On a misty Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium, Boston College Football (3-2, 0-2), did justice to Parents’ Weekend in a 35-3 win over the University of Buffalo.
“We are where we are, and we're improving. You see the formation that’s going to be a really good group of guys... we’re going to grow and we’re looking forward to it,” relayed Addazio in a post-game press conference.
The setting leading up to Saturday’s game melded perfectly for the Eagles: a home turf advantage, a non-conference opportunity, an opponent whose stats lined up almost identically, and a rainy forecast favoring BC’s rush-heavy style of play. Saturday’s game was going to be won by a team capable of building from the ground up, or so it seemed.
Despite a win last weekend in the home-opener against Wagner, BC still had a lot to prove on the field today with the devastating 49-0 loss to Virginia Tech hanging overhead from just two weeks ago.
Between the slippery football and BC quarterback Patrick Towles missing the mark, the majority of the first quarter featured starts and spurts for the Eags. Adding to their troubles, and perhaps causing confusion for fans in Alumni, fireball head coach Steve Addazio chanced the traditional style of BC’s play by opting to throw the ball more than they ran it.
“We really wanted to throw the ball today even with the conditions,” Addazio stated.
Addazio’s recipe came to fruition for BC when Towles connected for 44-yards to Chris Garrison, setting the Eags up for the game’s first red zone moment with 2:09 remaining in the opening quarter. Two plays later, a hand-off from Towles preceded Davon Jones riding a spin move into the end zone, putting BC up 7-0 heading into the second.
Getting on the board first was a crucial momentum builder for the Eagles, who had not scored first all season prior to Saturday. On the Eagles next possession, the 6’5, 250 pound Towles demonstrated his powerful running ability and ultimately delivered a low, 7-yard bullet to Charlie Callinan in the end zone at 9:25 in the second. That score came on a 3rd and 8 situation and followed a Towles scramble as well. Nine minutes later, Towles bought time again in the pocket before lofting the ball to the back of the end zone where Michael Walker cradled it for a 21-3 BC lead at halftime.
Play would remain scoreless until the fourth quarter when a 44-yard pass from Towles to Jeff Smith set up a one yard touchdown run by John Hilliman to go up 28-3. The maroon and gold would then secure the win in the final minute as Richard Wilson took it home on a three yard run, ending the game at 35-3.
The Eagles’ #10 ranked defense limited the Bulls to a mere 67 yards all game for just 16 minutes of possession compared to BC’s 400 yard performance for 43 total possession minutes. BC also converted on all of their red zone opportunities, all five of which were touchdowns, while Buffalo only converted on a field goal attempt at the end of the second. Towles threw for the most passing yards all season at 258.
Today’s game was a must-win for BC for any hope of a bowl game and in preparation for next week’s matchup against Clemson. Despite Towles’ ability to scramble out of the pocket, it was overshadowed by the number of incompletions throughout the game. Steve Addazio better hope that Towles gets a sturdier handle on the football for next week’s game under the Friday night lights or the Eags will be ruled out against the No.5 Tigers.
“We’re getting there, and we’re going to face a buzzsaw this weekend, and we’re going to need to play our best. Point end.”