FSU 2015 Season Preview: BC

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

We continue our season preview series with the Boston College Eagles. BC finished last season with a 7-6 record and a devastating overtime loss to Penn State in their bowl game. Boston College gave the Seminoles one of their toughest regular season tests last season, with Florida State needing a last second field goal by Roberto Aguayo to seal a 20-17 victory.


Schedule


Win Probility

Sep. 5 Maine

.99

Sep. 12 Howard

.99

Sep 18. Florida State

.2

Sep. 26 Northern Illinois

.65

Oct. 3 At Duke

.5

Oct. 10 Wake Forest

.85

Oct. 17 At Clemson

.15

Oct. 24 At Louisville

.25

Oct. 31 Virginia Tech

.4

Nov. 7 NC State

.5

Nov. 21 Notre Dame

.2

Nov. 28 At Syracuse

.65

Overall

6.33

Boston College lost more on offense than Florida State did and that’s saying quite a bit. Still head coach Steve Addazio is a very good head coach and will have his team ready to play. They play their first four games at home and should come out with a 3-1 record with their only loss to Florida State. October will be a rough one for the Eagles having to play Duke, Clemson, and Louisville all on the road. They do get to play Wake Forest at home in between so they should be able to pull out at least one win. November will be the key for them if they want to get back to a bowl game for a third consecutive year. Beating NC State and Syracuse will be almost a must at this point. At the end of the season Boston College should be going bowling once again.

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.


BC will be more pass-oriented this season than in years past because of the skillset of new quarterback Darius Wade, who is a major upgrade as a passer over any previous QB in Addazio’s tenure. The bigger problem for BC is finding a wide receiver who can get open for Wade against quality coverage.


Projected Starters


Quarterback

Darius Wade

Running Back

Jon Hilliman

Full Back

Bobby Wolford

Wide Receiver

Bobby Swigart

Wide Receiver

Charlie Callinan

Tight End

Michael Giacone

Left Tackle

Dave Bowen

Left Guard

Jon Baker

Center

Frank Taylor

Right Guard

Harris Williams

Right Tackle

Jim Cashman

Key Players


RB Jon Hilliman: Hilliman took over the reigns for Andre Williams last season and ran for 860 yards on 211 carries and 13 touchdowns. Hilliman isn’t flashy, but is the every down work horse for the Eagles and likely will continue that role this season.

RB Myles Willis: Willis is the big play back in the backfield. He ran for 459 yards on 88 carries with two touchdowns last season. He did have an issue with fumbles, but if he gets that under control could provide a nice change of pace for Hilliman.


Question Marks

The Receivers: The top three receivers from the 2014 season are all gone for the Eagles, but they do return one of their top receivers from 2013 in Swigart.

The Offensive Line: Four of the five starters on the offensive line are all gone as well. Right guard Harris Williams is the only player that has any returning starts.

Quarterback: Tyler Murphy is gone and there is only one quarterback on the roster that has actually played in a game. Wade has eight attempts for his career. That said, Addazio is very optimistic about what Wade brings to the table and says BC will push the ball down the field in the play-action passing game much more with Wade pulling the trigger.


Overall: Offense


Last season the Boston College offense ranked 17th in the FEI offensive rankings. I would expect there to be a major drop off at this season given all of their losses, particularly up front. It’s hard to be effective on offense with an entirely new offensive line, quarterback, and receivers, especially when you consider how Boston College recruits tend to need more time to develop. Still, the Eagles will likely get better as the season goes on and Addazio will have them prepared every week.

Defense


Projected Starters


Defensive End

Kevin Kavalec

Defensive Tackle

Truman Gutapfel

Defensive Tackle

Connor Wujciak

Defensive End

Malachi Moore

Outside Linebacker

Steven Daniels

Middle Linebacker

Connor Strachan

Outside Linebacker

Mike Strizak

Corner

John Johnson

Strong Safety

Cameron Seward

Free Safety

Justin Simmons

Corner

Kamrin Moore

Key Players:

NT Connor Wujciak: Wujciak is the top player on the defensive line and an force in the middle. He finished last year with 7.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.

FS Justin Simmons: Simmons was the leading tackler for the Eagles last season and the top returning player in the secondary. He also led the team in interceptions with two.

Question Marks


The Secondary: The Boston College run defense was very good last season, but they did have trouble defending the pass at times. They will need to replace three of the four starters and they will have to learn quickly.


Overall: Defense

The Eagles were 50th in the FEI defensive rankings last season, which is a major jump from the 92nd spot they were in for the 2013 season. The defensive line and linebackers were very good at stopping the run and return a lot from that core group. If they can find a way to be decent against the pass they will have a chance to be one of the better defenses in the conference, which they will need to be with an offense that will need every advantage they can get.


Special Teams


Projected Starters

Kicker

Mike Knoll

Punter

Alex Howell

Punt Returner

Myles Willis

Kickoff Returners

Myles Willis


How They Match Up With FSU


Florida State has had trouble with Boston College for the past few years, and with both teams replacing the majority of their starters it’s especially difficult to project this gamet. Another reason for the difficulty is that while the Florida State defense is built to stop spread offenses, Boston College runs a power run system. The Seminole front six will need to be able to play physical enough to stop the run, though this year we’re more likely to see the Noles shift to bigger personnel against the Eagles at times. The major advantage that Florida State will have is that they have out recruited the rest of the ACC by a very large margin and will be better on the defensive side of the football. I expect the Eagles to provide a stern early-season test as they get their feet under them after so much change, but in the end talent will shine through.


Wayne’s Prediction: 28-17 (Win probability: 80%)

Jason: Like Wayne said, this game is a bit difficult to project, particularly because Boston College will have all sorts of new packages and wrinkles for FSU that they won’t have shown in their first two games against FCS competition. That will likely mean some early issues on defense as the Seminole staff and players scramble to adjust to whatever Addazio has cooked up. But FSU’s saving grace in this one should be that BC is so young on the offensive line, giving FSU the edge up front on that side of the ball. This is probably going to be FSU’s first game playing one quarterback throughout, and a few key big plays in the passing game (which were limited by the weather last year) should ultimately break the game open. But this is the early-season spot where this young FSU team is most likely to stumble.

Prediction: 34-17 (Win probability: 80%)



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