The Boston College football team made their long awaited return to Alumni Stadium for the 2020 home opener. As 17.5 point favorites at kick off, it was widely expected for the Eagles to handle the Bobcats, a Sun Belt Conference team, by a large margin. However, it took some late game heroics in all three facets of the game as BC was able to squeak by with a victory and keep the upset from happening
3rd Star - Aaron Boumerhi
The graduate student kicker has gone through a challenging past six months. Along with the rest of the world dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, Boumerhi elected to get a second hip surgery when the school closed this past March. With all the regulations and lock downs, it was bound to be a tougher road for the kicker than usual. "It's hard to prepare for a camp when you're just trying to figure out how to swing your leg again," Boumerhi commented.
After being relieved of kicking duties in the opener last week, head coach Jeff Hafley gave his senior kicker the nod leading up to this week, "He went through a strong amount of work and tests this week and he felt good," Hafley added. "He looked great in Thursday's practice and we thought he gave us the best chance to win." Boumerhi sought to reward his coach's believe when he knocked the game winning kick through the uprights from 36 yards out.
The game winning kick, came after a previously blocked kick in the first quarter. Texas State tried their best to get in his head, with three straight time outs to Ice Boumerhi. But it was all for naught as he connected on his first game winning kick since 2017 with Temple.
2nd Star - Hunter Long
The offensive catalyst for Boston College on Saturday was none other than the junior tight end. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec looked his way with 12 targets, 9 receptions, 81 yards and a touchdown, all team highs. As the offense began to find its footing as the game went on it was Long who was a stabilizing factor for the Eagles reeling in catch after catch.
The game tying touchdown with just over two minutes remaining belongs to Long as well. "it was a route that we work on all the time," said Long "Phil is great at throwing that ball. I saw that I had one on one coverage and had to win."
High praise for his quarterback whom Long seemingly has developed a rapport with and continue to look more comfortable with one another each week.
1st Star - Isaiah McDuffie
After going into half time with a 14-7 deficit that would grow into 21-7 in the 3rd. For many who have watched BC football it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities to see BC pack it in with a subpar performance. However, this team did not quit and continued to make plays on both sides of the ball. In order for the offense to continue to get chances to tie it up and get a chance at a game winning score, it was up to the defense to get them the ball. The unit was able to come through and the Junior linebacker led the way with 12 tackles including 2 sacks.
Bobcats quarterback Brady McBride was able to connect on two touchdown passes, one right before the half and another midway in the third. McDuffie and company were able to step up and give the offense their chance to answer.
After the Eagles successfully tied the score at 21, Senior linebacker Max Richardson informed his defense that it would be up to them to win the game. It only took 24 seconds for BC to force Texas State into a 3 and out and give the offense their shot at redemption and victory.
Honorable Mention - The Coaching Staff's half time adjustments
Without a close knowledge of previous seasons for the Boston College football team, halftime adjustments are part of a functioning team. Fans and those close to the Eagles know this is not a luxury this program has had. But in this game, Texas State was able to move the ball, specifically across the middle and with bubble screens which is what plagued the program worst defense in 2019. Hafley and company mad the necessary adjustments to the linebacker core shoring up the middle of the field and allowed for pressure on McBride who played fantastic in his own right.