The Boston College football team held the annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Game on Saturday, with the offense defeating the defense 71-55. The game should have Eagles fans excited for what next season has to offer, as each side showed some promising flashes.
Defense was dominant early on, not allowing a single first down over the first two possessions. On the first possession, cornerback Tate Haynes forced a fumble on a short reception and returned it for an early touchdown.
The secondary was strong throughout the scrimmage, with no Eagles quarterbacks able to find a rhythm through the air. However, the offense did play most of the game shorthanded, as starting quarterback Anthony Brown played just two possessions while star running back AJ Dillon did not play.
Despite its struggles through the air, the offense was able to move the ball quite effectively on the ground. While Dillon did not participate, the Eagles showcased their deep stable of running backs consisting of Travis Levy, Javian Dayne, Ben Glines, David Bailey, and Peter Stehr.
Bailey, Dayne, and Stehr combined for over 250 yards, with Dayne turning in perhaps the day’s best performance, running for three touchdowns. Bailey also turned in a standout performance, showcasing a powerful running style that should enable him to take on an expanded role this season.
The offensive line was also extremely impressive, winning at the point of attack in the running game and opening lines for the aforementioned backs. The blocking was superb with regard to the variety of screen passes that the offense ran, allowing the running backs to find the open field and consistently pick up first downs.
However, there were some growing pains in pass protection, with the quarterbacks often forced to escape the pocket and run the ball, as receivers were often covered closely downfield.
On the other hand, the defensive line was fantastic throughout the day, generating constant pressure and forcing rushed throws. This enabled the secondary to force turnovers early and often, with two fumble recoveries and a few interceptions.
The game marks the end of spring practices and the offseason program for the Eagles, who will resume practice in August prior to the start of the regular season. Ultimately, every position group showed some promise throughout the game. However, it looks as though the ground attack will once again be the Eagles’ calling card this season, with a supremely talented defense in tow to complement a slow and tough style of play.
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