Boston College 34 Louisville 27: Grading the Eagles

Boston College defeated Louisville on Saturday in a game with loads of twists and turns. We have already given our notes on the offense and defense, but let’s grade out the various position groups. 

Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed. We did the best we could to evaluate what was visible. Also for grading: A: Great Game, B:Good Game, C: Average Game D: Below Average F: Poor Game)

(Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed)

Quarterbacks: A. I don’t know how you give this group anything less than this. Phil Jurkovec pretty much made only one mistake during his time out there (missing Spencer Witter for a touchdown). The transfer finished 15-19 for 203 yards in three quarters. Then Dennis Grosel comes off the bench to fill in for the injured Jurkovec and throws for two touchdown passes and runs for 44 yards. To be able to do that, while not playing all year is a testament to Grosel, and this was an excellent game for the pair. 

Running Backs: B+. David Bailey was on his way to a 2019-esque game when he was knocked out due to injury. He was running hard, and attacking the holes, rushing for 53 yards on 10 carries and a pair of touchdowns. It seemed like he was going to get stronger as the game went on, but alas it was not meant to be. Patrick Garwo had a big run in his return from surgery, blasting for 22 yards late in the game. Travis Levy was mostly ineffective, averaging 1.9 yard a carry. Overall a good effort, but not a great one. 

Wide Receivers: A-. Two touchdown receptions from this group in the game. CJ Lewis made a Sportscenter Top 10 one handed catch in the end zone, and Jehlani Galloway caught the go ahead grab. Zay Flowers had a solid game, with a few catches with solid yards after carry, but didn’t have an explosive. 

Tight Ends: B+. No big mistakes, no big plays either (although Witter would have had a big play if Jurkovec hit him when he was wide open). Hard to see on the broadcast, but have to imagine they were integral in the rushing attack that ran for 5.1 yards per carry.

Offensive Line: A. What a game by this group. No sacks allowed, and 188 yards rushing. The front five dominated up front and just beat up Louisville’s defensive front. Jeff Hafley talked about this game being the moment that he has been talking about all season, a moment when the offensive line jumped up and played at an elite level. The MVP positional group of the game.  

Defensive Line: C-. Not a good game at all, zero pressures and allowed 199 yards on the ground. The disappointing part of their play is the lack of a surge up front, it seems like they are struggling to get any momentum to get after the quarterback. Louisville’s offensive line seemed to contain them. There were a few bright spots, Brandon Barlow had a fantastic hit on a option run for a huge loss, and of course Shitta Sillah had the game winning interception. Also they were able to hit Cunningham a few times, which at times looked like it impacted his play. Overall, not a good game, but had a few moment. 

Linebackers: D+. To be fair to this group, there isn’t a player on this roster that matches up to the speed of Malik Cunningham. But they got badly exposed in this game. 

Defensive Backs: D+. I was about to give this group a C+ as well, but then went back and watched the Dez Fitzpatrick touchdown play, and realized it was a defensive back that completely whiffed on the tackle. That play could have been the big moment that led to a loss, thankfully it didn’t. Tutu Atwell and Fitzpatrick had a day against this group with 12 catches for 260 yards. Jahmin Muse knocked the ball in the air that led to the interception, but this group struggled against Louisville’s passing attack. 

Special Teams. A. Travis Levy had a big kickoff return that led to points, Aaron Boumerhi hit all his field goals. Grant Carlson averaged 44 yards a punt, very good day out of this unit. 

Coaching: B. To have your team ready when they lose their starting quarterback is not just a testament to Dennis Grosel, but the coaching staff that had him ready to go. Thought the offensive gameplan was good, and they did what they needed to do to win. On defense, they struggled, and I’m not sure what they could have done to stop that group with the personnel the Eagles have. BC adjusted to Malik Cunningham’s runs at halftime, but he just flipped the script and ripped them up through the air. 

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