CFN Take: Boston College Loses Late To FSU
2014 Boston College Eagles ... Head Coach: Steve Addazio
2014 Boston College
Nov. 22 at Florida State 20, Boston College 17
2014 Schedule |
Aug. 30 at UMass W 30-7
Sep. 5 Pitt L 30-20
Sep. 13 USC W 37-31
Sep. 20 Maine W 40-10
Sep. 27 Colorado St L 24-21
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 at NC State W 30-14
Oct. 18 Clemson L 17-13
Oct. 25 at Wake Forest W 23-17
Nov. 1 at Virginia Tech W 33-31
Nov. 8 Louisville L 38-19
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 at Florida State L 20-17
Nov. 29 Syracuse
And You Care Because … Roberto Aguayo made up for an earlier miss by hitting a 26-yard field goal with three seconds to play to save Florida State in a tough battle. Tyler Murphy found Shakim Phillips for a 49-yard score and ran for a 21-yard touchdown to help Boston College tie it at 17, but an Alex Howell missed field goal opened the door for Jameis Winston to lead a 12-play, 66-yard drive leading to the game-winning kick. Karlos Williams started out the scoring with a three yard run for an early FSU lead, but the team’s final touchdown came late in the first half on a 30-yard Nick O’Leary catch. The Seminoles didn’t score again until Aguayo’s final field goal.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 22-of-32 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 6-of-10 passes for 73 yards and a score, and ran 15 times for 48 yards and a touchdown
- Total yards: Florida State 391 – Boston College 313
- Third down conversions: Boston College 8-of-14 – Florida State 6-of-11
Game Rating: A-
Nov. 8 Louisville 38, at Boston College 19
And You Care Because … Down 13-3 after giving up two one-yard touchdown runs to Jon Hilliman, Louisville roared right back going on a 35-7 run with Reggie Bonnafon throwing two touchdown passes and running for a 36-yard score, and Brandon Radcliff ran for scores from five and 11 yards out. BC turned the ball over four times – all picks – and had a perfect balance with 166 rushing yards and 166 through the air.
What Else? Louisville QB Will Gardner completed 13-of-19 passes for 188 yards
- Louisville S Gerod Holliman intercepted three passes
- Boston College QB Tyler Muphy completed 7-of-15 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions, and ran 12 times for 41 yards
- Penalties: Louisville 10 for 87 yards – BC 5 for45 yards
Game Rating: C
Nov. 1 Boston College 33, at Virginia Tech 31
And You Care Because … Tyler Murphy threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, and Myles Willis tore off a 68-yard scoring run as Boston College held on for the win. Down 23-10 going into the fourth. Virginia Tech roared back and took the lead on a Michael Brewer one-yard run and a seven-yard pass to Bucky Hodges. But BC took control back with a 44-yard Alex Howell field goal and Murphy’s 57-yard scoring run. Brewer found Ryan Malleck for a five-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left to pull VT within two, but BC recovered the onside kick.
What Else? Rushing yards: Boston College 258 – Virginia Tech 69
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 8-of-15 passes for 110 yards and two scores, and ran 18 times for 122 yards and a touchdown
- Virginia Tech QB Michael Brewer completed 31-of-48 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a score
- First downs: Virginia Tech 7-of-20 (1-of-3 on fourth downs) – Boston College 3-of-13 (4-of-5 on fourth downs)
Game Rating: B+
Oct. 25 Boston College 23, at Wake Forest 17
And You Care Because … Boston College got up 17-0 in the first half on a 30-yard Alex Howell field goal and two Jon Hilliman touchdown runs, and was up 23-3 in the fourth on a 37-yard Shakim Phillips catch, but Wake Forest made it interesting late with short touchdown runs from E.J. Scott and Isaiah Robinson. The Demon Deacons had one last shot, but John Wolford was picked off by Justin Simmons around midfield.
What Else? Boston College RB Jon Hilliman ran 20 times for 101 yards and two scores
- Wake Forest ran 33 times for 19 yards
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 11-of-15 passes for 165 yards and as core and ran 14 times for 77 yards
- Third down conversions: Wake Forest 4-of-13 – Boston College 2-of-9
Game Rating: C+
Oct. 18 Clemson 17, at Boston College 13
And You Care Because … Cole Stoudt gutted out a shoulder injury to help lead Clemson to a tough win, but it was C.J. Davidson who came up with the big play running for a 32-yard score in the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored first on a 17-yard Wayne Gallman run, but Boston College got two Tyler Murphy touchdown passes with a 26-yarder to Sherman Alston and a six-yarder to Josh Bordner, but the defense couldn’t hang on and the offense couldn’t make anything out of its final drives.
What Else? Total yards: Clemson 398 – Boston College 263
- Clemson QB Cole Stoudt completed 29-of-45 passes for 285 yards
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 8-of-19 passes for 108 yards and two scores, and led the team with 55 yards on 13 carries
- Third down conversions: Clemson 10-of-21 – Boston College 2-of-14
Game Rating: B
Oct. 11 Boston College 30, at NC State 14
And You Care Because … A thunderstorm delay couldn’t slow down a Boston College rushing attack that rolled up 310 yards and helped crank out 20 unanswered points in the second half. NC State got a two-yard Tony Creecy touchdown run and a 16-yard David Grinnage scoring pass in the first quarter, but that would be it. BC always had an answer, mostly coming from QB Tyler Murphy, who scored on runs of 47 and 26 yards out, and with Sherman Alston and Jon Hilliman each adding touchdown dashes.
What Else? Time of possession: Boston College 38:43 – NC State 21:17
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 12-of-19 passes for 101 yards, and ran 15 times for a team-leading 132 yards and two scores
- NC State QB Jacoby Brissett completed 14-of-30 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown with an interception
- NC State ran 28 times for 43 yards and a touchdown
Game Rating: C-
Sept. 27 Colorado State 24, at Boston College 21
And You Care Because … Facing fourth down with just over a minute to play, Colorado State got a 12-yard Garrett Grayson to Charles Lovell touchdown pass from 12 yards out to complete the rally for the win. BC got out to a 14-0 lead on short touchdown runs from Jon Hilliman and Tyler Murphy, but Colorado State came back with a 21-yard Rashard Higgins touchdown catch and a six-yard scoring run from Treyous Jarrells to tie it up. Hilliman ran for a five-yard score late in the third to give BC the lead, but it was all Colorado State in the second half as the D held up against the Eagle ground game.
What Else? Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson completed 27-of-41 passes for 268 yards and two scores with two picks
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 12-of-18 passes for 169 yards with a pick, and ran 16 times for 79 yards and a touchdown
- Colorado State RB Dee Hart ran ten times for 117 yards
- Boston College RB Jon Hilliman ran 24 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: B+
Sept. 20 Boston College 40, Maine 10
And You Care Because … Fresh off last week’s stunning upset of USC, Boston College was sluggish, yet was able to pull away from Maine in the second half. The Eagles only led 19-10 at halftime, yet sealed the game by winning the final two quarters, 21-0. QB Tyler Murphy was once again the hero for BC, spearheading the offense with his arm as well as his legs.
What Else? Murphy rushed for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He got plenty of help, though, from backs Marcus Outlow and Jon Hilliman, who combined to rush for more than 200 yards and a couple of scores.
- The Black Bears could do nothing on the ground against the BC front wall. Maine was held to just 16 yards on 22 carries, while struggling to protect QB Daniel Collins.
- Boston College didn’t need Murphy’s arm, but it will once ACC play resumes. The senior only had to throw the ball 18 times, completing 11 for 130 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
- Maine was only able to produce six first downs, a humbling result for a team with high expectations in the FCS. Collins had some moments in Chestnut Hill, but the Black Bears must protect him better.
Game Rating: D-
Sept. 13 at Boston College 37, USC 31
And You Care Because … Tyler Murphy ran for a 66-yard score in the fourth quarter, Sherman Alston took off for a 54-yard touchdown run, and Jon Hilliman ran for two scores as Boston College stunned USC. The Trojans took a 17-6 in the second quarter on Cody Kessler’s second touchdown pass of the day, finding Javorius Allen for a 51-yard score, and then the Eagles took over with 24 straight points. The Trojan offense slowed down, partly because the BC running game took over, but Kessler brought USC back to within six on a ten-yard pass to Nelson Agholor before Murphy’s big dash. Keller’s final touchdown pass to Darreus Rogers game with just over a minute to play, but BC recovered the onside kick.
What Else? Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 5-of-13 passes for 54 yards and a pick and ran 13 times for 191 yards and a score.
- USC QB Cody Kessler completed 31-of-41 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns.
- USC RB Javorius Allen ran 15 times for 31 yards, but caught nine passes for 118 yards and a score.
- Boston College LB Josh Keyes made eight tackles with a sack and 5.5 tackles for loss. The Eagles came up with 16 tackles for loss, USC seven.
Game Rating: B+
Sept. 5 Pitt 30, at Boston College 20
And You Care Because … James Conner ran for 214 yards and a score, with his nine yard touchdown run giving Pitt a 27-7 lead late in the third. Boston College was up 7-3 in the first on a one-yard Tyler Rouse run, but the Panthers scored 24 straight points helped by two Chad Voytik to Tyler Boyd passes from 15 and five yards out in the third. BC rallied late with a two-yard Tyler Murphy touchdown run to pull within ten, but the two-point conversion attempt failed and the final drive – after getting the onside kick – ended with a pick.
What Else? Tyler Murphy led BC with 104 yards and a score on 15 carries, but he only completed 10-of-28 throws for 134 yards with a score and two picks.
- The rest of the running game stumbled for the Eagles. No other BC player ran for more than 14 yards – when Murphy wasn’t taking off, the Eagles weren’t moving.
- Pitt’s James Conner was fantastic, running 36 times for 214 yards and a score.
- Neither team threw particularly well, but Pitt was able to control the game with Conner. Chad Voytik only hit ten of his 20 pass attempts.
Game Rating: C+
Aug. 30 Boston College 30, at Massachusetts 7
And You Care Because … Welcome to the Tyler Murphy era. The Florida transfer completed 17-of-24 passes for 173 yards and a score with a pick and ran 13 times for a team-high 118 yards and a score. BC got up 20-0, but it wasn’t always easy. Myles Willis ran for a one-yard score and Murphy added a one-yard touchdown run, answered by a 77-yard Tajae Sharpe touchdown catch to make it interesting. Murphy found Josh Bordner from 32 yards on the ensuing drive to put it away.
Game Rating: D+
With the wind at their backs, the Eagles are hoping to soar in the face of wholesale changes on both sides of the ball.
Now that second-year head coach Steve Addazio has succeeded in changing the culture at BC, he and his coaching staff plan to make winning a habit on the Heights. Sure, there’ll be challenges ahead, like finding replacements for RB Andre Williams, WR Alex Amidon and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis. Addazio, though, has already completed the heaviest lifting in Chestnut Hill, getting an entire program to rethink its potential.
Boston College was a starkly different team in 2013, more confident and a lot more physical on both sides of the ball. The talent was essentially the same as it was in 2012, yet the program made the leap from two wins to seven prior to a New Year’s Eve bowl loss to Arizona. Addazio has already been a game-changer across the board for the Eagles, and he’s only begun the process of building BC into a perennial winner.
In the short-term, the Eagles will need to retool during the offseason, especially in the offensive backfield. Four-year starting QB Chase Rettig and Williams, who led the FBS in rushing, have graduated, leaving holes to fill at both positions. Rettig’s shoes are likely to be filled by Florida transfer Tyler Murphy, a Connecticut native originally recruited to be a Gator by Addazio. If Murphy gets help from the skill position players, like RB Myles Willis, former UConn WR Shakim Phillips and rehabbed WR Bobby Swigert, the attack could be pleasantly diverse for a change.
On D, Boston College has a long list of priorities, from locating new edge rushers to coaching up the secondary. Last season, bad things often happened when the ball was in the air. The 108th-ranked Eagles pass efficiency defense allowed 26 touchdowns passes, while picking off just nine. The silver lining is that everyone is back for another year, though but no job will be safe this summer. Addazio will ride the four best defensive backs, regardless of their age and experience level.
The objective at Boston College this season is to add a new level to the foundation, while erasing any possibility that 2014 was a one-and-done fluke. Addazio is building something that will have a lasting effect on the program at a macro level. His Eagles are unquestionably moving in a positive direction, even if they veer sideways on the field this fall.
What to look for on offense: More roll-outs and designed scrambles for the quarterbacks. Now that Tyler Murphy has returned to the Northeast to finish his college career, the Eagles could have their most athletic quarterback since Doug Flutie was on campus three decades ago. The former Florida Gator is not only agile, but he has excellent pocket awareness as well. Murphy affords BC options it didn’t have a year ago, and Steve Addazio and the assistants plan to maximize the quarterback’s unique set of skills.
What to look for on defense: The search for pass rushers. Boston College took a quantum leap in sacks in 2013, going from six in 2012 to 36 last fall. But who’ll attack the pocket now that DE Kasim Edebali and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis are gone? Senior Josh Keyes is capable of mimicking Pierre-Louis coming off the edge. Replacing Edebali, though, will be considerably harder. Fingers are crossed that sophomore Kevin Kavalec’s three-sack effort in the spring game is a harbinger of things to come in September.
The team will be much better if ... the pass defense starts acting its age. Each of the four defensive backs who started the final 10 games return. But will the results be any different? They’ll have to be, especially since the front seven isn’t expected to provide as much support as a year ago. In last season’s six losses, Boston College gave up at least 34 points in five of those games. In most instances, the leaky secondary was the culprit for the Eagles’ defensive woes.
The Schedule: While the Eagles have to deal with September games against Pitt, USC and Colorado State, there aren’t any complaints with how the first half of the year is set up with five games in a row at home after starting out the year with a “road” game against UMass in Foxboro. The payback comes in a big way over the second half with four road games in six including dates at Virginia Tech and Florida State. The two home games? Clemson and Louisville. Closing out at home against Syracuse should help.
Best Offensive Player: Senior C Andy Gallik. In Chestnut Hill, everything begins up front for an offense that gets its identity from a blue-collar, north-south running game. None of the team’s blockers is better than Gallik, a two-year starter and a Third Team All-ACC selection. He’s the glue of a front wall that’ll be looking to replace a couple of tackles, Matt Patchan and Ian White. Gallik sets the tone with his heady leadership and his ability to open holes for the running backs.
Best Defensive Player: Junior LB Steven Daniels. As the lone returning starter at the second level, Daniels will assume a much bigger assignment on defense in 2014. He’s a stout run defender, with the lower body strength to anchor against opposing offensive linemen. Daniels is strong and tough at the point of contact, shedding blocks en route to the guy with the ball. With so many newcomers to the lineup in the front seven, the junior will be asked to take on more of a leadership role, both physically and emotionally.
Key player to a successful season: Sophomore RB Myles Willis. Under Addazio, the Eagles are a run-first offense program, whose identity is derived from its ability to move a pile. Willis is not going to be a reincarnation of All-American Andre Williams, but he will be a focal point of the system. The 5-9, 192-pound playmaker should get at least 20 touches a game, which will afford him a chance to zip through the defense. Willis will also be a factor in the passing game, especially until Boston College mines a few go-to receivers for QB Tyler Murphy.
The season will be a success if ... the team returns to the postseason. Boston College has hurdles in 2014. Who doesn’t? But Addazio is building the kind of program he hopes can withstand the loss of personnel from one season to the next. The Eagles won’t leave the state of Massachusetts until Oct. 11, and the Nov. 22 trip to Tallahassee is the only time they’ll be a prohibitive underdog. Bowling for a second straight year will send a message that BC is through with being an Atlantic Division doormat.
Key game: Oct. 11 at NC State. It’s at this point of the 2014 season that Boston College might pivot in either direction. Win at Carter-Finley Stadium in the first trip outside state lines, and the Eagles could be sitting pretty in the quest for bowl eligibility. Lose and the team might start to skid, especially with Clemson, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Florida State still remaining on the schedule. BC at NC State also sets the stage for a potentially intriguing duel of one-time Gator quarterbacks, Eagle Tyler Murphy vs. the Pack’s Jacoby Brissett.
2013 Fun Stats:
- Passing first downs: Boston College 90 – Opponents 151
- Third-down %: 35% – Opponents 42%
- Sacks: Boston College 36 - Opponents 23
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