(An outsiders view of goings on at The Heights, aka Boston College)
The sun came up at The Heights this morning, not a cloud in the sky. And BC football coach Steve Addazio and his staff and his team now can truly enjoy the Labor Day weekend.
What is all this about?
Simple. Addazio and the Eagles faced all their demons of the past few years on Friday night in their opening game at Northern Illinois. The Eagles squandered a lead, they made mistakes, they let Northern Illinois back in the game after jumping to a 10 point lead midway through the third quarter.
And they even gave the Huskies a last chance when the BC defense allowed NIU to convert a fourth down in the final seconds, which kept their hopes alive.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
There was the much anticipated debut of redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown, who was more than adequate in completing 26 of 42 passes for 191 yards and 2 TDs.
Wait. There's more. In a full circle move, BC kicker Colton Lichternberg, who had missed a pair of field goals in a 17-14 loss to Georgia Tech in Dublin a year ago, kicked three field goals, including what turned into the game-winner in the fourth quarter.
The bottom line was a 23-20 BC victory.
In terms of style points, this was a victory which had more than its rough edges. There is lots of work to be done and Addazio knows this as the Eagles enjoy Saturday and then begin preparation for their home opener against Wake Forest next Saturday.
But that doesn't matter. A month from now, the details of Friday night's victory will be all but forgotten.
What is important for BC and Addazio is that the Eagles found a way to win the game. Instead of playing not to lose, or finding creative and exasperating ways to lose the game, the Eagles, after a trip which brought them back to The Heights early Saturday morning, are now 1-0, instead of 0-1.
They now have won four games in succession, although last season shouldn't count for much. But in terms of a mind set, it does stick. The bitter taste of walking into their locker room after one-sided and embarrassing losses--49-0 to Virginia Tech, 56-10 to Clemson, 52-7 to Louisville and 45-7 to FSU--is fading quickly.
The Eagles can turn that 1--0 into a 2-0, although Wake Forest did roll to an easy win over Presbyterian last week and will have two weeks to prepare for the Eagles. And 2-0 can turn into 3-0 if the Eagles can handle Notre Dame in two weeks.
Addazio will tell you, quite correctly of course, that all of that is premature speculation
What is important, as he said after the game, is that BC came up with a road win against a tough oppponent--no Howard or Wagner on this season's schedule.
And Anthony Brown now has a game of real college football experience. He could be the real deal.
The Eagles should go into next week's game with a modest degree of confidence. The defense did its job, although the speculation of what might have happened if NIU's Christian Hagan's field goal had not hit the cross bars and bounce short in the final seconds should be a decent reality check for the Eagles.
Kicking, which has been a major gap in the Eagles' game plan in each of Addazio's first four years, for now is no longer an issue. The Eagles know they can win a game with a field goal.
Yes the sun was shining at The Heights on Saturday morning.
BC is 1-0 and that is so much different from 0-1.[/membership]