Addazio, Boston College grab signature win over USC

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You knew it was going to happen somewhere. On a mostly flaccid Saturday of college football games as teams sleepwalk toward conference season, a host of could-be intriguing nighttime affairs certainly would produce one epic upset, no?

Cue Boston College, 37, Southern California 31.

On a perfect September night for such an event, rain-soaked Alumni Field saw Steve Addazio and the Boston College Eagles shock the life out of the Southern Cal “we’re back” Trojans, and in the process showed the hell hath wrought by the NCAA on USC still leaves a hangover.

Considering where both teams were coming into this week, this one was as shocking as one could predict. Boston College looked miserable in getting trucked by Pittsburgh in which the Eagles looked like they lacked physicality and just simply couldn’t tackle a stationary statue.

Yet all night, the BC defensive and offensive lines just went lawn mower to grass on both USC fronts, proving that skill position talent doesn’t necessarily matter if no one’s around to block for it.

The key play in the affair was late, when USC had pulled within six and it felt like “that time when the favorite figures out some insane way to win … just because.” Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy, out of a timeout, bolted 66 yards to drive the stake into the Trojans and their “y’all have to deal with us again” 2014 tour. That single play ended up being 23 more yards than the Eagles would gain in net passing all day long. And still win.


Tyler Murphy ran away from USC's defense in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's game... straight to the winner's circle on a night which abruptly removed an optimistic tenor from USC's season.

Tyler Murphy ran away from USC’s defense in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s game… straight to the winner’s circle on a night which abruptly removed an optimistic tenor from USC’s season.

Say what you want about coming down hard off beating Stanford or traveling across the country to the other coast, but this was a well-scheduled night game that allowed USC to show off its nation-wide recruiting ability and cater to its East Coast brand. Timing had nothing to do with it … BC was simply more physical, rendering USC’s thoughts of running the football as nothing but tinkling into a head wind.

The takeaway for USC is how thin it looked on both lines, specifically the defensive line, as BC rolled up a staggering 464 yards of rushing offense, including 190 by that Murphy guy. Trojan defenders were sucking wind into the third and early fourth quarters, and that’s when the NCAA sanctions imposed (wrongly) upon the Trojans continue to rear their ugly head.

Throw in a perfectly wet field that didn’t really allow for the skill position separation USC probably thought it had on offense, and you have a real signature win for Addazio and the Eagles, who sort of fell off the map after miserable 2011 and 2012 campaigns and started building it all back up last year.

USC will be back. But it won’t be in 2014. Boston College? The Eagles are just moving forward every single day.