Monday, November 28, 2011

A Good Finish

For the first time since 1984, BC defeated Miami at home.  For the first time this season, everything seemed to come together for BC in this game.  The running was good, the passing was great, and the defense was stellar.  It was a great win and I am glad that the team could end the season on a high note and especially in Miami.  You can say a lot of things about this team, but now you can also say they were the first BC team to win in Miami since Doug Flutie was playing.

The game started out I think the way most of us expected.  Jacory Harris launched one to our own 20 to set up the first score of the game.  I was watching at the BC gamewatch in New York and there was an audible sigh on that first play from scrimmage... "Here we go again."  But then BC marched right back down the field, putting together a beautiful drive that ended in a pass from Rettig to Pantale for BC's first touchdown of the game.  Our offense put together what I think was one of the truly complete games in a long while.  Although I do think we left some points on the field you could not have asked more from Chase Rettig.  Although we passed just 17 times out of 67 plays, Rettig went 13 for 17 and threw two of our three touchdowns.  For the first time since the beginning of the season, Chase seemed comfortable in the pocket and the offensive line held up well enough to allow him to throw just four incompletions (though he did get sacked twice).  Pantale was the star of the receivers, hauling in both of Rettig's touchdown passes.  His second was particularly impresssive: a 32 yard touchdown pass from Rettig where he broke at least one tackle and outran the majority of the Miami secondary.  The running was remarkably consistent.  There were not very many big plays from the run game but our tailbacks kept the Miami defense on the field.  Our 50 running plays can be attributed to our prevent offense that we went into as soon as we got up in the second half.  This is also my only complaint from our offense this week, which isn't even their fault (thank you coaching staff).  For better or worse, the prevent offense worked, especially since it was so consistent, however without the outstanding play of our defense, it very easily could have let Miami back into the game.

The defense played well.  Beyond Harris' first play from scrimmage and Lamar Miller's 79 yard touchdown run, the defense was stout and limited the Miami offense.  There is not much more to say than what the stat sheet does about how the defense played.  They held Miami to 367 yards, 21 minutes of posession, oh, and force four interceptions, which nearly matched Jacory Harris' totaly for the season.  In my opinion, this was the best game that the defense has played all season.  And that, not the least of which, can be attributed to Luke Kuechly.

Over the past few weeks an argument on the message boards has been about where Luke Kuechly ranks among the best defensive players of BC.  Where does he stand when up against names like Herzlich, Raji, and Kiwanuka?  By and large the response was, Luke is not a game changer, but damn is he consistent.  You can always count on him to register double digit tackles.  That is true, except this week. Luke's interception return for a touchdown was a game changer.  It put BC ahead for good and was a perfect way to cap off an already fantastic game for Luke.

There are a lot of questions for BC now that the season is over.  Player turnover, coaching turnover, will Spaz be back are all questions that will be answered in the coming weeks and months.  Regardless of those questions, BC still finished the season off with a great win against an old rival.  The players fought hard and never gave up this season and deserved this win.  With the long offseason ahead of us, its nice to go out on top of one.

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