Ten Things From Wake Forest

Boston College bounced back from their loss at Clemson with a thrilling overtime win over Wake Forest. The Eagle offense responded with their best performance of the year, carrying a defense that struggled all day against the tricky Wake Forest offense.

Shinskie Steps Up

Shinskie was 18-29 for 228 yards and three scores today. He looked more comfortable as the game went on. Shinskie acknowledged it was a day of firsts for him (first start and first overtime) but he was pleased with his efforts as was coach Spaz. While his arm strength is not great and his release is slow, he clearly has a hold on the starting spot now. He engineered several scoring drives, which is a huge positive for this offense.

Secondary Gets Burned

The secondary was torched for 354 yards. Skinner picked on Donnie Fletcher repeatedly. The corners played soft coverage and still got beat for several long pass plays. Skinner picked apart the coverage and the receivers were able to get out of bounds during their final scoring drive. It was disappointing considering the secondary was the most experienced unit coming into the season.

Weakness Up The Middle

Wake Forest found a weakness in the middle of BC's defense and exploited it throughout the second half. It was frustrating to watch as Wake Forest racked up first downs and even broke off a 76-yard touchdown run right up the gut against the Eagles normally stout front seven.

The change at middle linebacker may have been part of it. McLaughlin is a great middle linebacker, but he has been off the field for a long time. Throw in the change in chemistry that results with a new guy on the starting unit and the middle of the defense suffered.

Tranquil Tries To Get Creative

Tranquill called two wildcat sets, one on a crucial third down. Harris was able to convert and in his two attempts gained nine yards. It's not a bad wrinkle to have in the offense. One set that Tranquill should immediately throw out is bringing in Tuggle for the designed run. I'm not sure he could make it any more obvious that the quarterback will be running the ball, not to mention he called this play on second and goal and lost five yards which ultimately forced BC to settle for a field goal.

Good Karma For BC

After last week when seemingly nothing went right, it was great to see some big breaks for BC. The first came on a 3rd and 33 when BC drew a pass interference call resulting in an automatic first down. Of course, the final play was a huge gift. Wake Forests' running back forgot which direction the play was going and Isaac Johnson was able to strip a dumbfounded Riley Skinner. Wake Forest was marching all over the defense at that point and I'm not sure a fan in the stadium thought Wake wouldn't score.

It underscores an old coaching expression about not losing games. This one saw plenty of good plays by both teams. Yet, the game was decided by mistakes. Take away any one of a dozen errors by both squads and we see a very different result.

Haden Breaks Out

Haden had a career day rushing for a personal best 93 yards on 17 carries. He broke off a couple of nice first down runs and looked quicker than usual as he bounced outside and found some running lanes.

Defense Collapses

Rough day for the defense as they were helpless against Skinner. It was odd seeing Mike Morrissey playing late in the game. He simply lacks the athleticism to cover as much space as the other guys. This is where they sorely missed Dominic LeGrande. BC should have their best defenders on the field in crunch time, and that means finding a place to put Kuechly in the game. BC's lack of speed clearly showed late in the game. Not to mention the inability of the line to get to the quarterback, another sign of concern.

McLaughlin Back In Action

McLaughlin wasted no time getting acclimated as he made the opening tackle on Wake Forest's first possession. "Once I made the first couple of plays, I got myself back into it pretty quickly but I'm gong to see tomorrow that I made a bunch of mistakes." One of those mistakes he admitted to was making the wrong read on Wake Forests' long TD run. Overall he finished with four tackles.

Receivers Make Plays

McMichael made a phenomenal grab on a 50-yard catch and run in the first quarter. Jarvis caught five balls for 66 yards and perhaps the most impressive grab was nullified by a penalty when he tipped the ball over a defender to himself for the catch. Pantale and Larmond each caught touchdown passes as well. It was crucial for the receivers to step up and help Shinskie settle in today, which they did.

Poor Clock Management

The last few drives by BC were horribly managed. They snapped the ball with about five seconds on the play clock each time instead of running it down to one or two seconds. Montel Harris made a huge mistake by running out of bounds on third down when Wake Forest had zero timeouts left. Harris wound up admitting to this bonehead move after the game. As a result Wake Forest got the ball with about 1:20 left instead of running off another 35 seconds before punting.


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