October 30, 2006

High grades for offense

Boston College needed to make a statement. They needed to come into this game and tell the college football nation that they could put away inferior opponents. They had struggled to do so against Central Michigan and Brigham Young (which, as it turns out, is a very good team) and were being punished in the polls as a result.

Unfortunately, due to a series of mounting injuries, the Eagles were going to have to make that statement without their leader Matt Ryan and it doesn't matter who you are playing, if you are missing your best friend and big toe, things could get ugly. However, as a team needing, and able, to make a statement is wont to do, BC had an answer for that conundrum - enter Chris Crane.

All Crane had to do was manage the offense of the 17th ranked team in the nation whose hope for an ACC Championship and BCS Bowl berth were on the line. Oh and he had to do it in monsoon conditions. And the verdict? Job well done. Crane did not break any passing records and at times had a hard time holding on to the ball but he proved himself a more than worthy understudy of Matty "Ice" and custodian of the hopes and dreams of the 2006 version of the Boston College Eagles.

With that in mind, let's take a look at how the offense graded out for the Boston College Eagles against the University of Buffalo Bulls.

Quarterback: B

Crane was 17 of 26 for 142 yards against the Bulls and while those numbers are not going to get him on anyone's Heisman watch list, he showed tremendous athleticism, scoring two touchdowns with his feet and one with his arm on an 8 yard pass to Mark Palmer.

Crane did exactly what was needed of him and to some extent, gave EagleNation reason to believe the position might be ok if Ryan can not come back from the foot injuries.

Running Backs: A-

Boston College had six players run the ball against the Bulls. Anytime you have that many guys getting touches, you are doing something right. A net gain of 207 yards on 48 carries does not lend to a stellar average but they got the job done. L.V. Whitworth carried the ball ten times for 84 yards with a long of 43 yards which was good for a touchdown. Andre Callender had 16 carries for 81 yards with a long of 33 yards and A.J. Brooks showed flashes of brilliance on his 7 carries and one touchdown.

Wide Recievers: B

On a raw, wet and windy day, Coach Bible was simply not going to stretch the field even if he wanted to. As a result, most of Crane's throws were either on stops or quick passes but the wide receivers did a good job catching the ball considering the conditions and did a very good job of moving the ball after the catch.

Offensive Line: A-

The only way to describe what happened on the line of scrimmage is to say the big uglies for the Eagles were simply too much for the overwhelmed Bulls. Anytime an offense gains 200+ yards rushing, the line deserves an excellent grade regardless of the outcome. Conversely, Crane was pressure more than expected and the Bulls were able to confuse the line on a few plays resulting in 2 sacks of BC quarterbacks. Other than that, a yoeman's effort and a job well done!

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