Scouting the Opposition: Boston College

TSR gives you our prediction on this week's game with Boston College.

Scouting the Opposition, Boston College
21 Maryland Terrapins (8-2, 5-1) at #20 Boston College Eagles (8-2, 4-2)
Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
November 18, 12:00 pm, ESPN

Boston College Eagles
Head Coach: Tom O’Brien (74-44 in 10th season at Miami)
Conference: ACC
2005 Record: 9-3
Series History: Boston College leads 2-1
Last Maryland win: 1984 (31-13 at Boston College)

Last Week:

Boston College had its way with Duke, scoring a touchdown in each quarter for a 28-7 victory at home. The Eagles used a balanced attack in gaining 501 total yards and two BC running backs went over 100 yards rushing in the game.

Boston College Offense:

Boston College under Tom O’Brien has not been a team that will wow you with any one aspect of their offense. Instead they are just steady and good all around in all parts which is why they are so consistent year-in and year-out. Junior quarterback Matt Ryan is as steady as they come as he leads the ACC in passing yards with 2282 total and 253.6 per game. He is the only ACC quarterback throwing for more than 200 yards per game this season. He also likes to spread the ball around as there are five Eagles players who have between 23 and 41 receptions this year. The bulk of Ryan’s 12 touchdown passes however have gone to WRs Kevin Challenger (5) and Tony Gonzalez (4). Neither of those players has a 100 yard receiving game this year yet BC still ranks first in the ACC in passing.

Boston College has two quality running backs in LV Whitworth and Andre Callender. Whitworth leads the team and is 5th in the conference with 670 rushing yards this season while Callender isn’t far behind with 507 yards. Either or both could be hot on any given game day. It should also be noted that when Boston College in goal line situations, they like to give the ball to Brian Toal in what they call their “first and Toal” package. On the season Toal has scored 5 touchdowns to lead the team. Overall in the ACC Boston College has the 5th best rushing offense and has scored the third most TDs on the ground with 17.  Combined, the Eagles are the ACC’s second ranked offense at 374.2 total yards per game.

Boston College Defense:

As steady as Boston College’s offense has been, its defense has been a question mark at times. The Eagles rank 10th in the ACC in pass defense and are surrendering 211.8 passing yards per game and allowing opponents to complete nearly 60% of their pass attempts this season. They are tied for the conference lead with 16 interceptions, however. Boston College’s defense against the run is better than their pass defense on paper but still ranked 6th in the ACC at 94.2 yards per game. Despite BC’s at times porous pass defense, they manage to keep teams out of the end zone. In their last seven games, the Eagles have given up 20 points only once. That was coincidentally their only loss in that span, a 21-14 loss at Wake Forest two weeks ago. Overall, BC is allowing only 14.7 points per game.

Boston College Special Teams:

The Eagles have pretty nondescript special teams. They have converted 12 of 18 FG attempts. Walk on kicker Steve Aponavicius has been handling the kicking duties recently for Boston College. He was short on a 42-yard attempt last week against Duke.


With both teams ranked in the top 25 and both still having a shot at winning the division, this should be a dogfight the entire way. Maryland may need a passing repeat of the Clemson game, where Sam Hollenbach looked in control the entire game and was able to move the ball methodically down the field. Boston College’s suspect pass defense could be a perfect recipe for such a game. Boston College has to be concerned with Darrius Heyward-Bey after last week’s performance against Miami. That could open up room for other Maryland receivers as well as the running game. Overall, Maryland can’t continue to get out gained offensively and expect to win every week. If Boston College significantly out gains Maryland this week, look for a BC win.


  • Mike Hogan -- BC 23, Maryland 20
  • Jeff Ermann -- Maryland 34, BC 27

Compiled by Mike Hogan

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