Going into the 2020 season, Boston College made an effort to improve their defense, which has struggled the last few seasons. They hired Ohio State co-Defensive Coordinator Jeff Hafley as the Head Coach and brought in the Cincinnati Bengals’ LB coach Tem Lukabu as the DC. While the defense played exceptionally well, the offense stole the show in a 31-30 OT home victory against Pittsburgh.
QB Phil Jurkovec only converted 54% of his passes, but he made each completion count as he threw for 358 yards and 3 TDs. Jurkovec also had a crucial QB sneak TD run on 4th and goal from the 2-yard line in the second quarter.
WR Zay Flowers had his best game as an Eagle by catching 6 passes for 162 yards. Flowers also caught all three of Jurkovec’s touchdowns, which included a huge 77-yard completion at the start of the second half. The true Sophomore showed that he can be an explosive weapon in BC’s offense going forward.
TE Hunter Long added on to his fantastic start to the 2020 season by catching 6 passes for 93 yards. Long is a great big body target for Jurkovec, and he currently leads all TEs in the NCAA in receptions with 25 catches, which is also good for third in total receptions among all receivers. The Junior could be a 2nd-3rd round pick if he declares for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The passing game excelled against Pitt, but the Eagles struggled to run the ball. BC’s running backs combined for 72 yards on 29 carries, which is an average of 2.5 yards per attempt. Pitt has a dominant front seven, but BC’s offensive line has to do a better job at creating holes. The O-Line has a lot of talent on it, but they struggled in this game by not helping the RBs create space and by also allowing Jurkovec to get sacked 5 times. The offensive line will need to improve if BC wants to compete.
While the offense did play well, the defense also contributed heavily to the win. They held Pitt QB Kenny Pickett to a 52% completion percentage and the running game to 105 yards on 40 carries. The one issue the defense did have came from not being able to bring Kenny Pickett down. BC had their hands on Pickett several times in this game, but they were only able to sack him once. That sack did come at the end of the fourth quarter and it almost knocked Pitt out of field goal range, but BC needs to do a better job at wrapping up the QB.
This game likely would not have come down to a missed extra point in OT had BC been better disciplined. They committed 7 penalties for 69 yards with some of those penalties resulting in points. On Pitt’s second drive of the game, BC forced them to a 4th and 8 at midfield and Pitt was going to punt the ball until the Eagles went offsides. This penalty made it a 4th and 3, so Pitt went for it and converted and eventually scored a TD on that drive.
The Eagles will go on the road to face 2-1 Virginia Tech next week. VT entered this week as the #19 team in the nation, but they could fall out of the top 25 after losing to #8 UNC on Saturday.
With a win over Pitt, BC might crack the top 25 for the first time this season. #22 Texas, #19 VT, and #17 LSU all lost on Sunday and they could all drop out of the top 25. #25 Minnesota and #20 Michigan have also yet to play this season, so BC could take their spot due to inactivity. The Eagles are now 3-1 this season with their only loss coming to #8 UNC where the game came down to a BC 2-point conversion. Pitt had just fallen out of the top 25 this past week and BC did receive votes in the coaches poll, so the Eagles could find a spot in the top 25.