Boston College Puts Together a “Beautiful” Performance in 35-3 rout of Florida State

Written by Brett Korpi
(Chestnut Hill, MA) ​The Red Bandana game is always a special night at Alumni Stadium. It is a game the Boston College community rallies around. Since Boston College upset USC in 2014 the adage is, “Never bet against BC in the Red Bandana game.” That saying proved to be true as the 4.5-point underdog Eagles turned in an extra-special 35-3 victory over Florida State (2-5, 2-4 ACC). In front of a near capacity crowd of 40,629.

“Our kids played with tremendous passion and energy, and this game meant a lot to our program for a lot of reasons.” Boston College head coach Steve Addazio said after the game.

The win marks the first time since 2009 BC beat the Seminoles. Moreover, the 32 margin of victory is the largest for the Eagles in the series. The highest margin of victory was 13 in a 20-7 Eagles win in 1957.

Boston College (5-4, 3-3) used a mix of a power running attack, timely passing, and a stringent defense to record their third straight ACC victory. The school’s first since 2014 The Eagles gained 329 yards of total offense, 241 of which came on the ground to control the time of possession 34:15-24:45.

Running back AJ Dillon led the way for the Eagles offense, using his massive 6’0” 240 lb frame to bulldoze over the Seminoles defense for 149 yards on 33 carries and a touchdown.
The true-freshman has now rushed for 510 yards in the last three games. Dillon totaled 333 yards in his first six.

“I made it my own personal goal to just work a lot harder in Practice. After the Louisville game, I realized how taxing all those carries can be.” Dillon said of his progress after the game, “I just really have been trying to push myself to go as hard as I can, just so I can be there when the team needs me in any situation.”

Boston College needed Dillon early in the 3rd quarter. After Florida State punt returner Tarvarus McFadden fumbled an Eagles punt at the ‘Noles 11-yard line BC recovered. Looking to put the game out of reach leading 21-3, Dillon ran the ball three times to get in the end zone extending their lead to 28-3.

The passing game did not amount to much but was useful in the time of need. Quarterback Anthony Brown was 6-for-20 for 54 yards and a touchdown and added another 20 yards and a touchdown with his feet. Wide receiver and former quarterback Jeff Smith threw one pass on a reverse for a 34-yard touchdown.

Smith’s touchdown pass to freshman receiver Kobay White opened the scoring for the Eagles halfway through the 1st quarter. Having set up the gadget-play earlier in the drive, Smith hit a wide-open White deep in the end zone. The dive redshirt-freshman was able to stay inbounds to gain the early lead.

The BC defense equaled the offense’s dominance. The stringent unit held FSU to just 213 yards and punished freshman quarterback James Blackman all game long. Linebacker Ty Schwab was the standout, leading the team with 12 tackles, two for loss. The Florida native also delivered a sack and an interception.

“Our whole defense was swarming to the ball, playing relentlessly,” Schwab said. “We just had everything going for us of defense, and we played hard for each other,”

The offense benefitted from the defense’s hard play. The Eagles had excellent field position throughout the game. After the D forced the ‘Noles to a three-and-out to open the 2nd quarter the Eagles needed just 46 yards to score. The drive ended when Brown threw to his big tight end target Tommy Sweeney for an 11-yard score.

Late in the 3rd quarter, BC once again took advantage of field position after the defense stopped FSU on 4th down on the Seminoles 24-yard line. Brown would break free on a scramble during the drive rushing down to the one-yard line. The redshirt-freshman would aggravate a shoulder injury from earlier in the season the play. Graduate-junior Darius Wade would come in at quarterback. After three failed attempt by Dillon to get in the from the one, Wade would sneak in the give the game its final score of 35-3.

It had been three weeks since the last time Boston College played at home. That night the Eagles lost to Virginia Tech 23-10, to fall to 2-4 on halfway through the season. Things looked dismal at Alumni Stadium, the offense was struggling, and there were chants in the crowd to fire Addazio. After that game, the fifth-year head coach proclaimed that the offense would one day come together and it would be “Beautiful.”

When Addazio arrived at his press conference after his team demolished the school which was once the crown jewel of the ACC he had a simple statement.

“Well, that was a beautiful win.”

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