The USC Trojans played their best game of the young season to date on Saturday as they blew out the Boston College Eagles, 35-7.
With the Boston College loss, both teams are now 2-1 on the season.
The first half of the game was full of difficulties for the Eagles and triumphs for the Trojans, who were looking for some confidence after two lackluster games. USC found it in a smooth, methodical 86-yard drive to go ahead 7-0 late in the first quarter, and then going 80 yards on a one-play drive soon thereafter in the second to take a 14-0 lead.
The Trojans had a chance to extend their lead to 21-0 after blocking a Nate Freese punt and running it in for a touchdown, but it was called back on an offsides. Boston College had a chance at a big break as USC fumbled inside their own 10 late in the half, but USC recovered the football and kneeled out the second quarter.
Defensively, the first half was a strong showing for USC as they held the Eagles to just 63 total yards, while outgaining them with 253.
The second half was not much better as the defense eventually ran out of gas and the offense continued to sputter. Boston College scored a late touchdown with Tyler Rouse doing the honors, making it 28-7, but USC got those points back and maintained a 28-point edge.
Boston College’s offense was not exactly what we expected it would be in terms of preparation. We heard that the Eagles would take chances and be aggressive, but offensively, it was a combination of predictable playcalling and the smothering of the USC defense that rendered BC useless. Clearly, Boston College is still rebuilding and it might have been easy to forget that with a quick 2-0 start, but a vanilla gameplan does not help anyone. The Eagles have to discover creativity at some point this season if they want to win six games. That is still a possibility, because few teams they will face the rest of the way are as talented on paper as the Trojans, but they must learn.
One could tell the Trojans wanted this game badly, so regardless of your evaluation of the Eagles, give USC credit.
The Eagles were simply outmatched by a more talented team with their backs against the wall. It might be one of those “tip your cap” moments, and more closely resembled the game we thought we were going to get before the season started. Boston College must learn from it and move on.
Boston College will now enter a bye week with Florida State next on the schedule on September 28.