Wake Forest and Boston College did not exactly push offense forward, letting their top 20 defenses battle it out Saturday. But the final minute goes down in incredibly dumbfounding #goacc moments, as both teams tried to give the game away in equal measure. The Deacs eventually prevailed 3-0 and while it was far from a masterpiece, they will take the first ACC road win under coach Dave Clawson.
What it means for Wake Forest: The Deacs have shown major improvement compared to a year ago, but they still managed to drop close games to Indiana and Florida State. Clawson said this week that he was tired of just coming up short – he was ready to see his team win. So watching the Deacs prevail against the No. 1 defense in America has to give them something to build on, even if they didn’t generate much on offense. That was probably expected coming in, considering how well the Eagles have played. But Wake Forest showed why it has a top 20 defense itself and finally was able to generate some turnovers. After coming in with zero, the Deacs forced four. And their only points came off a fumble early in the third quarter. They ended up being the decisive ones.
What it means for Boston College: It was another tough game for the BC offense, which has been severely hampered without five key starters, especially Darius Wade. The Eagles have scored 21 points in their last four games, failing to score in two of them. Coach Steve Addazio talked about trying to go back to the basics with such a young offense, but even that didn’t help as freshman quarterback Jeff Smith fumbled and also threw an interception. Troy Flutie also fumbled with a chance to win or tie. What’s more, the BC defense has played well enough to win each of the last three losses. But when the offense is hamstrung as severely as the Eagles, it’s going to be difficult to win. Because BC (3-3) played two FCS teams, the Eagles need four wins in their final six games to become bowl eligible. With Clemson and Notre Dame remaining on the schedule, that appears to be a long shot.
How the game was won: You are going to want to read this sequence of events, but it’s hard to even fathom if you didn’t watch. Flutie fumbled on third-and-1 from the Wake Forest 8-yard line with 1:03 left, and Zach Dancel recovered for Wake Forest. But Wake Forest running back Matt Colburn fumbled it right back with 56 seconds left as the Deacs were trying to run out the clock. Justin Simmons recovered, giving BC the ball on the Wake Forest 11. Smith got down to the 1-yard line with 12 seconds left. BC called a run for Tyler Rouse with zero timeouts left. He was stopped short. There was no time left to spike the ball and stop the clock.
Uh, what? With the ball at the 1-yard line and a chance to tie, BC decided to run without any timeouts left. So Addazio must have felt confident he was going to punch it in, because the likelihood of running, failing to get in and having time to clock the ball with only 12 seconds left is remote. BC hasn’t been able to rely on kicker Colton Lichtenberg, who was 0-for-2 in the game, but the decision to run in from the 1 is a head scratcher.