Boston College Defense Makes Statement in Season-Opening Win
It’s been the talk of the offseason in Chestnut Hill. How would a young and inexperienced Boston College defense fair this season? After Week One, the verdict is, pretty well. The Eagles caused five turnovers (one on special teams), leading BC to a 35-28 win season opening win over Virginia Tech.
Head Coach Steve Addaio began his postgame press conference by praising his defense saying, “they played with great energy and great passion.”
It was a mixed bag at the beginning of the game for the BC defense, causing 3 three and outs on the Hokies first five possessions. The other two drivers, however, resulted in VT touchdowns with senior quarterback Ryan Willis finding a streaking Hezekiah Grimsley wide open for a 55 yard score. The Hokies followed it up with a nine play, 88 yard drive in 3:31 to take a 14-7 lead.
On offense, BC returned a veteran group including juniors Anthony Brown (QB), AJ Dillon (RB), and Kobay Whtie (WR). There was one new face, however, on the Eagles offense, that being new offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian. Bajakian and the Eagles came out with a game plan and executed. They put together a 28 point first half on 356 yards of total offense.
Anthony Brown had 277 all purpose yards in the first half to go along with all three of his touchdowns. AJ Dillon scored his first touchdown of the season on a 17 yard scamper in the second quarter following a Virginia Tech fumble in their own half.
BC forced three turnovers in the second quarter to sway the momentum. None bigger than Joe Sparacio’s pick of Willis in the end zone to end the first half. The interception kept it at a 14 point game going into half. Addazio called it “a huge momentum turn.”
The Eagles offense was a little “stuck in the mud” coming out of halftime. The Eagles didn’t gain a single yard in the third quarter, but the defense made sure to hold the lead.
Redshirt Sophomore Brandon Sebastian picked off Ryan Willis again in the end zone in the beginning of the third quarter. Sebastian, who figures to be a leader on this defense described the pick by saying, “I saw his staring at the receiver, I had to attack it and finish the play.”
Virginia Tech made it a ballgame late in the third when Willis found his tight end, James Mitchell in the back of the end zone to make it a 28-21 game with 3:09 left in the third.
The BC defense continued to prove stingy. Tanner Karafa made an outstanding acrobatic interception in the fourth. BC shut the door on the Hokies following a David Bailey rushing TD to make it 35-21.
Addazio called it “a great statement win.” He highlighted the importance of being “ 1-0, getting a conference win” as well as being “battle tested” in the opening week of the season.
Addazio noted the “relentless play” of his defense and added that unit “rose to the occasion” and will use the performance as a “confidence builder.”
Brandon Sebastian said the defense has a “chip on their shoulder” mentality and added, “we showcased our talent today.”
The Eagles defense faces their next test at Alumni Stadium next weekend against Richmond. The Spiders are coming off of a 38-19 win over Jacksonville.