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Instant Reaction: Rutgers Football downed by Boston College 30-16

Scarlet Passing game comes to life but P5 losing streak continues

Boston College v Rutgers
Sitkowski was better than anyone expected, but RU still lost.
Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Boston College Eagles returned to Piscataway for the first time since the teams were Big East rivals. Rutgers had a bye after a loss at Iowa in Week 2, while Boston College looked to rebound from a stunning loss at home against Kansas last weekend. Sophomore Art Sitkowski got the start for Rutgers at quarterback with McLane Carter sidelined, so the feeling coming into the game for most Scarlet faithful was very cautiously optimistic at best.

The game was tied before Rutgers took a 10-7 lead after a nice drive capped by a Justin Davidovicz field goal. The Eagles rallied for 10 points in the second quarter while RU recorded just another field goal so the score was 17-13 heading into intermission. The site for sore eyes was what most college football fans recognize as a competitive contest but Rutgers has struggled to produce lately.

After the break BC added another touchdown on their first drive, extending the lead to 24-13, but two drives later, Rutgers cut it to a one score game with a Davidovicz clutch 50 field goal. Another BC methodical drive followed, but their 2 point conversion attempt failed so the game remained 30-16 with 6:32 left on the game clock.

The Knights moved the ball courtesy of a huge 4th down pass to Bo Melton, but an ugly interception sealed it for the Eagles. Rutgers’ last ditch effort to get a stop was unsuccessful and BC knelt the clock out.

Immediate Reactions:

  1. Wow, Rutgers played an actual football game against a Power Five opponent for the just the third time (MSU and Indiana last year) since their last P5 win in 2017.
  2. Boston College isn’t that good, but they were disciplined this week. To their credit they maintained gap integrity and slowed Isaih Pacheco and Raheem Blackshear to just 22 carries for 55 yards.
  3. Boston College did wear Rutgers out, never giving in to their game plan to run the ball. By late in the second half, Rutgers simply could not stop the run any longer. AJ Dillon managed 150 yards on 32 carries and 2 TD. David Bailey went 12 carries for 77 yards, more yardage himself in a reserve role than the entire RU attack (76 as a team).
  4. Art Sitkowski threw for how many yards? At the end of the day he was the Knights’ first 300 yard passer since 2015 against major conference competition. I thought the Knights would have no chance in this game with him at quarterback, but they did. At one point he was 21 for 27 for 275 yards. This was almost identical to the Kansas QB v BC last week in their win (20-27, 238).
  5. Down 30-16 with 6 minutes on the clock that Bo Melton 4th and 9 catch and run was a shoestring tackle away from making the game a lot more interesting. On the play, Sitkowski showed pocket presence and did not panic, eventually finding Melton for the conversion that Bo turned into more with a few broken tackles.
  6. Three plays later, Art showed some initial awareness to roll out but then what he thought was a throw out of bounds (it was only 3rd down, not 4th) but threw into traffic and the BC ballhawks did what they do best and snared the jump ball INT to pretty much ice the game. Game over. Drive home safely.

Full recap to follow.