|Connelly’s Top Ten: Who Cares About the Super Bowl||Surging Celtics To Clash With Cavaliers||Orlando Magic Snaps Boston’s 5-Game Winning Streak||Connelly’s Top Ten: Dog Day of Sports!|
After stunning losses by Clemson and NC State, and let’s be frank, Florida State, Boston College sits right behind a 2-3 Maryland team atop the ACC Atlantic. Maryland, despite upsetting Clemson, has looked awful this year losing to Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, and California (by 39) while their only other win came in overtime against (FCS) James Madison. Maryland also is only one game into their ACC slate as opposed to Boston College, which currently owns a 2-1 record. The tiebreaker against FSU and Wake Forest (who notched a nice win over NC State) also helps BC a ton and the only must win I see in the foreseeable ACC slate comes in two weeks against NC State at Chestnut Hill. Of course, the Eagles will need to put away Maryland and Virginia while at least splitting the North Carolina and Virginia Tech games. I’m getting entirely to ahead of myself.
They almost blew the Wake Forest game despite being up two touchdowns with seven minutes to go when Wake Forest didn’t score that many points in the previous forty one minutes. Again against Florida State, Boston College led by eighteen points. In a span of two minutes at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Florida State tied the score at 21. I think Christian Ponder might have gotten more comfortable nearing the end of the game, but this also must be attributed in part to Defensive Coordinator Bill McGovern calling more conservatively. Let’s summarize one Florida State drive beginning at 13:46 on the FSU 16 in the fourth quarter:
BC fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and with Florida State starting at the BC 29, the defense held FSU to ten yards on eight plays when it needed to keep FSU of the scoreboard. Seminole kicker Dustin Hopkins misses the 40 yarder and BC promptly scores and wins 28-21.
Return man Jeff Smith (he actually scored in a meaningful game!) fumbled on a kickoff in the fourth quarter after FSU had quickly scored two TDs. QB Dave Shinskie threw a pass right in between the numbers of an FSU defender on the game-winning TD drive that should have been intercepted (shades of Baltimore’s Mark Clayton). Montel Harris fumbled on the final drive when Boston College was trying to finish off the clock (luckily Anthony Castonzo recovered). Add those events to the fact that the usually stout BC defensive backfield allowed 340 yards through the air and Ryan Quigley continually couldn’t kick the ball farther than the 40 and you have plenty to hope for next week versus the Hokies.
In Jeff Jagodzinski’s only full recruiting class, eight starters have already emerged. This does not even include RB Josh Haden, the supposed jewel of the class who spurned Florida, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech amongst others. Other notable backups from this class include Justin Tuggle, Nick Clancy, Clyde Lee, Isaac Johnson, and Kaleb Ramsey who have all seen significant game action. Compare this to the 2007 class where only four starters have emerged and three others getting significant time (two of them, Ifeanyi Momah and Will Thompson are hurt). WR Colin Larmond, the #204 best receiver according to ESPN, and RB Montel Harris, the #142 running back, have carried this offense so far this year. If there ever were a year for Boston College to match Matt Ryan’s memorable 2007 campaign, it would be in 2012.
After dominating Northeastern in the opener (not difficult), Harris struggled in the next three games rushing 118 times for 157 yards at a clip of 1.3 yards a carry. Against Florida State he rushed for 179 yards on 25 carries, averaging out to 7.2 yards a carry. Last year, he ripped up his home state Noles for 120 yards as well. You couldn’t have asked for a better time for him to turn things around with an imposing road game at Virginia Tech this week followed by a meaningful contest against NC State for the Atlantic Division crown and then a huge game in South Bend. Harris provided a couple long runs, which is not his forte, and has already matched his touchdown total of five from last year.