But all anyone will probably want to talk about is the offense.
Last meeting: Boston College won 20-10 on November. 13, 1971, in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Even with a young, inexperienced secondary, expectations rose with each report coming out of camp.
This wasn’t the way the Northern Illinois football team wanted to enter conference play.For the first time under Huskies coach Rod Carey, they’ve lost two consecutive regular-season games after sputtering on offense Saturday afternoon in a 17-14 loss at Boston College.
Next week the Eagles take on an impressive 3-1 Duke Bluedevil team. BC totaled just 195 yards and turned the ball over twice. Joel Bouagnon rushed for 56 yards on 16 attempts, including a 2-yard TD for Northern Illinois (2-2). Boston College used their methodical run game to tire the Huskies’ defense, and it began to show in the second half. In that game, UNLV kept the ball nearly 10 minutes longer, and got more first downs (28 to 24).
But the work-in-progress offense struggled at times to move the ball. Flutie, the nephew of 1984 Heisman Trophy victor Doug Flutie, a Boston College graduate, completed 5 of 11 passes for 92 yards with one interception.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Eagles scored first with about nine minutes remaining in the second. He helped the Eagles rush for 234 yards.
NIU couldn’t get the run going early (or often) which has been a major problem in its last three games. Flutie threw incomplete on his initial five. He lofted a pass into the waiting arms of his receiver, putting BC up 7-0. The Huskies defense forced the Eagles into a three-and-out on the following drive. On 3rd-and-6, Flutie hit Sherman Alston on a slant for a 30 yard gain down to the NIU 22.
Getting defensive: Ohio State managed just one offensive touchdown Saturday as CB Shawun Lurry was named Jim Thorpe player of the week and earned MAC West top defensive honors after two interceptions and two pass breakups. He returned to BC’s 4 before he was caught from behind by running back Jon Hillman.
But there would be no Flutie heroics for a 48-yard pass to the end zone as time expired. “People saying you’re playing not to lose”, Addazio said. Bouagnon ran for nine subsequent yards, giving NIU a 3rd-and-1 at the BC 12.
That proved costly when BC marched 80 yards in 12 plays with Hilliman, who registered his fourth career 100-yard rushing game, scoring on a 21-yard cutback that included a straight arm on NIU’s Lurry before he crossed the goal line with 1:07 left in the third for a 14-7 lead. On the other hand was Jeff Smith, the dual-threat true freshman cut from the same cloth as Wade and Tyler Murphy before him, but with only a handful of college snaps to his credit.
Hilliman scored his touchdown on the Eagles’ ensuing drive to go ahead 14-7 and a 25-yard field goal by Colton Lichtenberg gave them a two-possession cushion before Turner followed with his touchdown on the ensuing kick off.