Students finally got to see their first ACC win at home since 2013 in the annual game that honors Sept. 11 hero, Welles Crowther.
Entering the Red Bandanna game, BC was 4-11 all-time against FSU and head coach Steve Addazio was 0-4 against the Seminoles.
But BC blew out FSU, 35-3, earning its third-consecutive ACC win.
Just eight minutes into the first quarter it became clear the tides were shifting in the Eagles’ favor. Anthony Brown drew back, tossed the ball to wide receiver Jeff Smith––a former quarterback––who then ran left and sailed a beautiful 34-yard pass to Kobay White in the endzone. This gave the Eagles an early lead and momentum, which they would never lose.
The team followed the same formula as in its past two wins, leaning heavily on freshman running back AJ Dillon and playing stout defense, lead by senior Ty Schwab. Dillon finished the game with 149 yards on 33 carries.
Addazio praised Dillon’s development, “We're making some of the plays early in the season we weren't able to make. AJ is certainly becoming more and more comfortable.”
Star defensive linebacker, Harold Landry, was out with a foot injury, but his absence was hardly noticeable with the performance from the defense. Led by Schwab’s great energy, the Eagles dominated Florida State’s offense. At one point, Schwab ripped a pass right out of the hands of FSU tight end Ryan Izzo for an interception in the red zone.
Cornerback Will Harris also recovered two FSU fumbles, giving BC a +3 advantage in the turnover differential. Where the Seminoles struggled to take care of the ball, the Eagles excelled in limiting mistakes. This marked the first time since 2008 that FSU was unable to score a touchdown in a game, snapping a 124-game streak.
“We're playing well on defense, and our special teams continue to grow,” said Addazio of the common trend in the current win streak. “Yes, we're winning the turnover battle, and that's a big battle and that's a good thing. But we've got a lot of good football left to go.”
On special teams, senior Mike Knoll continued dominating the punting game. Twice he pinned FSU at its own 15-yard line, once resulting in an almost immediate FSU turnover and a BC score.
While the rest of the team found a groove, Brown struggled with an injury throughout the game and never found a great passing rhythm. Brown finished the game a pedestrian 6-for-20 passes for 57 yards. Although his overall stats weren’t his best, Brown’s two touchdowns in the second quarter helped to solidify BC’s momentum.
This victory marks Boston College’s second home win of the season, earned in front of an electrified sold-out crowd on a very important night. After witnessing their first home ACC win in four years, the students stormed the field.
This was BC’s fourth annual Red Bandanna dedicated to alumnus Crowther, who died saving dozens during the 9/11 attacks. In honor of Crowther, his family was introduced at halftime and the team wore uniforms with a unique red bandanna design on them.
Next week Boston College has a much needed bye as the team looks for key players, including Brown and Landry, to recover from lingering injuries. The Eagles will return to play against a red-hot NC State team Saturday, November 11th at Alumni Stadium.