For the first time in the 2023 college football season, the Boston College Eagles (1-2) will be on the road as they head to Louisville, KY. to meet the Louisville Cardinals (3-0) on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles came close to heading out on the road with a major victory in their back pockets. The 31-29 loss to Florida State in the “Red Bandana Game” illustrated what head coach Jeff Haffley has been saying all month long. That is the team will win games when it stops playing undisciplined football. What sticks out when looking back at last Saturday’s loss to the Seminoles is the penalties. A school record 18 of them for 131 yards overshadowed a terrific performance by QB Thomas Castellanos who completed 20-of-33 passes for 305 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. For the second time in the young season, he was also the leading ball carrier with 95 yards on 16 carries and a score. He was a problem for the FSU defense all afternoon long.
So too was Castellano’s ability to spread the ball around as eight different receivers caught passes, WR Lewis Bond had three balls for 80 yards and a score, Ryan O’Keefe had six catches for 64 yards, and Joe Griffin added three for 65 yards. The Eagles would outgain the Seminoles on both the ground (152 to 128) and in the air (305 to 222). They ran more plays (75 to 58) and finished with 457 total yards to FSU’s 350. However, it was the little things that got in the way of a BC win on Saturday. First, a missed extra point after a one-yard TD run by Kyle Robichaux late in the third quarter that made the score 31-16. Then in the fourth, a missed 2-pt conversion after a defensive score from Khari Johnson who scooped up a fumble and returned it 18-yards for a BC score to make it a 31-29 game. But the most important mistake of them all was a face mask call on a 3rd and seven by BC’s John Pupel on a running play that would have been stopped short and forced FSU to punt the ball away late in the game. In the first three games for the Eagles, it has been the little things that have stopped them from having a winning record.
FSU quarterback Jordan Travis was good (16-of-24, 212 yards, and two TDs). He had to be because the Boston College defense was solid in holding down the Seminoles’ running game. They gained just 128 yards on 34 tries and Travis himself had 38 yards on four carries. Florida State was stymied on third down going just one of nine. They were as advertised in the red zone going five-for-five. The Seminoles got away with one on Saturday, and they know it.
BC now heads out on the road to face a Cardinals team that has won four in a row. Last week in a 21-14 win at Indiana, the Cardinals got 113 yards from RB Jawhar Jordan who also found the endzone. WR Jamari Thrash caught four balls for 159 yards and a score. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals’ defense has allowed only 48 points in three games. Safety Cam’Ron Kelly was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week, for his career-high 12 tackles of which two were for losses. He also picked off his first pass as a member of the team. Boston College will have to be aware of #11 on Saturday afternoon. Running the ball was a tough go for the Hoosiers all game long as they managed just 58 yards on the ground and 357 yards of total offense.
Louisville has won eight of the 15 meetings all-time, including five at home. Last season at Chestnut Hill, the Eagles came away with a 34-33 win. For BC to get win number one in the league, cleaning up the mistakes will be a top priority.
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