Army visits Boston College on Saturday. ArmySports.com's Jim Lawler compares the two teams in several critical areas. We also make a prediction on the game's final score.
Black Knights (2-3) travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to face the Boston College
Eagles (2-2). Last week Army defeated Louisiana Tech
35-16 in what was their best performance of the year. Boston College jumped out to an early lead last week against undefeated eighth ranked Florida State
but fell 48-34 at home. In 2012 the Army Black Knights won a thrilling last minute 34-31 victory over Boston College in front of a crowd of 39,942 at Michie Stadium. After Raymond Maples
was stopped at the 1-yard line on fourth down with 2:03 left in the game, it looked like Army would lose another heart breaker. However, the defense forced a poor punt by the Eagles. Army took advantage of the good field position as Trent Steelman
scored his third touchdown of the day on a 29-yard run.
ARMY PASSING OFFENSE
BOSTON COLLEGE PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: BOSTON COLLEGE
REMARKS: Army's quarterback Angel Santiago
has completed 14 of 36 passes (38.9%) for 209 passing yards and a touchdown with one interception this season. Santiago threw the ball well in the opener but has not been as effective since that game. Santiago badly missed a wide open Xavier Moss
(12 rec. for 146 yards) deep on the first drive against Louisiana Tech. Santiago hasn't been able to connect down the field since the opening game. He needs to throw the ball better to keep opposing defenses honest. Santiago struggled against Steve Addazio
defense when he replaced an injured Trent Steelman in 2011.
The Boston College Eagles rank 78th nationally against the pass allowing over 240 yards per game. Tall sophomore cornerback Bryce Jones has picked off two passes. The Eagles defense which recorded only 12 sacks last year has already posted 13 sacks in four games. Senior defensive end Kasim Edebali
has recorded 4.5 sacks to lead Boston College. He had three sacks last week against Florida State. Free safety Sean Sylvia
has 25 tackles and an interception.
ARMY RUSHING OFFENSE
BOSTON COLLEGE RUSHING DEFENSE
REMARKS: The Black Knights are currently ranked a second in the nation in rushing after their 414 yard rushing day against Louisiana Tech. Army rushed for an amazing 516 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns in last year's game against the Eagles. Terry Baggett
(49 att. 401 yards, 8.2 avg., 2 TDs) has replaced the injured Raymond Maples as Army's featured running back. He ran for a career high 143 rushing yards last week. B-back Larry Dixon
(312 yards, 6.3 avg., 3 TDs) returned to the line-up after missing a game. Dixon ran for 128 yards and one touchdown against the Eagles last year. Trenton Turrentine
started last week at running back. He played one of the best all round games of his career
as he ran for 81 yards. Aaron Kemper
, last season's USMAPS MVP as a B-back, scored his first career touchdown last week at running back. The Army offensive line rebounded from their struggles in the Wake Forest
game with their best all round performance of the season. The interior of the line, especially center Ryan Powis
, played very well against the Bulldogs big defensive front.
Boston College's 4-3 defense is currently ranked 85th in the nation in rushing defense. Against Florida State they allowed 159 yard rushing yards and 4.4 yards per carry. The strength of the Eagles is their linebackers. Their best player has been athletic senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis
(85 tackles, 2 sacks in 2012). Pierre Louis
leads the Eagles with 32 tackles this year. Long time starter Steele Devitto (92 tackles, 2 forced fumbles in 2012) has thrived since being moved to middle linebacker. Physical sophomore Steven Daniels
(6-0, 246) is the new starter at linebacker and has posted 24 tackles.
BOSTON COLLEGE PASSING OFFENSE
ARMY PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: BOSTON COLLEGE
REMARKS: Senior quarterback Chase Rettig
isn't the athletic type of mobile quarterback Addazio prefers but he is a solid pocket passer. Last year Rettig was 253-of- 467 (54.2%) for 3,055 yards and 17 touchdowns. This year the strong armed Rettig has completed 60-of-97 for 688 passing yards (61.9%) with eight touchdowns against three interceptions. He threw four touchdown passes last week against Florida State. Senior wide receiver Alex Amidon is the Eagles playmaker who has made over 45% of the Eagle's receptions. Amidon has 27 receptions for 304 yards (11.3) and two touchdowns in 2013. Amidon was a 2012 first-team All-ACC selection. Last fall he set a B.C. single-season records with 1,210 receiving yards and 78 catches. Big 6-6, 253 pound junior tight end C.J. Parsons has caught 4 passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns.
Last year Army's defense held B.C., at the time the top passing team in the ACC, to 234 passing yards and just one touchdown pass. Chase Rettig entered the game averaging 323 passing yards. Army's flex defense pressured him right out of the gate as they ended the day with five sacks. The big Boston College offensive line had difficulty handling the stunts and twists of Army's quick defensive line. Defensive tackle Bobby Kough had a break out game against B.C. with three tackles and the first 1 ½ sacks of his career. Richard Glover
(10 tackles in 2013) posted his first career sack last year versus the Eagles. Pass rush specialist Colin Linkul
, who made two sacks last week, teamed up with Kough to sack Rettig last fall. Plebe cornerback Josh Jenkins (2 INTs) received a personal foul and was ejected on a highly debatable targeting call when he combined with Hayden Pierce
to break up a pass in the end zone. Due to the new rule he will miss the first half against B.C. Junior cornerback Marques Avery
will start in his place. Avery (2 tackles, 2 passes defended) had a solid game covering Alex Amidon last season.
BOSTON COLLEGE RUSHING OFFENSE
ARMY RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: BOSTON COLLEGE
REMARKS: Boston College is being transformed by new head coach Steve Addazio into a more physical team. Last year they struggled to run the ball, except against Army of course, but this year they have built their ground game around senior running back Andre Williams. He has recorded three one hundred yard games in four starts. Williams leads the ACC in rushing attempts (103), rushing yards (515) and rushing yards per game (128.8). He posted a career high 204 rushing yards in a win over Wake Forest. Williams has 2,067 career rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He ran for 191 yards against Army last October. His 99-yard touchdown run was a Michie Stadium record. The B.C. Offensive line averages 302 pounds.
Last week the Black Knights held Louisiana Tech well below their season average. They allowed just 57 rushing yards, 2.5 yards per carry and one touchdown. Army had eight tackles for a loss. It was the first time Army held a team below 100-yards rushing since their victory over Fordham
in 2011.Army's double eagle flex has been run over by Addazio Temple teams. In 2012 Temple embarrassed the Black Knights as they ran for 534 yards, averaged 9.4 yards a carry and scored nine rushing touchdowns. Julian Holloway
made 9 tackles, 1 ½ TFL, at Mike linebacker against Louisiana Tech. With Alex Meier leaving the academy it looks like its Holloway's job. Mike Ugenyi has started at defensive end the last few weeks and has played well. Army's run defense has looked better since the opener but Addazio, if his past game plans hold, will test it relentlessly.
EDGE: BOSTON COLLEGE
REMARKS: Boston College senior Nate Freese handles both the kicking and punting for the Eagles. Freese is one of the most accurate kickers in the nation. He's hit all four of his attempts this year and has connected on 54-of-65 (831%) field goal attempts in his career. In addition he blasts the ball on kick offs with 16 touchbacks on 19 kickoff attempts. As a punter he's averaged 42.1 yards on 25 punts with 10 placed inside the 20-yard line. He gives B.C. a huge advantage in the kicking game. Senior wide receiver Spiffy Evans headlines the return game after 16.0 yards on kickoffs and 14.0 yards on punts. He's a threat. Freshman Myles Willis
had a 71-yard kick return on the opening play of the second half last week.
Kicker Dan Grochowski
earned the FBS Independent Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice this season. Grochowski has made five of six field goal attempts this year. He made a potential touchdown saving tackle on the opening kickoff against Louisiana Tech. Punter Alex Tardieu has averaged 38.1 yards on 21 punts. Alex does a nice job creating hang time. He's had seven punts fair caught this season. Return specialist Jalen Noble
took a hard shot against Louisiana Tech but should be ready this week. None of the Army returners have been productive. The coverage teams have had some break downs this season and are allowing 22.9 on kickoff returns and 8.8 per on punt returns.
REMARKS: Boston College is an ACC team with talent that needs this game. After last season's upset they will be looking for some payback. BC is 11-2 against Army in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and is 24-13 in the all-time series between the teams.
Army salvaged the season with last week's win. The road victory may give them confidence against a team they defeated last season. The Black Knights will be looking for payback against Steve Addazio
whose Temple team in 2012 scored 63 points and ran up 534 rushing yards.
EDGE: BOSTON COLLEGE
REMARKS: Boston College's new head coach Steve Addazio (HC at Temple in 2012) was on Urban Meyer's staff when Florida won two BCS National Championships. He served as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator for the Gators during the 2010 season before being named to replace Al Golden at Temple. In his initial season Addazio led the Owls to a 9-4 record a win over Wyoming
in the New Mexico Bowl. In 2012 his young team struggled to 4-7. Addazio is one of the best offensive line coaches in the country. Against Army he had his big offensive line narrow their split and line up ankle to ankle and just push the Black Knights back. He's made the Eagles a lot tougher, more physical and the least penalized team in FBS college football.
and the staff did a nice job having the team overcome injuries to key players in defeating Louisiana Tech last week at the Cotton Bowl. Offensive coordinator Ian Shields
had a great game and constantly had the Bulldogs off balanced. The defensive scheme of Chris Smeland and Payam Sadaat worked well and surprising held up very well against the run. They inserted Colin Linkul in at the right time and he delivered two huge sacks in a row to effectively end Tech's comeback. This staff has been badly outcoached by Addazio the last two seasons.
Boston College, 31-20. I do think this is a game Army can win but they need a perfect road game. Addazio is the type of coach who doesn't get cute and understands its best to attack Army's defense head on.