Know Your Enemy: Boston College Preview

We continue our season preview series with the Boston College Eagles.

We continue our season preview series with the Boston College Eagles. BC finished last season with a 7-6 record and an embarrassing blowout loss to Arizona in their bowl game. Departed running back Andre Williams ran for 2177 yards last season and was a Heisman finalist.

Boston College gave the Seminoles their toughest regular season, putting a scare into Florida State by going up 17-3 early in the second quarter. The Noles came roaring back to take a halftime lead before winning 48-34. It was the closest game the Seminoles played until the National Championship game. Jameis Winston went 17-27 for 330 yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT.

Schedule

Win Probility

Aug. 30 at Massachusetts

.76

Sept. 5 vs. Pittsburgh

.44

Sept. 13 vs. Southern Cal

.33

Sept. 20 vs. Maine

1

Sept. 27 vs. Colorado State

.75

Oct. 11 at North Carolina State

.49

Oct. 18 vs. Clemson

.25

Oct. 25 at Wake Forest

.4

Nov. 1 at Virginia Tech

.24

Nov. 8 vs. Louisville

.35

Nov. 22 at Florida State

.01

Nov. 29 vs. Syracuse

.44

Overall

5.46

BC’s nonconference schedule includes three games they should win (UMass, Maine, Colorado State) and a game vs. USC in which they should be significant underdogs. With cross-division games against Pitt and Virginia Tech, the Eagles’ season likely hinges on picking up three wins in the five games against Wake Forest, NC State, Syracuse, Pitt, and Louisville.

The Simplified Football formula puts them almost halfway between five and six wins—right on the cusp of bowl eligibility. Five wins is probable, but six will require an upset or two wins toss-up scenarios. Jason: One thing is clear: head coach Steve Addazio will have the Eagles punching above their weight class. I expect the Eagles to make a bowl.

Offense

BC runs a power-based offense out of a lot of different spread sets, making them an unusual offense to defend. They do an excellent job of using motion and formation to create extra gaps in the running game and use traps and double teams on the inside to neutralize outstanding defensive tackles. This game will always be a test for the FSU run defense.

Projected Starters

Quarterback

Tyler Murphy

Running Back

Myles Willis

Full Back

Bobby Wolford

Wide Receiver

Dan Crimmens

Wide Receiver

Harrison Jackson

Tight End

Michael Giacone

Left Tackle

Seth Bethancourt

Left Guard

Bobby Vardaro

Center

Andy Gallik

Right Guard

Harris Williams

Right Tackle

Jim Cashman

Key Players

QB Tyler Murphy: Another former Florida quarterback on the roster, Murphy transferred at the end of last season. Former UF offensive coordinator Steve Addazio recruited him while at Florida and brought him in to play as a graduate student for the Eagles. Murphy should provide a solid replacement for Chase Rettig, who seemed to have been at BC for a decade.

RB Myles Willis: Willis has the almost impossible job of replacing Andre Williams. Willis had 60 carries for 346 yards and 2 TDs last season.

Question Marks

The Receivers: With the departure of Alex Amidon, who was BC’s only receiving threat in 2013, there are only two receivers on the roster this year that have caught a pass for the Eagles, and they combined for 115 yards and 1 TD. Boston College is a run-oriented team, but even Addazio concedes that they have a long way to go on the outside.

Overall: Offense

Last season the Boston College offense ranked 49th in offensive F+ thanks to outstanding senior years by running back Andre Williams and receiver Alex Amidon. The offense should be able to run with some success, but the lack of playmakers on the outside will put pressure on Murphy and the passing game.

Defense

Projected Starters

Defensive End

Brian Mihalik

Defensive Tackle

Truman Gutapfel

Defensive Tackle

Connor Wujciak

Defensive End

Malachi Moore

Outside Linebacker

Steven Daniels

Middle Linebacker

Sean Duggan

Outside Linebacker

Mike Strizak

Corner

Manuel Asprilla

Strong Safety

Dominique Williams

Free Safety

Sean Sylvia

Corner

Bryce Jones

Question Marks

Everyone: The Boston College defense lost a great deal from 2013, including the team leaders in sacks, tackles, and tackles for loss. There’s no clear leader on this side of the ball and it appears the Eagles’ linebacker cloning device has finally malfunctioned.

Overall: Defense

The Eagles were 92nd in defensive F/+ last season and it will probably be worse this season. Several years of subpar recruiting under Frank Spaziani have finally caught up to the program as Addazio has a true rebuilding effort on his hands. The defense lacks playmakers, and BC will have to overcome a deficit of speed, talent, and athleticism on this side of the ball. This defense is a long way from the Luke Keuchly/Mark Herzlich defenses of the recent Boston College past.

Special Teams

Projected Starters

Kicker

Alex Howell

Punter

Alex Howell

Punt Returner

David Dudeck

Kickoff Returners

Myles Willis

Needs Improvement

K/P Alex Howell: Didn’t have a single field goal attempt or punt last season. He now has to replace a kicker who made 20/20 field goals last season and 40/41 extra points. Tough act to follow.

How They Match Up With FSU

Unless Myles Willis turns out to be an Andre Williams clone and the Eagles somehow find a way to create a threat through the air, it’s going to be a long day for the Eagles. Boston College lacks the athletes on both sides of the ball to compete with the Seminoles, and the playmakers who were able to help overcome that last year are now gone. Addazio is sure to have a few extra wrinkles to throw at the front, but with this roster that simply means a few 15-20 yard gains. On defense we expect no worse than last year, when Florida State put up 48 points and 489 total yards. This should serve as a nice warm-up game right before Florida State plays rival Florida.

Wayne’s Prediction: 55-3. (Win Probability: 95%)

Jason’s Prediction: 52–6 (Win Probability: 99%)


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