Eagles Aware of Tigers' Potential

Boston College is known for its physical style of play rather than speed and athleticsm. But what worries Eagles head coach Tom O'Brien is getting ready to face a team that can do a little of both.

In addition, the Tigers will likely try to use a ball-control offense and try to wear down the Eagles' defense, which is exactly what Boston College did to them last year.

O'Brien is fearful he's about to get a taste of his own medicine.

"That's a big concern of ours; holding onto the football," he said. "Their line is similar to what ours was a year ago. Last year, we returned our whole offensive line and they were veterans and that's the situation Clemson's in now. It will be a great challenge for our defense."

Hurting the Eagles' cause, at least temporarily, is the abscence of tackle B.J. Raji, who is suspended for the first half for being ejected last week against Central Michigan.

"It's going to hurt a lot because he's our best inside player right now," O'Brien said. "But that's the way it's going to be and there's nothing we can do about it. We have to hang in there and get the game to the second half, where he can get in there and help us."

One player who is expected to play for Boston College even though there's been talk of him being injured is quarterback Matt Ryan.

O'Brien said Wednesday that his playing status will be a game-time decision.

Many observers looked down upon the performance by the Eagles last week in their game against a much lesser team.

However, O'Brien said everything wasn't as it seemed.

"It was a 31-10 game with 10 minutes left," he said. "We had 400 yards offense, they had 200. We started substituing guys on defense and we let them back in it. I think you have to put yourself in situations like that to find out about your kids."

Now, that's not to say that he doesn't think his team can improve its play dramtically.

"There's a lot that we have to improve upon," he said. "I think a lot of it has to do with the maturity of the football team. I think we put ourselves in a situation where we didn't have to, but we found a way to win with a lot of young kids on the football field.

"Hopefully they've grown up and I think that is the biggest thing that could help us right now."

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