Standing Tall

Mike Petraglia
October 03, 2009 - 9:26 pm

CHESTNUT HILL - Most teams would have been happy holding the opposition to a field goal when the opposition has four shots at getting the ball in the end zone from the 1-yard line. But maybe that's what makes these 4-1 Boston College Eagles special. Florida State, following an offsides call on BC, had the ball first and goal at the Eagles' 1. A touchdown would have put the Seminoles up in a game that had plenty of momentum swings in the first half. So the Seminoles turned to their lead tailback Ty Jones three straight times. And three straight times it was true freshman Luke Kuechly who came up big with tackles to hold Jones to no gain. On fourth and goal, quarterback Christian Ponder decided to take matters into his own hands. He rolled out to the right and Alex Albright chased him down from the weak side and tackled him at the 11-yard line. "It was a great effort by a lot of our players," BC coach Frank Spaziani said. "Once again, that's what happens in good football games. Players on both sides have scholarships and coaches are getting paid, players have to make plays and Alex stepped up and certainly stepped up and made one." Instead of coming away with at least three points, Florida State put its defense back on the field and allowed the Eagles to march 89 yards for a touchdown that put the Eagles up, 14-3. "It's a credit to the whole defense obviously," BC linebacker Mike McLaughlin said. "They tried to power it a couple of times and we stuffed it pretty good. That's a huge play. That is huge. It doesn't getting any bigger than that. They had the ball on the half-yard line. We stopped them four downs and we give the ball back to the offense, that's tremendous. "It's a group effort," McLauglin continued. "It's everybody doing their job, especially when you're down there. One little mistake, a guy not sealing off, a guy not getting across space, it's six points. All they need is a half-yard, yard-and-a-half, whatever it may be." Kuechly and Albright played for the same Cincinnati high school powerhouse at St. Xavier. In high school, their nickname was the Bombers. On Saturday, their all-out assault on Florida State's goal line offense left the Seminoles no place to hide and changed the complexion of the game in the first half. Kuechly certainly didn't act like a true freshman when he drilled Jones right on the spot on second down, not allowing him to gain any momentum to the goal line. "They were running a power play and I came off the edge and I think a tight end was supposed to come out but he just blocked down [back into the line of scrimmage] so I came free and I don't think he saw me and I was able to knock him back a little bit," Kuechly explained. The Eagles blindsided the Seminoles on the series. And it was the difference in the game.