Monday, December 28, 2009
BC FALLS SHORT
A lot of people gave BC a chance in this game. And that chance would be if USC decided not to show up and give 100%, BC would win. In fact, I'd say that most people out there felt like USC at 80% would be quite sufficient to bury the Eagles.
Well, USC did show up. And Boston College still lost. But it was hardly the shellacking that was anticipated by some people (including myself) out there.
In fact, in many ways, BC cost themselves the game. Shinskie's interception, Montel Harris fumbling the ball on the USC 6 yard line. And of course the missed extra-point. BC struggled with the wet conditions much more than USC. And in the 1st quarter, BC was clearly nervous and jumpy, especially Shinskie.
The Mountain West officiating crew also did their part. These guys were probably expecting a match-up like BC/Arizona, not BC/USC. They weren't blatantly biased, except when it came to instant replay. What was clearly an incomplete pass (receiver out of bounds) was ruled a completion, then upheld. Instead of 2nd & 10 on the BC 44, the Trojans were given 1st & goal on the BC 6. They then scored a touchdown.
In the 3rd, with USC up only 17-13, BC punted. The ball bounced off a Trojan, who was engaged with BC's Luke Kuechly. Kuechly then pounced on the ball. The officials reviewed the play, then decided that the USC player had been blocked into the ball. Even though the USC player was blocking Keuchly forward, and literally stepped into the bounce of the ball. BC would have had possession on USC's 30 yard line.
Officiating aside, BC lost this game on their own. I like David Shinskie, but he's not the long-term solution at QB. He's steady. And against the likes of Maryland and NC State, he's more than adequate. But BC has a desire to move beyond the middle of the ACC. BC wants to do more than get to Emerald Bowls. David Shinskie simply isn't the QB to get them there. At least not now.
BC usually gets good QBs (Matt Ryan, Brian St. Pierre, the Hasselbecks), so I'm sure a solution at the position will eventually be found.
But I can't wait for BC's 2010 campaign. The QB situation will at least no longer be a massive question mark as it was in the summer of '09. Montel Harris (1,457 yards, 14 TDs) will be back for his junior season. Luke Kuechly (142 tackles, 81 solo tackles, 2nd in country in both categories) will be back for his sophomore season. And All-American Mark Herzlich will also return.
Did anyone else think how ridiculous USC's post-game exuberance was? I mean, they won a 3rd-tier bowl game in their home state against a team that has academic standards. Good job! Maybe next year you'll be able to beat Washington!