The Boston College Eagles came into the AdvoCare V100 Bowl with high hopes as they expected to ride the legs of Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams in a runner’s duel with Ka’Deem Carey of the Arizona Wildcats. As the game unfolded, it became very clear that Arizona had brought plenty more than just Carey to Shreveport, Louisiana, for this game and BC brought significantly less as the Eagles got blown off the field in a 42-19 loss to the Cats.
Boston College got off to a slow start offensively but were helped out by their defense standing tall against Arizona’s spread attack early on. A pair of early field goals for the Eagles pulled BC to within a point midway through the second quarter at 7-6 before the wheels came flying off for Boston College. Sparked by a Chase Rettig interception returned for a touchdown, Arizona would score 35 unanswered points to extend their lead to 42-6 early in the fourth quarter. BC would add a couple late garbage-time touchdowns to make the end result look a little better on the box score but it won’t make the beating they took sting any less.
Rettig was at the center of BC’s offensive struggles in this game, completing 17-of-27 passes for 204 yards with two interceptions, including the very costly pick-six in the second quarter. Receiver Alex Amidon finished the day with a game-high 10 receptions for 129 yards, but he was the only Eagle receiver to catch more than two passes or gain more than 15 yards. Even the Doak Walker Award winning Williams couldn’t get things going, rushing for 75 yards on 26 carries (a meager 2.9 yards per carry) with one touchdown as he failed to record a run longer than seven yards all day long.
Those offensive struggles only made the defensive lapses all the more glaring in this game. BC had no answer for Carey, who recorded his 16th straight game of 100-yards or more rushing, as he racked up 165 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns. Not to be out-done, senior quarterback B.J. Denker accounted for 325 total yards of offense on the day and three touchdowns and freshman receiver Nate Phillips set an Arizona school record for yards receiving in a bowl game with 194 yards on nine catches.
It was a full-team letdown for Boston College in this one as the Eagles came out flat against a high-powered offense that was ready to bring it. Now, Steve Addazio must look forward to 2014 as he tries to build some momentum off this dreadful bowl performance and find a way to get back to the postseason next December.
The Heisman Trophy used to go to the best player in college football. Recently, it has become a popularity contest where the best player on the best team walks onto the stage to accept an award that should really be going to their team as a whole.
This is a year where the trophy should be based on a player’s exploits on the field, not how much airtime they’ve received from ESPN. If you too believe that the Heisman should go to an athlete that truly carried his team throughout the year, look no further than Boston College running back, Andre Williams.
The senior from Pennsylvania had a monster season, carrying the ball 329 times and averaging 175 years per game. If that does not sound impressive within the era of big offenses, that 175 is almost 20 yards per game more than the player with the next highest average, Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona.
Williams is also the only player to have reached the 2,000 yard mark in Division 1 college football – that includes both FBS and FCS schools – and has recorded 17 touchdowns on the season.
Still not convinced? Fellow Heisman candidate Tre Mason of Auburn only has 1,621 yards per game and a 124.69 yards-per-game average. Mason will get the benefit of the doubt from those who think that just because he plays in the SEC, he goes up against Alabama-type defenses every week. Anyone who actually watched the SEC this year knows that is simply not the case.
All that with a Boston College team that ranked 113th in the nation in passing offense. Not many other players can put up those kinds of numbers when other teams are queuing on the run.
Williams may not play at a school as illustrious as his fellow candidates, but he still lights up the field without much help around him.
If anyone deserves the Heisman memorial trophy for excellence as an individual and as a teammate, it is Andre Williams.
This is a wake-up call! Do not sleep on this guy.
In a bowl in which both teams have been surprisingly solid this season, the Boston College Eagles have hired a new head coach and he has led them to a 7-5 record with one of the best running backs in the nation on offense. It has been a while since Boston College was relevant, but this may be the start of something.
Rich Rodriguez took over the Arizona Wildcats just a couple years ago and the offense has been electric ever since. While his teams haven’t been known as very defensive-minded, they have been improved on that side of the ball this season. Arizona is 7-5 on the season and will be playing in the Advocare V100 Bowl against Boston College.
Boston College hasn’t blown people away with talent this season, but one player in particular has been more impressive than anyone else. Running back Andre Williams is in the Heisman race and no one thought they would see that coming from a player from a five-loss team. Williams has led the team with 2,102 yards and 17 touchdowns — actually having more yards than his quarterback Chase Rettig has, 1,804, and the same amount of touchdowns. Alex Amidon has been the only weapon in the receiving corps that has been relied upon, catching 67 passes for 903 yards and five scores.
Arizona is led by a talented running back of its own in Ka’Deem Carey. The Wildcats’ running back has rushed for 1,716 yards and 17 touchdowns. Although he doesn’t have more rushing yards than quarterback B.J. Denker has passing yards, 2,241, he does have three more touchdowns. Denker is also known for his running ability, ranking second on the team in rushing yards with 898 and also second in touchdowns on the ground with 12. Those two guys are a big reason as to why the Wildcats are the 11th-best rushing offense in the nation.
Defensively, Rich Rodriguez’s teams are never known for their talent on this side of the ball. However, Arizona has been improved in 2013, ranking 45th in points against as well as 74th in the nation in yards allowed. Boston College ranks 73rd in the nation in points allowed as well as 87th in yards allowed per game with nearly 430.
Boston College and Arizona will face off in the Advocare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La., at 12:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 31. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Arizona 31, Boston College 27
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at email@example.com.
All game long, the Boston College Eagles had played like a team primed for a major upset. They had done everything you need to do to pull off a shocking road victory.
They had caused turnovers, run the ball, hit a few big plays, but most importantly, had not made any critical mistakes.
That all changed with one snap decision.
Early in the fourth quarter, just after Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd had scored to give the heavily favored Tigers a 17-14 lead, Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig went off the script. All game long he had been a game manager, taking shots only when they presented themselves.
Then, with the Death Valley crowd rocking on a third-and-five, Rettig made the crucial mistake that erased any chance the Eagles had at stunning the college football world. After being flushed from the pocket, Rettig rolled left as Clemson linebacker Tony Steward pursued. Rather than taking a sack or throwing the ball away, Rettig tried to get the ball down field, took a hit and coughed the ball up.
Tigers defensive end Vic Beasley scooped the loose ball and walked into the end zone from 13 yards out to give Clemson a 10-point lead.
With one play, the entire Herculean effort of the Eagles was wasted. Trailing by 10, the run-heavy Eagles had virtually no chance of rallying for the win in a tough environment.
Rettig had played relatively well until that point, and made the best play of the day for the Eagles, rolling left and throwing back on a designed play to Alex Amidon for a 69-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.
However, with one poor decision, the game was suddenly out of reach and the upset was not to be.
B.L. is an ACC football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip or on Google.
With next weekend’s enormous game with Florida State on the horizon, the Tigers almost got caught looking ahead.
Instead, Clemson rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to knock off the Eagles 24-14.
It was an ugly offensive performance for Clemson, who looked out of sync from the outset. On the opening drive, All-ACC quarterback Tajh Boyd put the ball on the ground twice, and although he recovered both, the drive ended with a missed 25-yard field goal.
While Boyd’s numbers for the game look outstanding, he was out of rhythm and missed several open receivers. In fact, the entire offense was out of sorts. They only converted 4-of-17 third-down attempts, and really struggled to convert when they had chances to score.
Roderick McDowell and Zac Brooks each fumbled in the first half, halting what looked to be promising drives. In addition, superstar wide receiver Sammy Watkins had two drops with no defenders anywhere near him.
It was the type of performance that opened the door for a potentially season-altering upset. Instead, Boyd and Watkins hooked up for a 48-yard touchdown bomb in the third quarter, and eventually took the lead for good with a six-yard Boyd run in the fourth.
If not for a very solid defensive performance, the Tigers might not have made it to next Saturday’s showdown undefeated. The Clemson defense held Boston College to 286 yards and held Andre Williams to 2.9 yards per carry for the day.
With Florida State next on the schedule, the Tigers better get things ironed out offensively. It’s hard to imagine their defense slowing down Jameis Winston and company like they did today against BC.
B.L. is an ACC football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip or on Google.
Head coach Dabo Swinney and his No. 3-ranked Clemson Tigers return to Death Valley as they look to clip the wings of the Boston College Eagles this Saturday. To do that, they must continue to play with the kind of intensity that they’ve played with on both offense and defense the past two weeks.
On offense, the line must continue to protect quarterback Tajh Boyd and make some noise in the ground game. Kalon Davis is likely to get his third shot at the left guard spot after his performance for the past two weeks, as is Shaq Anthony at right tackle. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris hopes these two continue to solidify themselves and give the offensive line a little more continuity. Running back Rod McDowell must also get it going on the ground as Zac Brooks‘s role in the offense continues to grow from week to week.
Next, the linebackers must be disciplined in their run support. The Tigers rank 8oth nationally in run defense, giving up an average of 171.20 yards per game. And it just so happens that Eagles’ running back Andre Williams is currently the nation’s leading rusher with 768 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. This means that linebackers Stephone Anthony and Spencer Shuey will spend plenty of time containing the nation’s leading rusher. For Boston College, their game will start and end in the ground game with Williams.
At the same time, the secondary must not get caught looking in the backfield, as Eagles’ quarterback Chase Rettig was one of the ACC‘s leading passers last season with 3,055 passing yards, and has 891 passing yards to go along with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. The Eagles’ primary threat in the passing game is Alex Amidon, who once again leads the team with 426 receiving yards and two touchdowns. If there’s one thing the Eagles will try to pull against Clemson’ it’s the play action pass to their best receiver.
Through the first five games, the Tigers’ secondary has played well for a unit that entered the season full of question marks, ranking 17th nationally in pass defense, giving up 185.4 yards through the air. The Tigers came up with four interceptions in their 49-14 victory over Syracuse. Perhaps the biggest question for this defense will be the status of starting safety Travis Blanks, who suffered an injury last week against the Orange, and his status for Saturday is questionable. If he can’t hit the field, then freshman Jayron Kearse is likely to get his first start on the defensive backend for the Tigers. Kearse has seen limited time on the field thus far, but recorded his first career interception against Syracuse.
With FSU looming just the week after, Clemson knows it can’t be caught looking ahead, and for now, their primetime matchup is not with FSU, but Boston College.
The Clemson Tigers are heading into week seven with their temporary thoughts places on the Boston College Eagles, but they know full well that in two weeks, they will be playing in the ACC game of the season against the Florida State Seminoles. Dabo Swinney‘s squad needs to remain focused because Boston College could be the perfect trap game.
On the other side of the field, the Eagles know that they are not the top priority on the minds of the Tigers and they will be playing with absolutely nothing to lose. Sitting at 3-2 with losses in two of the past three weeks, the Eagles have the opportunity to pull off the upset of the year.
Clemson is led by star quarterback and Heisman-hopeful quarterback Tajh Boyd. The quarterback has come back for his senior season to win championships, not personal awards, but he could end up doing both in 2013. Leading the Tigers to a perfect 5-0 record through six weeks, the quarterback has 1,449 yards and 14 touchdowns for the 11th-ranked pass offense in the nation. Sammy Watkins is becoming the same player he was two seasons ago at wide receiver, catching 29 passes for 481 yards and three touchdowns.
Boston College is struggling on offense so far in 2013. The Eagles rank 108th nationally in passing yards per game behind quarterback Chase Rettig. This team doesn’t pass the ball often, but Rettig completes about 64 percent of his passes and he has 891 yards and nine touchdowns through the air this season. While the Eagles don’t accumulate that many rushing yards per game, Andre Williams is one of the top running backs in the nation with 768 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Defensively, Clemson ranks 35th in the nation, allowing just 356.6 yards per game to go along with just 16.6 points per game — ranking 16th nationally. Boston College allows just over 415 yards per game and 26.8 points per game — good news for Boyd and Watkins.
Boston College will travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 12. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2 and ESPNU.
PREDICTION: Boston College 10, Clemson 38