Week 9: Boston College

Boston College (6-3, 3-3) is one of the most underrated programs in the country, boasting a roster loaded with quality experience and talent.

BACKGROUND

Location: Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Enrollment: 14,500

Nickname: Eagles

School Colors: Maroon & Gold

Stadium: Alumni (44,500)

Conference: ACC

 

TEAM

Head Coach: Tom O'Brien

Record at BC: 57-39 (8 years)

2004 Record: 9-3 (4-2)

2004 Bowl: Tire vs. UNC (W, 37-24)

Starters Returning: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense)

2005 Record: 6-3 (3-3)

2005 Ranking: No. 25

Boston College Game Notes

Senior Day
Saturday's game will mark the home farewell for 12 senior starters, including WR Will Blackmon, LS Francois Brochu, LB Ricky Brown, LB Ray Henderson, DE Mathias Kiwanuka, WR Larry Lester, TE Chris Miller, QB Quinton Porter, C Patrick Ross, OT Jeremy Trueblood, DT Al Washington and CB Jazzmen Williams.

This senior class is a combined 32-15 over the past four seasons and could still set the all-time record for victories by a senior class (held by last year's senior class, which went 34-16). They will be honored in pregame ceremonies at Saturday's game.

First-And-Toal
Linebacker Brian Toal has served double-duty for the Eagles this season. The true sophomore is third on the team in tackles (29 solos, 18 assists, 6.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) and has become BC's not-sosecret weapon on offense. Through eight games, Toal has touched the ball 21 times in short-yardage situations. He has scored a touchdown six times to lead the team in that category, including one in overtime that gave BC a 16-13 victory at Clemson and two vs. Virginia, and has picked up a first down on 10 additional occasions. He has been stopped short only five times.

Tailback Tradition Continues
Coach Tom O'Brien has made the tailback one of the cornerstones of the BC offense. In each season since 1998, BC has amassed more than 1,000 yards on the ground. Over that span, two Eagles have been consensus All- Americans and BC has had an All-Conference running back in all but one season. This year, L.V. Whitworth (540 yards) and Andre Callender (496 yards) have eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark (1036). From 1998 through 2003, a single running back gained more than 1,000 yards in each season. Last year, Whitworth, Callender and A.J. Brooks combined for 1,648 yards.

Silva is Golden
There's a new leader at the top of BC's defensive statistics - free safety Jamie Silva, who now has 65 tackles (47 solos, 18 assists). Silva shot to the top of BC's defensive stats following the best two weeks of his career; he registered a career-best 14 solo tackles vs. Virginia and then had 11 total tackles, including nine solos, in the Eagles' 35-30 win over Wake Forest.

For his efforts in the Wake Forest game, he was honored as one of the ACC Players of the Week. He had eight tackles against Virginia Tech and 11 this past week at North Carolina. Jamie's older brother, Steve Silva, is an outstanding running back and team captain for Holy Cross.

Bowled Over
Under Tom O'Brien, BC has gone to a school-record six consecutive bowl games and has won five in a row; the Eagles are the only team in America to have won bowl games the past five years in a row. They are now bowleligible for the seventh consecutive season. With a 10-6 all-time bowl game record, Boston College is fourth all-time in bowl game winning percentage (.625) among teams with at least 15 bowl appearances.

Triple Threat
Senior speedster Will Blackmon, a defensive back and return specialist in each of his first three years, has made the transition from defense to offense for his senior season and passed the test. A preseason All-America secondteam selection and number two kick-return man in the nation according to The Sporting News, Blackmon moved from cornerback to wide receiver during spring drills. In 2004, the All-Big East second-team selection became the first player in Boston College history to return a kickoff and punt for touchdowns in the same season and finished eighth among Division IA players with 28 kickoff returns for 762 yards (27.2 avg.) and one touchdown.

Veteran Staff At The Helm
BC's coaching staff is now in its third season completely intact. In the nine-year Tom O'Brien era at The Heights, four coaches – O'Brien, Jerry Petercuskie (recruiting/special teams), Frank Spaziani (defensive coordinator) and Don Horton (offensive line) – are in their ninth season. Dana Bible (offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks/wide receivers) and Jason Swepson (running backs) are each in their seventh year. Bill McGovern (linebackers) is in his sixth season. Keith Willis (defensive line) is in his fifth while two coaches – Kevin Lempa (defensive backs) and Jim Bridge (tight ends) – are each in their third season.

Captain Ross Is The Anchor
Co-captain Patrick Ross has upheld the Eagles' tradition of excellence at the center position. Ross, whose predecessors include New England Patriot Dan Koppen and Detroit Lion Damien Woody, has made 32 consecutive starts at center and was an all-conference second-team pick last season. The six-foot, four-inch senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, has helped pave the way for the Eagles' rushing attack to gain more 4,000 yards and, as a reward for his efforts, Ross has been named to the 2005 Dave Rimington Trophy watch list.

The ACC's Biggest O-Line
At a school known for some outstanding offensive lines, the fact that all five starters from a year ago returned is of no small significance. Between them, right tackle Gosder Cherilus, right guard Josh Beekman, center Patrick Ross, left guard James Marten and left tackle Jeremy Trueblood weight 1,586 pounds. Boston College has established a solid reputation for producing NFL talent on the offensive line in recent years. Over the last seven seasons, seven BC offensive linemen have been drafted by the NFL. The list includes Chris Snee, Dan Koppen, Marc Colombo, Paul Zukauskas, Darnell Alford, Doug Brzezinski and Damien Woody.

Press Conference Quotables

Head Coach Tom O'Brien
We will turn our attention now to North Carolina State. It's senior day at BC and we have a lot of kids who are playing in their last home football game. It'll be a night game on ESPN2, so it will be a national audience and I know that our students and our fans will come out and support Mathias [Kiwanuka] and Will Blackmon and all the rest of the seniors who will be playing in their last game. We need to get back on track this week. We need to get back the things that we were successful at earlier in the season. It should be a great night for football Saturday night.

On the quarterback decision and how it came to be:
Matt Ryan will start. It wasn't any one thing. It was a compilation of things that happened over the last couple games. I think right now, Matt [Ryan] gives us the best chance to win so he will be the starter.

On the difficulty of the decision:
It always is. But, I think it is a decision that has to be made.

On anything that taken out of the game against North Carolina:
I think the difference is we have to respect how tough this conference is. I think we got to a point where we were 6-1 and thought we were a pretty good football team. We haven't played for two weeks now like we did with that edge in the first six or seven games. We have to get that edge back and if we can get that edge back -- and that's what we have to concentrate on this week in practice -- then, we're going to give ourselves a chance. This is a very difficult league. It's very difficult to win in this league as a lot of teams are even and there is just a small fraction that separates teams. Right now, we have lost that small fraction and we need to get it back.

On Matt Ryan's growth in the last year:
Last year, he never played. That [Syracuse game] was his first game. He came in the second half at Temple. That is one thing. To prepare and start a game is a whole different situation. He has done that. Not only last year, but he has done it at Clemson and done it at Ball State. He came in at the end of Wake Forest and made something happen. He came at the end of North Carolina and made something happen. He is much different in terms of his maturity. He is much different in terms of his confidence. Hopefully, he will be the spark that we need to get the offense going.

On North Carolina State:
I think they regained it somewhere in the game against Southern Miss. They have a tremendous back. He looks like William Green, but about 30 pounds heavier. He is that big and that fast. They have huge tight ends. The made a quarterback change a few weeks ago and that proved to be an improvement to their offense. In talking to everyone in the conference, they have the best defensive football team in this conference. Hands down, personnel wise. Their front four to the linebackers and the speed that they play with in the secondary. It will be a big challenge. That's why I think if we get our edge back and come home to a home stadium that is rocking and people are going to send Mathias [Kiwanuka] and the boys out on the right note, those things will come in our favor.

Boston College Two-Deep Depth Chart

Offense

WR 1 Will Blackmon . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .200 . . . . .Sr.

82 Jason Lilly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .214 . . . . .Jr.

LT 72 Jeremy Trueblood . . . . . . . . .6-9 . . . . . .321 . . . . .Sr.

74 Ryan Poles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .310 . . . . .So.

LG 70 James Marten . . . . . . . . . . . .6-8 . . . . . .315 . . . . .Jr.

63 Shadu Moore . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .280 . . . . .Jr.

C 66 Patrick Ross . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .298 . . . . .Sr.

61 Kevin Sheridan . . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .296 . . . . .So.

RG 75 Josh Beekman . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .325 . . . . .Jr.

67 Tom Anevski . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .301 . . . . .So.

RT 77 Gosder Cherilus . . . . . . . . . .6-7 . . . . . .320 . . . . .So.

78 Ty Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .296 . . . . .So.

TE 88 Chris Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .269 . . . . .Sr.

85 Ryan Thompson . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .254 . . . . .So.

WR 6 Larry Lester . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-8 . . . . . .180 . . . . .Sr.

26 Tony Gonzalez . . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .190 . . . . .Jr.

QB 12 Matthew Ryan . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .221 . . . . .So.

15 Quinton Porter . . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .232 . . . . .Sr.

FB 47 Paddy Lynch . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .241 . . . . .Jr.

33 Tom Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .232 . . . . .R-Fr.

TB 30 L.V. Whitworth . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . .220 . . . . .So.

32 Andre Callender . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .204 . . . . .So.

Defense

LE 94 Mathias Kiwanuka . . . . . . . .6-7 . . . . . .262 . . . . .Sr.

53 Jeff Burns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .251 . . . . .Jr.

LT 56 Alvin Washington . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .288 . . . . .Sr.

60 Ron Brace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .343 . . . . .R-Fr.

RT 90 B.J. Raji . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .337 . . . . .So.

93 Keith Willis . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .266 . . . . .R-Fr.

RE 57 Nick Larkin . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .252 . . . . .So.

86 Jim Ramella . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .244 . . . . .Fr.

LB 55 Ricky Brown . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .235 . . . . .Sr.

48 Tyronne Pruitt . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .218 . . . . .So.

LB 3 Ray Henderson . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .245 . . . . .Sr.

40 Jolonn Dunbar . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .224 . . . . .So.

LB 16 Brian Toal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .238 . . . . .So.

35 Robert Francois . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .235 . . . . .R-Fr.

SS 24 Ryan Glasper . . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . .207 . . . . .Jr.

19 Paul Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .207 . . . . .Fr.

FS 44 Jamie Silva . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .205 . . . . .So.

9 Larry Anam . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . .192 . . . . .Jr.

CB 27 DeJuan Tribble . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . .189 . . . . .So.

29 Taji Morris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-10 . . . . .184 . . . . .So.

CB 4 Jazzmen Williams . . . . . . . . .5-8 . . . . . .179 . . . . .Sr.

7 Kevin Akins . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .205 . . . . .R-Fr.

Specialists

PK 39 William Troost . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .154 . . . . . .Sr.

20 Ryan Ohliger . . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .197 . . . . . .So.

P 46 Johnny Ayers . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . . .186 . . . . . .So.

LS 81 Francois Brochu . . . . . . . .6-6 . . . . . . .247 . . . . . .Sr.

H 46 Johnny Ayers . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . . .186 . . . . . .So.

or 12 Matthew Ryan . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . . .221 . . . . . .So.

PR 1 Will Blackmon . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . . .200 . . . . . .Sr.

27 DeJuan Tribble . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .189 . . . . . .So.

KR 1 Will Blackmon . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . . .200 . . . . . .Sr.

32 Andre Callender . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . . .204 . . . . . .So.


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