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Wake Forest 3 Boston College 0: Analyzing the Last 30 Seconds

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Wake Forest executed in the final 30 seconds because of good coaching.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College quarterback Jeff Smith ran the ball for a first down and got down to around the 1-yard line, for a 1st-and-goal situation with 29 seconds remaining in the game. Had Hunter Williams not made a very good tackle, then Smith walks into the endzone, and this clock mismanagement column never happens. However, Williams' tackle gave each the two teams an opportunity to display vastly different versions of situational football.

Boston College was given a gift with 29 seconds remaining when the officiating crew decided to measure if Smith had earned a first down. It was a legitimate decision by the officiating crew to measure the situation, but Boston College completely failed to capitalize on the free timeout they had been given.

Instead, after the ball is spotted, and the clock begins to run again, the team is inexplicably still in a huddle when the clock starts at 29 seconds starts. I can hear Chris Berman now, "tick, tick, tick, tick, tick." The Eagles did not snap the ball until there were about 20 seconds left. They ran the ball. I get it, they are a running team, and they were attempting to play to their strengths. However, if they were going to run, then do that with 29 seconds remaining!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Boston College&#39;s loss to Wake Forest featured one of the most embarrassing endings ever <a href="http://t.co/Lc33mVMmPD">http://t.co/Lc33mVMmPD</a> <a href="http://t.co/I6eIoOxCIR">pic.twitter.com/I6eIoOxCIR</a></p>&mdash; UPROXX Sports (@UPROXXSports) <a href="https://twitter.com/UPROXXSports/status/652984880293244928">October 10, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Wake Forest's defense was set and in position with 29 seconds remaining. When BC ran the ball with 20 seconds remaining, Wake came up with a stop, and then piled on. It's almost as if they executed what they were told to do during the "free timeout" from the measurement! That's precisely what good teams are taught to do in that situation. That was the final play of the game.

From Boston College head coach Steve Addazio:

They held him down in the pile. They wouldn't let him off the ground . He turned, he was trying on second effort to try to score on his own right there. With the second effort that time elapsed and they held him on the ground.

That's poor coaching. If Boston College was going to run the ball, then they needed to understand the risks that come with it. Had Boston College run the ball with even 25 seconds remaining, then they would have had time to spike the ball. Coaching advantage: Wake Forest.

Credit to our coaching staff. Those type of plays are the little plays that win football games. Wake executed, and Boston College did not. Clawson has been successful everywhere he has been, and this type of situation is one of the reasons he has been so successful.

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