Maybe it was the fact that it was; “All Hallows Eve” weekend.
Or maybe, to paraphrase Tom Hanks from the movie “Forest Gump,” “Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get,” is the phrasing that best captures the day.
But whatever the reason, it was a Saturday of high emotion, as four undefeateds fell by the wayside, (all on the road), and several others barely survived, while, be still my heart: after nearly 700-days, Boston College won an ACC game. WOW!
We’ll begin at the Heights where there will be no “Baker’s dozen” discount, as the aforementioned Eagles of Boston College (4-4, 1-4) ended its 12-game ACC winless streak, which was on the cusp of reaching two full years, by knocking off the Wolfpack of N.C. State; 21-14 in a game that was in doubt until the final five minutes.
BC used a “Trickeration” (of course, it is Halloween) halfback pass, which saw Davon Jones lob a wobbly duck into the waiting hands of Tommy Smith, and with the ensuing two-point conversion, the Eagles secured its emotional 7-point victory.
A relieved, and embattled Coach Steve Addazio, who had tear stains on his face said, “It’s almost like, you know, somebody saying, ‘It ain’t going to be easy, now.’ We’re going to test you to the maximum level,” said the coach. “It’s been a long haul, but it’ll make us stronger. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”
The victory did two things for the “Sons of Mike Holovak;” first; it puts BC two victories away from bowl eligibility.
BC’s schedule shows what would appear to be a pair of L’s in its next two game, Louisville, and at Florida State. But it closes with UConn at home, then a season ender at Wake Forest, and if it secures that pair of W’s it finishes 6-6, and a bowl invite is in the mail.
And if that Shakespearian drama acts out in BC’s favor, it will keep Mr. Addazio’s place of employment and more importantly his $2.5 million dollar salary running for at least another year, which in all honesty, won’t bring a lot of smiles to its alumni.
Another guy who saw his very shaky employment fortunes dramatically improve is Charlie Strong as his Texas Longhorns surprisingly knocked off the undefeated Bears of Baylor: 35-34. (The feeling is that even if Strong wins out, and finishes 8-4, his job security is hardly guaranteed.)
It took a clutch 39-yard late game field goal by the Horns kicker Trent Domingue to pull out the victory, which for the Big -12 Conference was Pyrrhic in nature.
The reason: its two undefeateds, Baylor, and the Mountaineers of West Virginia, both went down in flames crushing any realistic hopes that a team from the “flag-football” league of ole defense, will be invited to the playoff soiree. From our perspective, that is not a bad thing.
In the best game of the year, the Huskies of Washington, now riding an 11-game winning streak, proved its mettle with its scintillating road victory over a tough bunch of Utah Utes: 32-24.
Kyle Whittingham’s (why doesn’t his name surface for any of these potential “big” openings; are you listening down there in Baton Rouge and Austin?) Utes made UDub earn this, and the game wasn’t decided until a late 58-yard punt return TD by Dante (Dante’s Inferno) Pettis, which saw the refs miss; not one, not two, but three block in the back penalties during his touchdown winning scamper.
Ah the beauty of college ball.
In another classic, Clemson (8-0, 5-0), needed its Heisman contending QB Deshaun Watson (378-yards – 2 TDs) to once again bail out the Tigers when he found his All-America tight end Jordan Leggett with a 34-yard rallying touchdown pass, with 2:06 left, securing the win against the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee: 37-34.
In Laramie, Craig Bohl (he of North Dakota State fame) and his Cowboys of Wyoming lassoed the undefeated Broncos of Boise State 30-28 courtesy of a late (1:25 left) sack by d-tackle Chase Appleby and fumble out of the end zone against Bosie State QB Brett Rypien for the game wining safety.
Good for Bohl’s rebuilding Cowboys who are now occupy the top spot in Mountain West MTN Division.
And in a meaningless game, between a pair of lost season teams; Miami and Notre Dame, Irish field goal kicker Justin Yoon, a local product by way of Milton Academy, kicked the 30-27 last second (30-sec) winning field goal. Good for him.
Good thing BC didn’t recruit the local kid, but that’s a story for another day.
As always, we close with our bloviating, gas-bag pal Charlie Weis and the Kansas Jayhawks (1-7), the last team Charlie “fixed” who lost once again, this time 56-3 to the Sooners of Oklahoma.
As they used to say in the “Star-Kist” commercial; “Sorry Charlie.”
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 10 Wednesday night. Until then, peace, and listen to the music. pk