In a rainy matchup of a pair of the ACC’s best defenses, Duke University topped Boston College Saturday, despite not finding the endzone.
The Blue Devils, who improved to 4-1 on the year and 2-0 in ACC play, won their first game in 25 years when they didn’t score a touchdown thanks to Ross Martin’s three field goals.
The Eagles’ offense again struggled, as BC lost their second ACC matchup in as many tries, falling to 3-2 on the season. Head coach Steve Addazio gave the starting quarterback reigns to redshirt freshman Troy Flutie, who threw for 129 yards including a 66-yard bomb late in the third quarter to Thadd Smith for the lone touchdown of the game.
Boston College had chances in the fourth quarter to take the lead, but true freshman Colton Lichtenberg missed a 45-yard field goal with under four minutes remaining in the fourth and the Eagles couldn’t convert on fourth down before the two-minute mark.
Flutie, a redshirt freshman, and true freshman Jeff Smith shared gunslinger duties throughout the contest. Addazio said in his postgame press conference that “Both quarterbacks competed and tried to play. They both delivered sparks.” Smith's inexperience and lack of passing accuracy have been detrimental to his playing time. Altough he led the team in rushing, tallying 60 yards on the ground, Smith was a measly 3-13 passing, totaling just 12 yards in the air.
The Boston College defense, which ranked number one in yards per game and number two in both total defense and rushing defense entering Saturday, kept the Blue Devils to 33 yards on 35 rushing attempts. The Eagles have kept every opponent under 100 yards rushing. Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk threw for 195 yards, but posted just a 36.7 QBR as he couldn’t will his team into the endzone.
The Boston College offense, as they have done for the bulk of the season, struggled to move the ball down the field yet again, as the young and injured offense had 305 total yards, but penalties, a costly fumble, and a 5-18 third and fourth down efficiency stunted the Eagles’ attempts at finding the endzone. The lack of offense, paired with special teams miscues, doomed the Eagles late in the game.
The Eagles will look to bounce back next week when they host Wake Forest at 3 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.