Ten Things From North Carolina

Boston College lost on Senior Day to North Carolina is a game that was largely over before it began. The Eagles handed the Tar Heels 21 points to start the game and that was the difference. Here are ten observations from the final home game of the season.

Opening Jitters

The Eagles gave up two defensive touchdowns in back-to-back drives and also allowed UNC to drive 70 yards downfield for another score to fall behind 21-0 in a flash. To BC's credit they fought back into it. Captain Mike McLaughlin said the team made some necessary adjustments, "We came at them a lot more and were aggressive". Still, the early deficit proved too much for the home team to overcome.

Turnover Battle

Turnovers were clearly the story of this game. The two teams combined for 10 turnovers in the game (Boston College had six). North Carolina was able to capitalize with two defensive scores and 151 total yards in interception returns. BC also had some key interceptions to keep them in the game, including a pick in the end zone by Roderick Rollins.

Shinskie Struggles

Shinskie clearly struggled throughout this game. He was responsible for five turnovers (4 interceptions) and he even had another pick called back by a UNC penalty. In his defense the pass to Pantale that went through his hands should have been caught. He completed just 43 percent of his passes for 101 yards. He struggled to handle UNC's pressure and often chucked the ball up into coverage.

He said following the game, "You just have to try and find where the pressure is coming from and try to avoid it… it seemed like every time I tried to go around or step up there was another guy there." The offensive line played pretty well in the second half although Shinskie's indecision cost him as he held on to the ball too long on several occasions.

Third down woes

BC's offense was 0-13 on third down conversions. Yikes. This boils down to the lack of passing game despite repeated attempts by Gary Tranquill to try and establish some type of momentum.

Bowman Shines On Senior Day

Bowman has been stellar all season and really played himself into possible all-conference candidacy. On his final home game at Alumni he recorded 10 tackles and an interception. He has a well-deserved reputation as a hard hitter but if he proves he can defend the pass consistently as well he could have a future in the NFL.

Giles Makes Impact

Giles has been solid this season and made an incredibly athletic play when he batted a pass up in the air to himself for the interception. Nice to see the senior come up with his first ever interception in front of his family and friends.

Kuechly Sets Personal Mark

By this point you can just pencil in a spot for Kuechly every week in this column. He continues to wow everyone with his extraordinary play. He made a career high 19 tackles against North Carolina. It will be scary to see how good he will be next year after another year of tutelage from Mark Herzlich.

Harris Running Hard

Harris had his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game. His 132-yards and 5.7 yards per carry were impressive numbers against the number one rush defense in the conference. BC went to Harris early and often although they stayed away from him late in the game. This was the first time BC lost when he ran for 100+ yards in a contest. He also reached the 2,000 rushing yards for his career.

Questionable Goal Line Play Calls

BC was forced to settle for two short field goals as they were clawing their way back into the game in the first half. They repeatedly called for trap plays where the guard pulls and this allowed UNC's quick defensive line to penetrate into the backfield and blow up the play. The Eagles would have been better off running straight power dives. Tranquill finally adjusted late in the second quarter called for a roll out pass that was caught by Gunnell for the touchdown.

Bowl Picture Becoming Clear

Chick-Fil-A Bowl representatives were in attendance and its pretty clear BC won't be headed there. The players were visibly frustrated about not making it back to the conference championship game. There are several projections that have BC going to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco and this is where they ultimately end up. Not a bad destination, there is plenty to do and BC has a large alumni base there as well.

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