Well, that was quite a debut for the 'new' Boston College Eagles this past weekend over the Demon Decons of Wake Forest. I'm sure that everyone and their BC alumni, friends and family need special underwear after watching the aerial attack at Chestnut Hill, and there is a collected outrage as to why the National Media just doesn't give Matt Ryan his due as a Heisman contender.
It's simple really, because he plays at Boston College, and nobody cares about college football in Boston. And can you blame them? Sure Ryan is the most talented quarterback in the ACC, but what has BC done lately? So stow the outrage. Alright? It's a long season, and a win over Wake Forest was nice, but people outside the ACC don't respect them as a program, because what has Wake Forest ever done? Most believe last year was a fluke, and it could very well have been. However, Wake Forest was no joke of an opening.
Lets look at it. Who WASN'T worried after the INT TD, followed by the long WF drive to make it 14-0? Given our recent history with Wake, I was groaning five minutes into the game. But then, something happened. We were PASSING. But it was more than that, it was lining up with a No-Back formation! four or five receivers wide. I never thought I would see that at Chestnut Hill. It's... like being Army the year after they were destroyed by Notre Dame when Knute Rockne used the forward pass. The beacon of light that is an actual COLLEGE offense was almost blinding. In fact, it was very much so. It was like it took BC seven seasons to enter the new millennium.
After that first series, things settled down, and it looked like we knew what we were doing. There was definately some rust (Hi... Andre Callendar look I know you have more than 2,000 career rushing yards, but lord knows we've wondered just exactly 'when' you accumulated them. If you could give us a memo, we'd appreciate it. Just for fact-checking purposes, thanks.), and the offense was a bit more pass-based than I wanted to see it. Not every team on the Eagles' schedule is as weak in the secondary as Wake Forest (Remember Gaddis and Ghee? I do, they're gone baby, gone).
There are a few things we need to focus on this game.
1) It was a good win. Beating all the Atlantic teams is the goal. By doing that, BC should be in a position to go to the ACC Championship Game, regardless how the GT, VaTech, and Miami games turn out. Though, BC does need to win one of those three in order to be in contention.
2) The losses of Raji and Toal make this defense a 'good' one, but it could have been a 'very, very' good one. You know how Wake was passing through soft zones, and finding an open man? That's because of a rather anemic pass-rush. Raji was the best rusher on the D-line, and he did it from the Tackle position. Toal is the most talented linebacker, and though the LBs did just fine (in fact, Micah Andrews wasn't even a factor in the game), it would be nice to have Toal in there for his ball-hawking and coverage abilities. Herzlich might be the 2nd most-talented LB on the roster, and I hope to see a lot more of him in the upcoming games.
3) Run Run Run. If we can't run, we will lose a game we shouldn't. That's not an O'Brien hangover, it's not some Boston College curse, it's simply the truth that a single-dimension offense will eventually lose to a superior gameplan if they don't have a complimentary facet of the game. So, Callendar, Whitworth, Smith, Brooks... c'mon guys. This time it's on you with the zone blocking. You choose the lanes, and make the plays.
4) DeJuan Tribble won't see any more passes his way.... unless a team has to. Seriously. While the first 'interception' was... questionable, the other two were not. BC got a gift on his 'interception' in the endzone while falling on his back. I didn't think he had control of it long enough to count, but the referrees overturned my thoughts. However, two interceptions in the endzone is cutting it a bit close. BC can't have Tribble bailing them out every game. Especially since, quite clearly, the word is out on the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week.
5) No Dropped passes. Not even from 'Stonehands' Robinson. You remember that WR in 'Necessary Roughness' that couldn't catch anything? That was Robinson the past two years, especially in the endzone. But not ONLY did the receivers not drop a pass, but they made great plays on the ball, sheilding off defenders, and reeling in errant passes. 9 different players caught passes (10, if you want to be technical, as Ryan caught one of his own errant attempts), so the wealth was spread around nicely. And everyone contributed. 3rd down passes went beyond the marker, passes to the sideline went to the outside, and even the much-maligned receivers beat their defenders on most long-balls. This unit, will be very, very good, and if one goes down, it's like a factory of interchangeble parts. This, along with the passing game is very exciting.
6) Matt Ryan. Said it, he should only get better, and challenge single-season passing records at BC.
That should cover it. I don't think there were any glaring omissions, but it was nice to finally beat a team that the Eagles' have had some serious issues with in the recent past. While it had it's 'scary' moments, I think this trial by fire has given the whole team a big boost of confidence. And if you think they were overlooking the game this weekend? I have three words for you.
Welcome Back Tom.
That story, in and of itself will be explored later this week in the blog. Whether you cheer, or boo, is up to you, but I will lay out a case for both.