The Boston College Eagles delivered a resounding 30-0 victory against regional rival UConn Saturday afternoon. With 36,220 fans in attendance, the Eagles put on a worthwhile show, which included the jersey retirement of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
During his press conference Friday, Ryan spoke nostalgically of his time at BC.
“There are a lot of good times that I had here with teammates and friends. I met my wife here. That is probably the most important thing that happened during my five years here. When I come back, it’s great to see all of the progress this place has made,” Ryan said.
With the elite NFL quarterback in attendance, Towles put on his best “Matty Ice” impersonation. Towles finished 14 for 19 with 183 passing yards, including an especially impressive 75-yard drive resulting in a beautiful strike to Mike Walker late in the third quarter. In addition to leading the aerial assault, Towles put together numerous scrambles, lowering his shoulder and fighting for first downs. His accuracy and decision-making skills may not be consistent, but his passion and will are undeniable assets of his game. But Towles wasn’t the only Eagle taking snaps from behind the center.
Throughout the season, Addazio has experimented with the wildcat formation. Today, the Eagles frequently rolled out that package, substituting Jeff Smith for Towles. Smith brings a unique and raw athletic talent to the position. With 450 yards and 6 touchdowns, he finished last season as BC’s leading rusher. With the addition of Towles, Addazio moved Smith to receiver during the offseason.
As the season has progessed, Addazio has recognized the need to get Smith the ball in space. That strategy proved especially productive today, as Smith led the Eagles with 4 receptions and 87 receiving yards, along with 34 more rushing yards. Smith’s impact on the game was undeniable; even when he handed the ball off to Jon Hilliman or Davon Jones he kept the UConn defense guessing.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles defense showed how they have only touched their potential. Harold Landry and the front seven kept applying the pressure, leading to four sacks and a forced fumble. The secondary also remained stout, with three interceptions including a textbook pick-six from senior Matt Milano in the fourth quarter.
Already up 27-0 in the fourth quarter, Addazio kept his foot on the gas, electing to go for it on a 4th and 9 in UConn territory. Ultimately, the drive resulted in a field goal but the message was clear; BC wasn’t leaving room for error. And rightfully so. This was the Eagles’ most decisive and praiseworthy win all season long.
With this win against UConn, the Eagles’ hopes for bowl eligibility remain alive. More than anything, this game was a “feel good” win for BC. The players exuded high energy in the final home game, and the students followed suit, storming the field to take part in the celebration.
The Eagles did more than just win the game; for once this season they completely dominated their opponent on both sides of the ball. This game was a step in the right direction for Addazio and co. Next up, the Eagles face Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for their final game of the season. A win would put the Eagles at 6-6, and could not only salvage the season, but hopefully put the team on track for a third bowl appearance in the Addazio Era.
Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.