With a full moon hovering eerily overhead on the evening of Friday the 13th, the Kansas Jayhawks football team was the last concern in any Boston College fan’s mind. However, they will certainly be haunting BC fans for years following a nightmarish upset.
What started out as a festive evening against a pushover opponent turned into an ugly outcry of boos and “Fire Addazio” chants as BC was stunned 48-24 at Alumni Stadium.
BC rumbled to a quick start with a 7-play, 75-yard march on the game’s opening possession that was capped off by a two-yard AJ Dillon touchdown run. The 250-pound running back showed off the results of his offseason work on explosiveness by somersaulting over his offensive line into the end zone.
The offense didn’t even get the chance to catch its collective breath before getting back to work when Mehdi El Attrach picked off Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley’s second pass of the night. A 40-yard field goal put the Eagles up 10-0, and lively chatter reverberated across BC’s student section as another blowout appeared to be in the works.
BC’s defense couldn’t maintain its stifling form forever, however, as Stanley rebounded from his early mistake to orchestrate a long scoring drive before the quarter’s end. Stanley found his tight end in open space over the middle, and the defensive miscue would be the first of many for the Eagles.
BC returned fire quickly with a long scoring march of their own to end the opening quarter. AJ Dillon spearheaded the drive by gobbling up yardage in chunks, and Anthony Brown finished it off by finding Korab Idrizi on a nearly identical play to Kansas’s first score. Just like that, the game had erupted into an abrupt crescendo of offensive football, and the second quarter would prove to be no different.
Kansas had excellent field position to start the second quarter following a long kick return, and they quickly punched in another touchdown from a yard out. AJ Dillon crossed the 100-yard threshold early on another drive deep into Jayhawk territory, but his hard work went to waste when Anthony Brown couldn’t connect with Kobay White on fourth down.
The failed fourth down conversion gave Kansas a great deal of momentum and proved to be the turning point of the game. Stanley finding his groove opened up running lanes for Kansas’s tailbacks, and they began to punish an increasingly porous BC defense on the ground.
Both teams traded a handful of scores and lead changes before the half ended with Kansas holding a slight 28-24 edge into the break. The Kansas fans were the only people in the stadium lucky enough to catch their breaths, as the stunning deficit elicited an air of anxiety among the BC faithful.
Unfortunately for Eagles fans, their worst fears would be realized when the Jayhawks ran away with the game in the second half. Kansas continued to pile onto a reeling BC defense, while the Eagles’ offense entirely ran out of steam.
Kansas ran almost untouched for long gains into the BC secondary and an easy field goal to open the third before repeating the process with a touchdown after a quick BC three-and-out. The two scoring drives put Kansas ahead at 38-24 and sucked the air out of the stadium, with both fans and players included.
Fans began to stream out of the stadium in shell-shocked droves midway through the third quarter after another BC three-and-out, and the players seemed to give up at this point as well. Kansas’s tailbacks continued to run with little resistance from BC’s front four and linebackers, and Stanley even got in on the act with several frustrating scrambles to extend drives.
The Eagles only real scoring chance in the second half was a blown field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter, and the Jayhawks tacked on ten more points over the remainder of the game in a nearly empty stadium for a 48-24 victory.
BC’s shocking blowout loss marks maybe the biggest upset of the 2019 college football season so far, and their uninspired performance against a downtrodden Kansas team raises some monumental questions about the program and coaching staff going forward.
No coach in America has a seat hotter than Steve Addazio right now, and if there were any BC fans left who still supported Addazio after another disappointing 7-5 record last year, there definitely aren’t any now following last night’s embarrassment.
The blowout is undoubtedly one of the worst losses in school history, with a historically awful Kansas team embarrassing an Eagles squad with Top 25 aspirations. The game ultimately came down to Les Miles coaching circles around Steve Addazio, who once again failed to make second-half adjustments with a win in reach.
Would someone else at the helm have fixed BC’s problems defensively and won them the game last night? Who knows, especially when keeping in mind the mass exodus of talent from last year’s squad, but the damage has been done. There will likely be an uproar in Chestnut Hill if Addazio is on the sidelines at the end of the season, much less next Saturday afternoon at Rutgers. All BC fans can do at the moment is hope that Athletic Director Martin Jarmond and the administration make the right and, frankly, only decision by moving on from the longtime coach.
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