Seniors Go Out Swinging
After Suffering A Humiliating Loss To FSU, BC Rebounds To Defeat NC State
Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
On a Senior Day filled with bittersweet farewells and nostalgia from seasons past, the Boston College football team looked to seize the present in a redemption-filled contest against ACC foe North Carolina State.
Over a week after suffering arguably their worst defeat of the season, head coach Frank Spaziani's Eagles treated the Alumni faithful to a resilient 14-10 victory over the Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon. While BC's final home game of the 2011 campaign was not always a display of crisp football, this gutty upset win may provide the Eagles with invaluable late-season momentum.
"It's a nice memory to have," said Spaziani of the game's meaning to his squad's seniors, "but we have a couple other chapters to write in this season here."
Right out of the gate, the Eagles appeared poised to take control of the contest. Sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig quickly led the BC offense down into NC State territory during the game's opening drive, completing a timely 41-yard pass to receiver Alex Amidon. Backup quarterback Josh Bordner, whose performance running the Wildcat continued to prove his worth on BC's offensive attack, efficiently capped the two-minute march down the field with a three-yard touchdown run.
Rettig emphasized how vital BC's early aggressiveness was in setting the tone for the rest of the game.
"We wanted to take a shot in the first quarter and let them know that we're not going to be running inch routes," he said.
A key second-quarter touchdown pass from Rettig to wide receiver Colin Larmond, Jr. proved to be the game-winning score.
Yet it was the Eagles' defense and its containment of the Wolfpack that stole the show. Two BC touchdowns were all linebacker Luke Kuechly and Co. needed to secure a victory. Holding NC State to just three first-half points, BC's defensive onslaught sent opposing quarterback Mike Glennon fleeing in the pocket throughout the afternoon and successfully prevented the Wolfpack from developing any sort of offensive cohesion for the better part of all four quarters.
"When you can play good defense, you're always in the game," Spaziani said, alluding to his defensive unit's toughness as the driving force behind Saturday afternoon's win.
An early 32-yard field goal by kicker Niklas Sade and a rushing touchdown by halfback James Washington allowed NC State to slowly crawl back into the game, but BC's most complete defensive showing of the season squelched any attempt at a comeback. With the Wolfpack knocking on the Eagles' door late in the fourth quarter, BC corner Donnie Fletcher intercepted Glennon in the endzone to halt the scoring threat.
After a quick BC possession put the ball back in NC State's hands with roughly a minute to play, Eagles defensive end Max Holloway sealed the deal by batting down a fourth-down desperation pass, sending the home crowd off with a more hopeful outlook on what remains of BC's season.
"We knew how to stop the plays they were coming with," Kuechly said, citing his teammates' effective silencing of a formidable NC State offense. "Any time you get a win, it builds momentum."
BC's All-American linebacker and Lombardi Award finalist registered nine tackles in the final 13 minutes of play despite suffering an arm injury, and 18 tackles overall. The valiant effort Kuechly gave in his unprecedented 32nd straight game with double-digit tackles impressed Spaziani.
"The tougher the situation gets, the better he gets," the coach said. "He's a great football player, and I'm proud to be his coach."