Over seven decades ago, Boston College put up 78 points against Saint Anselm’s College, now a soon-to-be Division III program. Unfortunately for Howard University, history repeated itself on Saturday. The Howard University Bison left Chestnut Hill humiliated.
This weekend, Boston College outmanned, outplayed, and outcoached their lowly FCS opponents to the tune of a 76-0 shutout. The Eagles finished the day two points shy of breaking their single game points record from 1941. Perhaps an understatement, the south end-zone hot dog eating duel rivaled the day’s closest contest.
Before Kickoff, pundits predicted an easy win. Appalachian State demolished the Bison by 49 points just last weekend. A bloodbath proved all but written in the stars for the Bison against the Eagles. But boy-oh-boy it turned ugly. How ugly? Representatives of Boston College and Howard University met at halftime and agreed to shorten the last two quarters of the game from 15 minutes a piece to 10 minutes a piece.
“Yeah I mean I’ve never really been a part of anything like that before,” admits head coach Steve Addazio. “[Howard’s coaches] came up to me and said that in the ACC it was within the rules and so I was all for it and so all the other coaches were too and so we agreed right before the second half that we would do that, which I thought was great.”
Receiving the ball to start the game, Howard’s first possession ended with two sacks and an illegal procedure penalty. After a botched punt attempt, running back Tyler Rouse capitalized on a 3-yard touchdown run. The junior walked into the end-zone untouched—the first of 3 touchdowns to punctuate a breakout performance.
On the Bison’s second position, Boston College sophomore linebacker Connor Strachan jumped the receiver’s route and intercepted Howard quarterback Kalen Johnson's pass. Strachan, who starred in last week's win against Maine, returned the ball back 16 yards for the pick six. From then on, the floodgates broke open and the Eagles scored 41 unanswered points in under 5 regulated minutes.
The Eagles employed no new fancy schemes on defense—no smoke and mirrors. Relying on its 3-4 base defense for most the game, BC allowed 11 net yards the entire game. Howard never earned a first down for the entire first half. In fact, the Eagles prevented the Bison from moving past their own 25-yard-line in that time span. A constant pass rush up front yielded four sacks and 4 passing yards. Stracham once again led the team in tackles with 5, proving a Kuechly-esque cog at middle linebacker.
The offensive-line created wide-open running lanes play after play. Sophomore running back Miles Willis found holes early and proved a formidable one-two punch with junior counterpart Jon Hilliman. Both running backs kept the chains moving and ran the ball right down Howard’s throat. Willis, listed as questionable before the game, played despite a diagnosis of mononucleosis. The disease causes severe fatigue, leaving most victims in bed for weeks. Miles never looked more awake.
Sophomore quarterback Darius Wade threw a touchdown in a short afternoon’s worth of work. By the time sophomore Troy Flutie took snaps under center, the Eagles commanded a 62-point-lead. The nephew of former Heisman winner Doug Flutie led a pair of touchdown drives, a nostalgic vision for those living in Newton during the 1980s.
At the end of the day, Boston College improved to 2-0 with its victory over Howard. Despite a perfect record, the Eagles have yet to play a conference opponent, let alone an FBS opponent. Next week proves their first true test against nationally ranked Florida State.
Coach Addazio found solace in the team's youth and health but knows a fair number of challenges lie ahead. "A lot of young guys got a chance to play which is great and nobody got hurt which is great," added the third-year coach. "Your fear is that what's gonna happen on Friday night is going to be so radically different from the first two weeks. There was nothing in between and there's nothing you can do about it."
76 points sure look good today. Just hope that the Eagles can generate enough points against Florida State. Playing as underdog at home, the they sure need as many as possible to upset the heavy favorites under the lights on Friday night.
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