Disrepecting Boston College
For whatever reason, some people like to disrespect Boston College. Maybe it’s because they’re a Big East leftover that’s not in the heart of the ACC. Maybe it’s because people are captivated by flashy offenses. The Eagles haven’t had anything resembling that since Matt Ryan was under center a decade ago.
This year, that’s all going to change. This year, you need to take Boston College seriously.
For obvious reasons we start with their bell cow back A.J. Dillon who many, myself included think is the best running back in the conference. There’s no doubt he’s a very gifted player. To take it to the next level in his development he’ll need to learn the importance of catching some passes. According to reports out of practice camp he’s doing just that. With Dillon adding a few receptions out of the backfield per game it will take pressure off of quarterback Anthony Brown. If all the pieces fall in place it will open up the offense that much more.
To be able to run the ball you need a good offensive line. Granted Dillon can do a lot on his own but this roster of ‘trench men’ at Boston College are one of the best and most experienced in the country. With 139 total starts (second in the FBS) this line allowed just 15 sacks last season. They’ll continue opening lanes for Dillon and equally important protecting Brown.
Speaking of Brown, now that he has some games under his belt and has had time to recover from a season ending injury, he should be improved as well. He played like a true freshman last season (inconsistent) with some up games (Virginia, Northern Illinois) and some down (Wake Forest, Louisville, Florida State). This will be his year to turn his flashes from last year into consistent play this season.
Brown will have more than Dillon to depend on when it comes to solid offensive weapons. Tommy Sweeney, a very trusty tight end is a dependable outlet that can keep an opponent’s defense on their toes. An expanded cache of pass catchers will be huge for this offense.
On the other side of the ball, even with Harold Landry gone, this defense will still be pretty good. Zach Allen was arguably their best defensive player last season. How many defensive linemen can say they’ve had a 100 tackle season? Allen did just that last year for the Eagles and he returns to anchor another good defensive line this fall.
When it comes to defense let’s not forget second team All American Lukas Denis who led the ACC with seven interceptions in 2017. Couple Allen and Denis with a lot of experience in the middle and this defense has the potential to be even better in 2018.
When it comes to the Boston College schedule, things work out quite nicely. The opening two games (UMass and Holy Cross) should be wins. They get Wake Forest on the road after that. The Demon Deacons are trying to figure out their quarterback situation as starter Kendall Hinton is on suspension. After the trip to Winston-Salem, the Eagles head to Purdue. There they’ll face a team who’s entire defense has been largely decimated.
The final three opponents heading into their bye week on October 20 are Temple, at NC State (plenty of defensive questions) and Louisville (plenty of offensive questions).
Coming out of the bye Boston College will host Miami (a team I’m not as high on as others). Then they’ll face Virginia Tech (lots of questions on defense).
They’ll close the regular season with Clemson, at Florida State and then wrap it up with Syracuse at home.
Boston College hasn’t had a season with more than seven wins since 2009. That was Frank Spaziani’s debut season as head coach. Without a doubt, all of the ingredients are there for this team to break that streak this season.
This year, you need to take Boston College seriously.
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