The 2022 season will be a long one for the Boston College Eagles if the issues on offense continue.
Namely, taking an inexperienced and young offensive line. And to stay healthy.
The Eagles (0-2) were simply dismantled on that side of the ball, falling to the Virginia Tech Hokies 27-10 on Saturday night in Blacksburg.
A week after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Rutgers, adversity was the name of the game for Boston College on offense this week. And it was there from the beginning.
Boston College Eagles: There are no easy answers
A preview of the night happened immediately, in the second inning of the game.
Looking for Jaden Williams — shut down, actually — Phil Jurkovec threw an interception. The play never stood a chance, as Williams was forced out of bounds on his route.
Life didn’t get much better since then. A lot of that can be chalked up to an inconsistent offensive line, which was already in the decline of starter Ozzy Trapilo. The unit, no matter who was there, had very little push in the running game. Even when Pat Garwo III got some yards, he did most of the work himself.
The pass defense was good for most of the first half. They were pushed around a few, but even when Jurkovec had time to go through progressions, Virginia Tech’s (1-1) secondary was doing a good job of preventing Boston College’s receivers from getting open.
Over the past two seasons, Boston College has fallen in love with the downfield offense. While it’s an important part of Jurkovec’s game, they may be best served by finding shortcuts as linemen learn. If anything, as they proved with the goals scored, playing with tempo benefits this team. And the best way to do that is with a series of good finishes and runs.
The problem is, the Eagles were playing behind the sticks most of the game, often in third-and-long situations, leading to nine 3-and-outs. Things went from bad to worse when another forward, Kevin Cline, left with an injury in the second half.
Still, Jurkovec was sacked six times, contributing to the team’s total of four yards on the ground. He finished 15-28 for 135 yards and a touchdown to go along with his interception.
The Eagles didn’t pick it up for the first time until their 8th drive of the game when Zay Flowers finally got involved.
Flowers got the first down on a seven-yard fly sweep and then had a couple of receptions for 26 yards on the drive. This proved once again how important the receiver is to this offense.
Flowers finished with 4 receptions for 79 yards, while Williams had three catches for 37 yards and the only Eagle touchdown.
The offensive ineffectiveness is troublesome, but a tremendous defensive effort kept Boston College in this game.
The Boston College Eagles ‘D’ rises to the occasion
Aside from two big plays, Boston College’s defense played well most of the game.
The first score for Virginia Tech was the result of a short field, although the Eagles were unable to stop the Hokies on two fourth down conversions.
The first really big play was a 65-yard touchdown run by Keshawn King. In addition, Boston College again showed improvement in their run defense. The Hokies managed to get some good runs at key times. Throw in that big layup, though, and Virginia Tech carried the ball 44 times for 79 yards.
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Virginia Tech’s third down had a 43-yard completion as part of the drive, the only time the Eagles were really hurt through the air all night. That drive also saw a very strange late-hitting personal foul on Kam Arnold on a play that would have forced Virginia Tech to punt.
However, Boston College’s defense was forced to spend a lot of time on the field. It’s one thing if the reason is because the offense is scoring too quickly. It’s another when you only get a minute of game time to rest between sets.
For this, however, the unit performed admirably. And as long as the health holds, it’s a time that could carry this team to a win or two this season.
Arnold had 12 tackles and Jaylen Blackwell had eight tackles and a sack. Sophomore Bryce Steele added five tackles and a sack.
Much is left to be desired through two games for Boston College this season. The offense looked on the verge of getting things going last week and was plagued by turnovers. This week was a step back, but all it takes is one good game to turn things around. Hopefully, that’s next week and the Eagles can turn it into a special run as the season progresses.