3 fast points as BC Football Club slipped for the third game in a row


College of Sports

BC opened the scoring on an 11-yard touchdown run by Alec Sinkfield.

When Boston College Football Club opened the season with four straight wins—most notably a thrilling overtime victory over Missouri—there was plenty of optimism and promise despite quarterback Phil Gorkovic’s second-week loss.

Now, nearly a month later, the Eagles are still searching for that elusive fifth win. After dropping a grief on Clemson and collapsing against North Carolina, the Eagles traveled to Louisville in need of a major boost.

Instead, they suffered another disappointing defeat, as the Cardinal took a 28-14 win and kept the Eagles (4-3, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) on their downward trajectory. There were some bright spots, as BC caused four turnovers in Louisville, got production off the backs of running Alec Sinkfield and Pat Garwo, and almost got back on the supple Cardinals (4-3, 2-2 ACC).

But in the end, this was another setback for a team searching for its identity.

“I’m proud of the defense,” said coach Jeff Havley. “We’ve been talking all week about stealing possession, but when you steal possession, it’s not just about stealing possession. You have to score points.”

Here are some points from the game:

As the Eagles have struggled recently, Havley insisted that Denis Grossell would remain the team’s primary midfielder. Saturday night, after Grossell finished 17 for 32 for 141 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, Havley said they would need to look at the film to make a decision.

Havely said that the technical staff should determine whether this is the violation, the plan, or just a lack of implementation. He wants to continue studying whether or not the Eagles give Grosel a chance to play plays.

“Honestly, I’d be lying to you now, or making up something, if you said I had an answer,” Havley said. “I just don’t want to say something out of frustration, because we’re all down, right? At least I am. But I wouldn’t put that on Dennis.”

Havley described Louisville’s defensive scheme as one of the most aggressive he had seen in a long time. With their safety at deep quarterback, the Cardinals dared Grossell to throw deep, fast balls. He outgrew Zy Flowers, missed the other receivers, and had trouble making quick decisions. He finished BC 4 of 14 in third and was unable to stay in rhythm or maintain regular driving.

Grossell said the Eagles never felt left out of the match despite the offensive inconsistency. He was anticipating pressure to come and knew Louisville would be aggressive, and thought he simply had to play better.

“I’ll start with me. I’m the one who has the ball in every game,” Grosel said. “Implementation has to be at a higher level at all times.”

With such short discs, the defense was put in a tough spot. The Cardinals notched 331 rushing yards, including 133 yards and three touchdowns from quarterback owner Cunningham on 16 buggies. Trevion Cooley added 13 holders for 112 yards, Jalen Mitchell slipped for 67 yards and points, and the Cardinals averaged 7 yards per lunge as a team.

BC carried the ball 36 times and threw it 32, while Louisville ran 47 times and passed 17. Havley admitted that the defensive line was “a little bit gassy” at some points, and he felt as if this was the first time all season that he’s a “normal running game” It affected the vultures a lot.

After Sinkfield started scoring with 11 yards in seven minutes, Louisville clinched a 21-point unanswered lead to gain a 21-7 advantage at the break. BC defense adjusted well in the third quarter, resulting in a Cunningham and Co.

Havley constantly emphasizes that reducing points is more important than limiting yards, and was pleased with the way his defense responded after a difficult third quarter against NC State.

Cam Arnold recovered from his first-quarter stumble, Brandon Sebastian added a pick in the second before leaving with a knee injury, Jayden Woodby intercepted a pass in the second, but BC couldn’t convert any of those points into points.

When JT Thompson was forced into a confusion and Woodbey got him back in the fourth, Grosel hit Jaelen Gill’s 6-yard touchdown with 6:10 left to cut the deficit to 21-14. Despite all their flaws up to that point, the Eagles still had a chance to steal one down the road.

Cunningham responded quickly, though, blasting off 14 yards with 2:53 left and curbing BC’s chances of completing the comeback.

“He’s a different kind of quarterback, a different kind of sampler. He’s a really good player,” said linebacker Isaiah Graham Mobley. “We did our best to try and silence him, because their entire insult goes through him.”

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