.
One of the most exciting final minutes of a 3-0 game, a Wake fumble with 56 seconds remaining, gave BC a second chance for redemption. A glorious run by Smith put BC on the 1-yard line with 29 seconds left. The Eagles went for the win, and boy did they crash and burn.
Everyone thought that BC had the game in the palm of its hand following Wake’s final fumble. Even Addazio believed their fate was sealed: “You want the truth? I thought on the last play we ran that we were gonna score a touchdown right there and win the game.”
Those final seconds could be described in one simple word: messy. Tyler Rouse attempted to push his way through to the end zone and was held down as the clock ticked down. BC could do nothing but watch as there were no remaining time outs. There was simply not enough time -- Smith’s spike attempts proved too little too late as the clock struck zero.
“We had to take a shot at the goal line, given the history with field goals we just had to do that,” said a very emotionally charged Addazio, “Run the play, kill the clock, and if we don’t get in, [have Mike Knoll] kick the field goal.” However, time was not on their side. “We were half a tick too late, we just couldn’t get it up quick enough,” Addazio added.
In a game with six false starts, 270 total yards, one interception, four fumbles and four failed scoring chances for BC, all mistakes were magnified. “We’re struggling offensively to move the football, in any consistent fashion at all,” said Addazio. “It’s where we are, I’m not happy about that, we’d like to move forward.”
The offensive struggle is one of the biggest talking points of Boston College football right now. Many are worried about the defensive dominance that is being completely disregarded due to an offensive lack of production.
When asked about the issue, Addazio simply shared his priorities. “It’s all about, you know, faithfulness and loyalty and grinding, sticking together through tough times, right? That’s more important to me than any football. Fundamentally, that’s the core of what our program and what our university is built on. It certainly isn’t to give in when things don’t go exactly the way it should be going, you fight harder.”
This team isn’t simply going to roll over and sit out the rest of the season because of the valley it’s currently in. Life is full of peaks and valleys; Addazio made it clear that BC football is going to push up that mountain. “You keep going, you keep grinding. What else are you gonna do? It’s football man, go play.”
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