2005 Preview: Boston College

With the Atlantic Coast Conference's Operation Football just one week away, it's that time to once again to start thinking about football – although it really never does leave the thoughts.

And with the ACC going to the new divisional format (Atlantic and Coastal), as well a championship game that will be held in Jacksonville, conference games take on a whole new meaning.

CUTigers.com will take a look at couple of ACC schools every week so that fans can know what to expect and look for in the upcoming season. Once the conference schools are completed, CUTigers.com will preview the non-conference teams on Clemson's 2005 schedule.

Each school will appear in alphabetical order, and that means Boston College is first.

2004 RECORD: 9-3 overall, 4-2 Big East (T-1st).

HEAD COACH: Tom O'Brien, 57-39 overall in eight seasons.

KEY ADDITIONS: DB Paul Anderson, DL Brendan Deska, LB Mike McLaughlin, DL Allen Smith, OL Pat Sheil.

KEY LOSSES: QB Paul Peterson, WR Grant Adams, WR Joel Hazard, TE Dave Kashetta, DT Tim Bulman, DE Phil Mettling, FS T.J. Stancil.

OFFENSE: The ACC boasts plenty of teams with quarterback issues, however the Eagles aren't one of them. Quinton Porter, who completed 140 of 250 attempts for 1,764 yards and 14 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in 2003, returns after redshirting last season. All five starting offensive linemen return, but the wide receivers lack any returnees. If BC is to soar, then one of those newcomers is going to have to step up. A trio of running backs, including L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callander return to lead the ground attack.

DEFENSE: Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka led the Big East last season with 24.5 tackles for a loss en route to being named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year. Joining him are what may be the best set of linebackers in Brian Toal, last year's Big East Rookie of the Year, Ricky Brown, who led the team in tackles, and Ray Henderson, who led the team in interceptions. With seven starters returning, this could prove to be one of the better defenses in the conference.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – Consecutive seasons BC has won its bowl game, which is the longest active streak in the nation.

WHAT TO WATCH: Whether or not Will Blackmon will be a wide receiver or cornerback this season. He may be the best athlete on the team and is needed at both spots. He might play both ways this season.

Head coach Tom O'Brien celebrates last year's win over North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl.

WR/DB Will Blackmon

RB Andre Callendar was Boston College's leading rusher last year.

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