Louisville edges Boston College amid litany of negative plays

Boston College mustered just 79 total yards against a stingy Louisville defense. Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports

Neither offense mustered much of anything as both defenses dominated the line of scrimmage, but a scoop-and-score touchdown by the Louisville defense and a few long runs by Jeremy Smith and Reggie Bonnafon proved just enough for the host Cardinals to edge Boston College, 17-14, on Saturday.

What the win means for Louisville: The road to redemption after a brutal start to the season continues for the Cardinals, with a third win in their past four games. That certainly gets Louisville closer to bowl eligibility, but there wasn’t much else to get too excited about in this one. The offensive line was a mess, quarterback Lamar Jackson appeared hobbled, and only the defense really offered much in the way of enthusiasm, returning a fumble for a TD that proved to be the difference in the game.

What the loss means for Boston College: Steve Addazio said after last week’s loss to Clemson that his team was making progress. That looked to be the case again this week, but the offense remains a long way off. BC mustered just 79 total yards and coughed up 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks, and starting QB Jeff Smith was injured after scoring the Eagles’ lone touchdown.

Stat of the game: 30. That’s the combined number of tackles for loss in this game, including a whopping 14 sacks. Neither QB was given any time to throw, both run games were stuffed repeatedly, and the defensive lines simply dominated. This wasn’t a complete surprise given that both offensive lines had struggled and both defenses were strong, but the sheer number of negative plays made for a long afternoon on both sidelines.

Unsung hero: Steven Daniels won’t get much hype after another BC loss, but the Eagles’ linebacker racked up a game-high 11 tackles, including four for a loss. He’s helped BC stay in games when the offense has offered absolutely nothing, but there’s only so much the Eagles’ exceptional D can do at this point.