This is the Colorado potato beetle.
In most respects, it's a very ordinary insect, spending its life eating vegetable matter and laying a ton of eggs. It also has one interesting defense mechanism: when the beetle is in its larval stage, it covers itself in a shield of its own feces. Gross, yes, but you have to admire the pragmatism of an animal that enters the world and immediately learns it can do one of two things: encase itself in poop, or die.
Why are we telling you this? Because it's time for the first Erase This Game subject of 2016 -- Wake Forest vs. Boston College 2015.
When you start a game, you have no way of knowing with certainty how many points you need to score to win. There are methods you can use to get a pretty good idea of what that number will be, but ultimately you can only be certain that if X is the number of points your opponent scores, you need to score at least X+1.
Oh, and you also know that your opponent can't score negative points. Even with all the hindsight of "if only we'd gone for that field goal" or "but for that dropped pass in the end zone" and "they only scored on that drive because of a bullshit penalty," you know from the opening kick that the number of points you need to win is more than none.
There are several levels of despair we have to account for in this game. First: Boston College, you got shut out by Wake Forest. We mean no malice by pointing this out, Demon Deacons fan, but Wake is the RV that Jim Grobe bought, used for a few years, eventually parked in the side yard, continually promised he'd clean up and take out on the road again, discovered the cabin was infested with raccoons a few years later, and abandoned in a Sam's Club parking lot after removing the license plate and filing the VIN off. Granted, you didn't lose to Jim Grobe. But we can clearly see the raccoon bite marks all over Dave Clawson's arms and face.
Second: you've given us the cursed monkey's paw of box scores. "I wish to hold them to five first downs!" "Granted." "And force them to punt ten times!" "Also granted." "And we should get four times as many red zone possessions as they do!" "Yup, you got it." "Oh, and give them twice as many penalty yards as we get!" "Added to the list. Anything else?" "Hmm. You know, let them miss a field goal." "And that's your five wishes." "WAIT NO I FORGET TO SAY WE WIN THE GAME SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!"
Third: Your offense - which, again, scored zero points, decided the game. That Wake Forest field goal was not the result of some miracle 54 yarder at the end of regulation, nor did it come after a drive that included a beautifully executed wheel route or a tricky double pass or a thunderous off tackle run. Nope, you just gave them the ball in perfect scoring position.
And then they managed to not totally fuck it up.
(You will notice that they did fuck it up a little, though. That line of scrimmage for the kick is not where Wake Forest recovered that fumble.)
Fourth: Despite the fact that you wasted an outstanding effort by your defense, despite your offense's inability to score on six different possessions that started at their own 40 yard line or better, despite the struggle and failure and agony that you'd put a reported 30,094 fans in attendance through all damn day, you still had a chance, either to win the game outright or at least send it to overtime. You could have erased this game before we got the chance.
Fumbles all have their own personalities. They're like little snowflakes, really-- beautiful little globules that float from heaven, and downward into bubbling cauldrons of molten steel, where they spark a massive explosion maiming workers for fifty feet in every direction. Look at this one: it's a runner, but it knows where it wants to go. It craves the hands of a Boston College defender. It goes to one first, and when that fails well it just runs to another because after everything it's witnessed in this game it just wants to be held and told everything will be alright.
BC has the ball on the eleven, and shows good game management by running the clock out for the loss.
Please contrast the #MustSeeACC hashtag on that GIF with what your eyes are telling you. With no timeouts and 56 seconds on the clock with the ball starting on the eleven yard line, Boston College ran the ball three times and failed to stop the clock in time to avoid a 3-0 loss to a team with five first downs on the day. A team that fumbled the ball back to BC with 33 feet between them and a game-winning touchdown. To Wake Forest. TO WAAAAAAAKE FOREST.
The only conclusion a rational person could make to explain this: that Boston College was as tired of this game as you were, and in refusing OT killed an indomitable beast that would have grown terrifyingly powerful as time wore on. This game was a giant house fungus Steve Addazio knew would eat an entire block. It had to end, so he ate it and suffered for us all. Thank you Steve-- from civilization, from us, from you, and from a grateful universe.