It has been 665 days since Boston College (1-0) played a game before their fans. And while the outcome of Saturday’s game was never in doubt, to have noise in Alumni Stadium was a welcome sight. The 51-0 beat down of Colgate (0-1) can be viewed in a couple of different ways. The offense was in mid-season form gaining 525 yards worth of total offense with 347 coming through the air. They were good on third down converting five of the nine chances they had during the game while ranking up 25 first downs for the afternoon.
On the defensive side, the Eagles’ defense showed up to play. They limited the Red Raiders offense to 189 yards of offense, 12 first downs, 84 passing yards, and more importantly did not allow a third-down conversion for the day. The latter was a problem for this defense all of last year. Posting a shutout, even if it was against an FCS program, is a step in the right direction for Boston College. The other way to look at this is BC is taking advantage of what is the soft part of their schedule. Conference play is still a few weeks away and those games will not be like this.
This was the first home opener blanking since 2009. They received good quarterback play from redshirt junior Phil Jurkovec. He was 18-for-24 for 303 yards and three touchdowns. It was his fifth career 300-yard passing game. He threw no picks and got his wideouts involved in the passing game earlier on completing passes to seven different receivers. Junior WR Jay Flowers was the favorite target with seven catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, the Eagles rushed for three scores and 178 yards in the afternoon. They were a perfect five-for-five in the red zone. A balanced attack will be key for this offense going forward if they are to have any success in league play.
On defense, there were some positive signs. They were able to pick off two Red Raiders passes. More importantly, they gave up only 3.5 yards per play on 54 attempts. Once conference play gets started, this will be the all-important stat to pay attention to. When this defense can get off the field this team will have a great chance to win. However, when they have trouble in this area, well you already know the rest. They showed an ability to get to the quarterback with two sacks for the game. The front seven must have a presence in the opposing team backfield.
As has been pointed out, the first two weeks of the season will be considered the easy portion of the schedule. Whatever flaws Boston College has on both sides of the ball must be taken care of before the Atlantic Coast Conference season gets underway. With that in mind, next week is a short road trip to Amherst to take on a Umass team coming off a tough loss on the road at Pittsburgh. Being ready for the challenge of playing on the road is the next test this team must pass.