CHESTNUT HILL: In what was a slightly sloppy season-opener, the Boston College Eagles started off slow but were able to beat the University of Maine 24-3.
Maine started the game off with an 11-play, 54-yard drive that ended in a 39-yard field goal. The Eagles struggled to contain the edge, allowing two big plays on the outside, a 21-yard catch and run and a 15-yard rush.
On their first drive, Boston College went three and out and were forced to punt. But the Eagles second drive was more successful thanks, in large part, to their sophmore quarterback. In his first career start, DariusWade used both his legs and his arm to march the Eagles down the field. But once BC got within 10 yards of the goal line, the offensive line disappeared. A sack was followed by a rush for a loss. Then, with third and very long, the Eagles couldn't make anything happen and were forced to settle for a 31-yard field goal.
In the second quarter with the game knotted at three, the Eagles took their time getting down the field. The eight-minute drive should have ended in another three points, but Alex Howell missed a 35-yard field goal.
Boston College would get the ball right back though as the defense forced another quick three and out. With over two and a half minutes to go in the half, Boston College had to move the ball 55 yards. Thanks to a beautiful option run set up by a shovel pass from Wade to Hilliman, the Eagles found themselves on the Black Bears' doorstep. On third and goal, Darius Wade ran out to his left and unleashed a bullet pass into the end zone that found a diving Bobby Swigert. Howell would boot in the extra point to give the Eagles a 10-3 cushion entering the half.
Swigert hadn't played since 2012, and in his first game after three years removed from college football action he said in the postgame presser that catching the touchdown was "everything I've been working on this whole time. I had so many dreams of making that catch and celbreating with my team... Making this team better is the number one reason I came back."
Wade said finding his receiver for the score was "surreal. I didn't realize he was in until I threw it and he was about to catch it. So I was ecstatic given the struggle he's gone through and what he went through to get back on the field..."
Wade would finish the game with 155 yards in the air, completing 14 of his 25 pass attempts. The sophomore also added 18 yards on the ground. Coach Addazio complimented the young Wade, saying the quarterback “did a remarkable job out there today” and the coach was “proud of him.” Wade was injured on Monday and was battling a hamsring injury during the game. After the game, Wade said he was "a little banged up," but was able to play through it.
In the third quarter both teams failed to score, as they combined for just over 100 yards and six punts in the third frame.
The Eagles waited for the fourth quarter to score, as just over a minute into the final quarter, Tyler Rouse found an opening in the defense and sprinted 21 yards into the end zone to double the Eagles lead.
Rouse would score again just about a minute and a half later. Following Harris Williams' first career interception, Rouse again found some running room, going 45 yards for his second touchdown of the game. The junior led the team on the ground, tallying 81 yards on eight carries.
The Eagles defense allowed a meager 91 yards on the day, the first time the Eagles kept an opposing offense under 100 yards in nine years.
Addazio thought his front seven "played pretty physical up front... smashmouth." The staunch D was led by senior defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad, who was playing his first game since suffering a left knee injury that had him out for the bulk of last season. The Montreal-native recorded a sack and two tackles for a loss. Coach Addazio mentioned in his postgame press conference that he though Abdesmad "played great."
The offense line struggled to gel, as Maine was in the backfield throughout the first three quarters. Addazio said that his team made him "fresterated at times, but jubliant at times." The young squad, which is over two-thirds underclassmen needs to "cut down the mistakes" and the team "sure has a lot of work to do."
But, as Addazio and the Eagles look towards Howard University next week, the third-year head coach believes his young football team is "gonna get better every week" and become "a hell of a group.”