In their first five games, the Boston College (3-2) defense has held opponents to just 700 yards of offense total. For those trying to do mental math, that's 140 yards per game. Allowing just eight points per contest and under 45 yards rushing per game has propelled the defense to the top of the FBS in total defense. The Eagles as a whole though, have yet to notch a win in the ACC and will be looking to do so against ACC rival Wake Forest (2-3).
The trouble with the Eagles lies in their offense. After losing five starters on their offensive line and their quarterback to graduation, the Eagles were young and inexperienced to begin the season. Now the Eagles are young and injured. The Eagles lost their starting quarterback and runningback in Darius Wade and Jon Hilliman, two starting tight ends, a potential starting wide receiver.
In Jon Hilliman, the Eagles lost a bruising back who could find a hole up the middle in short yardage situations. Head coach Steve Addazio has yet to find an alternate guy who can punch the ball through the hole, as their other runningbacks Marcus Outlow, Tyler Rouse, and Sherman Alston are best when running off tackle and finding making people miss on the outside.
Addazio has yet to name a true starting quarterback. Troy Flutie and Jeff Smith have been sharing the gunslinging duties, as in his Monday press conference, he said that both guys have "had their moments of good things and their moments of bad things. On top of what I just said, I'm not sure at this point that either one can handle the whole game."
The third-year head coach also mentioned that he would like to just have one quarterback, but neither Flutie nor Smith have proven to Addazui that they can handle the position for a full game. He did not mention who would be the first guy under center, but said it "will be more formulated on what we think will give us the best chance schematically."
In Boston College's 9-7 loss to Duke Troy Flutie threw for 129 yards, including a 66-yard bomb to Thadd Smith, while Jeff Smith only completed three of 13 passes for 12 yards, but was the team's leading rusher tallying 60 yards on 11 carries.
Sophomore kicker Alex Howell can only punt due to an undisclosed leg injury, so it is up to true freshman Colton Lichtenberg to boot the ball. The Georgia-native missed his only attempt last week from 45 yards.
Wake Forest is in top-20 in total defense and coming in to Chestnut Hill following two consecutive home losses to Indiana and Florida State. If the Eagles want to win Saturday, the Boston College defense will have to again be excellent, and it will just be up the offense to score the football.