Inside Mizzou football's successes and failures during its overtime loss at Boston College

Eric Blum
Columbia Daily Tribune

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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The trajectories of the football programs at Missouri and Boston College are easy to compare.

Second-year head coaches Eli Drinkwitz and Jeff Hafley are trying to rebuild once-storied programs into new-age contenders in the Power Five Conference landscape. 

As the Tigers and Eagles collided Saturday in the first-ever matchup between the schools, evenly matched rosters were on display.

Boston College came out on top of the 41-34 overtime thriller, with Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak throwing a game-ending interception on the first play of the Tigers' offensive side of the extra period.

Neither team led by more than 10 points, and every Tiger touchdown was countered with a letdown.

Boston College let a fourth-quarter lead slip away, but regained it in the final minute, only to see the game prolonged to overtime on the Tigers' longest field goal since Tucker McCann made a 57-yard blast against South Carolina in 2018.

Here's a closer look at the events that led to Missouri's overtime loss to Boston College and why the Tigers will be 2-2 entering October:

Boston College's final regulation drive

The Eagles started their final drive of the fourth quarter needing only 60 yards for a touchdown. Unnecessary roughness called on Missouri's Jamie Pettway took the ball from the BC 25-yard line to the 40 after the Sean Koetting touchback. 

Boston College took 5:53 of the remaining 6:18 off the clock on its 15-play, 60-yard drive.

No Eagles play on the drive netted more than eight yards. A run by Travis Levy gained 13 yards, but was called back for a rare offensive face mask penalty.

As the clock ticked under a minute, Boston College had 40 seconds to score before the clock ran out, positioned at the MU 12-yard line. 

Eagles quarterback Dennis Grosel rushed the ball seven yards before throwing an incomplete pass. 

Levy received the handoff on the next play and found a hole from his offensive line. Right before the goal line, he ran into Missouri safety Jaylon Carlies, who had a chance to tackle him. 

Levy's momentum carried him through Carlies and into the end zone to give Boston College a three-point lead. 

Missouri's final regulation drive

Bazelak looked downfield on every play of the drive, first throwing an incompletion intended for Barrett Banister across the middle, before completing a similar route to him on the next play to the MU 44. 

After a Bazelak spike, the Tigers moved into BC territory when Keke Chism snagged the ball at the Eagles' 44 with six seconds left. 

Drinkwitz said after the game he would've been comfortable kicking the ball from 61 yards with Harrison Mevis, but wanted to give him some wiggle room. So Bazelak took three more seconds off the clock with a 5-yard completion to Banister.

Banister ran out of bounds to stop the clock with three seconds left. Boston College had no timeouts, so Mevis knew he had one attempt at the uprights. 

Mevis said he felt good about the contact on the 56-yard try. The ball traveled through the air looking like a miss for much of the flight, but curled into the bottom-right corner between the post and upright to send the game to overtime. 

The field goal likely would've fallen short from 61 yards. 

Boston College's overtime score

Missouri won the coin toss before overtime and deferred to play offense second, giving the Eagles the ball to start the extra frame. 

In regulation, Grosel had a few questionable throws that showed inexperience despite being a fifth-year senior.

None of that translated to overtime where the Eagles' quarterback went 3-for-3, including the go-ahead 10-yard touchdown throw to an open Zay Flowers. 

Eight Eagles caught a pass even though Grosel finished with just 175 passing yards. 

Missouri's one offensive overtime play

On the game-ending play, Missouri had seven players on the line of scrimmage, including two tight ends. 

Bazelak was behind center Mike Maietti in a pistol formation with running back Tyler Badie also in the backfield. There were two wide receivers to the formation's right. 

It was clear Bazelak had a target in mind in 6-foot-5 Keke Chism, who drew tight coverage from BC defensive back Brandon Sebastian. 

Bazelak's pass was undercut by Sebastian, with Chism trying to swat the ball from his hands. 

Sebastian caught the interception and the game ended with the Eagles staying undefeated and possibly ranked heading into their Week 5 clash with Clemson. 

The aftermath

Missouri still has many questions to answer about its run defense, with Drinkwitz not wanting to make any rash decisions, relying on film to make adjustments.

Seven of the Tigers' final eight games will be against Southeastern Conference competition. Their league slate resumes next Saturday against Tennessee. 

Missouri is 2-2 with tests against Georgia, Florida, Arkansas and Texas A&M still ahead this season. 

To become bowl eligible, Missouri would now have to defeat every unranked team left on its schedule — Tennessee, North Texas, South Carolina and Vanderbilt — unless it pulls off a win against a future opponent currently in the rankings.

Contact Eric Blum at eblum@columbiatribune.com. Follow @ByEricBlum on Twitter.

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