Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Boston College 35, Florida State 3: Train keeps rolling for red-hot Eagles

Brooks Sutherland
October 27, 2017 - 11:21 pm

CHESTNUT HILL — Whatever the formula may be, Boston College has it figured out as of late.

And with three straight wins in the ACC, the Eagles are one win away from bowl eligibility.

Saturday’s 35-3 win vs. Florida State at Alumni Stadium was the latest in Boston College’s newfound trend of success, outscoring its opponents 121-55 throughout the course of the last three weeks.

"Well, that was a beautiful win," coach Steve Addazio said after the game. "I'm really proud of our kids. We played a really fine football program and the team that won the National Championship not that long ago. Our kids played with tremendous passion and energy, and this game meant a lot to our program for a whole lot of reasons."

The Eagles are moving the ball with ease. Their defense is back to stingy form. And redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown is flashing the ability that his coaches have raved about all season long.

His ability to move the ball however has largely been aided by another freshman, running back AJ Dillon. Dillon posted 149 yards vs. the Seminoles and has 510 total yards during BC’s current win streak. He exploded for a season-high 272 yards in the Eagles’ 45-42 win at Louisville.

The difference between the beginning of the season and now, according to Dillon, simply comes down to trust. 

"I feel like as a team we've just kind of really started to count on one another," Dillon said. "That trust has grown. I know everybody always talks about family, but I genuinely feel that. As a freshman, coming here, this is my first year here. I genuinely feel the family connection. I feel like the last couple weeks it's really starting to click. The chemistry's really building, and everybody's pushing each other to get better. The offense wants the defense to get better, the special teams. The running backs want the linemen to get better, and vice versa. So we're all just eager to get better and work as hard as we can to win each game."

Weeks ago, the sputtering Eagles were on the brink of disaster. A brutal schedule loomed and blowout losses to Wake Forest and Notre Dame appeared to be the precursor to a mediocre season. But the tide has turned for BC. Three of the team’s four losses are against top 15 (AP) teams.

With one more win against their remaining schedule of NC State, Connecticut and Syracuse, the Eagles can lock down a bowl bid for the fourth time since head coach Steve Addazio’s era began in 2013. Addazio earned his first bowl win last year with a 36-30 Quick Lane Bowl win over Maryland. BC will rest up on its bye next week.

"You know, we felt from the beginning that we had something special here, you know," Addazio said. "I think we got stung early with some injuries, and those key injuries really hurt us. They were really hard for us to overcome, especially given the fact that we had some young guys in critical positions. But I think we were able to regroup."

For the Seminoles, Saturday’s loss spirals the team to 2-5. Even with the loss of quarterback Deondre Francois in Week 1, two wins through seven games seem hard to fathom for Florida State, who ranked third in the AP’s preseason poll. The Seminoles are in danger of missing their first bowl bid since 1981. Because of Hurricane Irma causing a cancellation in Week 2 vs. LA-Monroe, FSU has four games remaining on its schedule, with a potential makeup game planned. They need four more wins to lock in a bowl bid.

"Give B.C. a lot of credit," said Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. "They lined up biggest in all three phases of the game. They beat us upfront both ways, both offensive and defensive line. They controlled the line of scrimmage. We had opportunities in the first half, didn't match. 

"Missing short yardages in every phase they beat us. Lined up, kicked our tails and outplayed us, outcoached us, and did everything. We've got to do a better job."

Brown threw for just 54 yards on Saturday, hitting tight end Tommy Sweeney for a score. He also rushed for a four-yard TD. Wide receiver Jeff Smith added a touchdown pass in the game as he hit Kobay White from 34 yards out in an early trick play. Backup quarterback Darius Wade also added a touchdown after Brown was injured late in the third quarter. He returned the next drive.