Last night, Boston College Athletics did another live watch along on Youtube, this time featuring the epic 2014 upset over #9 USC during the Red Bandana Game at Alumni Stadium. If you haven't been attending the watch alongs, they are a lot of fun, and the players themselves usually stop by to give their thoughts during the game. But re-watching the game from 2014 made one thing clear, it should have been clear how special of a coach Ryan Day was going to become.
This game was just under a year removed from BC getting waxed in Los Angeles 35-7 in a matchup the Eagles were never in. From the start the 2014 game felt different. This was a special game, the first that honored fallen 9/11 hero and alumnus Welles Crowther, as the players wore red bandana inspired uniforms and his parents were welcomed by the crowd. Being in the stadium, with a light mist falling, there was a supercharged electric feeling, there was an aura around the team, everything just felt different, special.
The game didn't start off well, as USC jumped off to a quick 10-0 lead after the first quarter. But then the offense started playing fast and loose, and Ryan Day put together one of the most aggressive, and dynamic game plans that Boston College has ever seen. The Eagles roared back with three touchdowns that quarter. Day used every tool in his arsenal having four players with 50 yards or more rushing.
It was a perfect mix of flash and power as BC mounted a comebacker. The Eagles showed no fear running trick play end arounds, like the one below that found speedster Sherman Alston out running future NFL draft picks on the way to the end zone that gave BC their first lead of the game.
But Day wasn't afraid to play physical either as the Eagles rammed the ball down the Trojans throat. Jon Hilliman, a big running back, had two touchdowns on 19 carries as well. Rewatching the game you can just see that USC had no idea what was coming next, and that is a hat tip to Ryan Day who continued to call plays that had kept Trojan defenders confused and completely unsure where the ball was moving. It was poetry in motion for the Eagles, who only completed five passes the whole game. But that didn't matter. Their offensive line bullied USC's line, one that contained future NFL starter Leonard Williams, as the Eagles ran for 8.4 yards per carry in the game.
USC's offense did what it needed to do for most of the game, but for every great Cody Kessler pass, Ryan Day would dial up an immediate answer. By the time quarterback Tyler Murphy took the ball to the house on a quarterback keeper the game was over. Day's masterful game plan had completely disassembled the vaunted USC defense for the upset victory.
Murphy finished the game with 13 rushes for 191 yards. One of Day's incredible feats was taking a quarterback that really wasn't a threat to throw the ball, and make him someone that USC had to defend on every . He did exactly that, every time Murphy took a snap, USC hesitated just enough that it opened up lanes for Hilliman, Rouse and Alston.
In a game where Boston College were heavy underdogs, offensive coordinator Ryan Day put everything on the line with some gutsy play calling and it paid off. While fans stormed the field and players and coaches celebrated, it was Day's star that started it's rapid ascension that day. He took a team that was two years removed from going 2-12, filled with under recruited players and dominated a the defense of a top ten team filled with blue chip recruits.
Day only remained with the team until the end of the year, before he got various NFL and collegiate jobs. Those roles helped polish and prepare him for one of the elite positions in college football, the head coach of Ohio State. Day clearly always had a great football mind, but his gameplan against USC is what propelled his career into the next stratosphere.