Study Hall: Northwestern 24, Boston College 17

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: Vince Browne #94 of the Northwestern Wildcats celebrates after a field goal attempt by Boston College Eagles is ruled no good on September 3, 2011 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.The Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Boston College Eagles 24-17. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I'm taking requests for which games receive the Study Hall treatment ... this request came via Twitter.

Northwestern 24, Boston College 17

Northwestern B.C. Northwestern B.C.
Close % 100.0% STANDARD DOWNS
Field Position % 43.6% 39.2% Success Rate 57.4% 40.5%
Leverage % 0.782 0.568 PPP 0.37 0.40
S&P 0.943 0.806
EqPts 25.2 24.7 PASSING DOWNS
Close Success Rate 48.7% 35.1% Success Rate 17.7% 28.1%
Close PPP 0.32 0.33 PPP 0.15 0.24
Close S&P 0.810 0.685 S&P 0.331 0.525
EqPts 18.6 9.5 Number 1 1
Close Success Rate 46.2% 33.3% Turnover Pts 6.7 3.6
Close PPP 0.36 0.35 Turnover Pts Margin -3.0 +3.0
Close S&P 0.819 0.687
Line Yards/carry 1.88 3.17 Q1 S&P 0.800 0.872
Q2 S&P 0.882 0.646
PASSING Q3 S&P 0.937 0.398
EqPts 6.6 15.1 Q4 S&P 0.620 0.774
Close Success Rate 53.9% 36.2%
Close PPP 0.25 0.32 1st Down S&P 0.706 0.891
Close S&P 0.791 0.683 2nd Down S&P 0.546 0.881
SD/PD Sack Rate 10.0% / 3.7% 0.0% / 18.2% 3rd Down S&P 0.835 0.621
Projected Pt. Margin: Northwestern +-2.5 | Actual Pt. Margin: Northwestern +7

Five Thoughts:

  1. As with LSU-Oregon, this game turned in the third quarter. Northwestern took a 17-10 lead on a five-yard Mike Trumpy touchdown run, but really, the lead should have probably been larger before then. A Luke Kuechly interception return set B.C. up for a two-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter and bought the Eagles some time. Alas, Northwestern eased ahead anyway before holding on for dear life in the fourth quarter.

  2. Boston College isn't known for explosiveness, but only big plays kept them in this game. Their 35% success rate was dreadful, but some nice gains and Kuechly's interception gave them a fighting chance...

  3. ...while their third-down execution killed them. They couldn't stay on schedule and in standard downs, and even when they did, they weren't that strong on third down.

  4. Your Northwestern heroes: Mike Trumpy and Adonis Smith. They combined for 138 yards on 26 carries despite, as we see above, next to no help from the offensive line. That NU was able to stay that efficient on standard downs despite subpar line play is outstanding.

  5. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I do enjoy that both Northwestern and B.C. swiftly compensated for the losses of their stars. Quarterback Dan Persa was unavailable for NU, so the Wildcats ran all over B.C.; running back Montel Harris was unavailable for B.C., so the Eagles passed all over Northwestern.
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