Week 4: Boston College

Boston College (3-0, 1-0) is one of the most underrated programs in the country, boasting a roster loaded with quality experience and talent.

Boston College Quick Facts

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: 69-42 (9 years)
2005 Record: 9-3 (5-3)
2005 Bowl: Micron PC vs. Boise State (W)
2006 Record: 3-0 (1-0)
2006 Ranking: No. 20 (AP)

Boston College Notables

  • BC is ranked 8th nationally in passing offense, averaging 297 yards per game, but is 90th in rushing offense,generating just 97 yards per game on the ground.

  • The Eagles are ranked #113 in total defense and #87 in scoring defense.

  • Led by Jeff Smith, BC is 12th in the nation and No. 1 in the ACC in kickoff returns, averaging 28.27 yards per return. Smith is 3rd in the country in kickoff returns.

  • Kicker Ryan Ohlinger has struggled this season, as he has made just 4-of-7 field goals. He missed two extra point attempts and a field goal last week against BYU. For his career, Ohlinger has connected on 26-of-40 field goal attempts.

  • Boston College is has the longest active bowl winning streak, as the Eagles have participated in and won six straight bowl games.

  • 18 BC football players received their diplomas on commencement day 2006.

  • Only Penn State (.658) has a better winning percentage in bowl games than Boston College (.647) among teams that have appeared in 15 or more bowls.

  • Last season, the Eagles were ranked number one in the country by USA Today when the paper re-ordered the final 2005 football Top 25 by APR (Academic Progress Rate) score to measure a combination of athletic and academic success.

  • When the football team moved into its new home, the $27 million Yawkey Athletics Center, BC undertook a multi-million dollar renovation of Conte Forum to benefit many of its 31 sports teams.

  • Boston College fields teams in 31 varsity sports, most in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

  • During the 2005-06 school year, 10 of those teams were ranked in the nation's top 25 at one time or another.

  • Alumni, parents and friends of BC Athletics contributed $15 million in 2005-06, marking the 13th consecutive year the Athletics Department has set a fundraising record.

  • This past January, BC announced that Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo and his wife Anne had pledged $100,000 to establish the DeFilippo Family Scholarship for Women's Athletics. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a female student-athlete who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and financial need.

  • When BC moved to the ACC and teamed with Fenway Sports Group and International Sports Properties, it expanded its corporate sponsor program to move than 60, doubling the gross revenue from the previous year.

  • The BC-Virginia Tech game was ESPN's toprated Thursday night telecast last season.

    Boston College Scouting Report

    Matt Ryan, QB -- Still nursing a sprained left ankle, BC quarterback Matt Ryan completed 29-of-48 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns in Boston College's 30-23 double-overtime win over BYU.

    Matt Ryan
    Ryan's second touchdown was a 25-yarder on the very first play of the second overtime that enabled the Eagles to go on to the victory.

    Through three games, Ryan leads the ACC in total offense and passing average per game. He has completed 83-of-134 passes for 891 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. The last BC quarterback to pass for more yards after three games was Doug Flutie in 1984 (938).

    As a team, the Eagles are leading the ACC in total offense (400.3 yards per game) and passing offense (297.0 yards per game). The last time BC averaged more than 297 passing yards per game was in 1993 (310.9). The Eagles are also averaging 103.3 yards per game on the ground; the last time BC averaged less rushing yards per game was 70.3 in 1990.

    L.V. Whitworth

    L.V. Whitworth, RB -- The team's starting running back and leading rusher, Whitworth has rushed for 191 yards through three games, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He splits time at the position with Andre Callender, and Callender has gained 136 yards on the season.

    Both backs give Boston College one of the ACC's top rushing attacks, especially given the Eagles strong offensive line.

    Josh Beekman, RG -- Beekman is the team's top offensive lineman and a sure-fire NFL player. He is up for several postseason honors and he could be the top lineman in the ACC.

    Brian Toal
    A team captain, expect Boston College to try and establish the ground game behind Beekman and right tackle Gosder Cherilus. The duo has started 28 straight games beside each other.

    B.J. Raji, DT -- The true junior started all 12 games last year and is looking for his 16th start overall. A dominant presence in the middle of BC's defensive line, Raji is best at getting pentration and creating havoc in the backfield. Through three games he has tallied six tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

    Brian Toal, LB -- Linebacker Brian Toal serves double-duty for the Eagles. The true junior was fourth on the team in tackles in 2005 and has become BC's not-so-secret weapon on offense. Toal has touched the ball 26 times in short-yardage situations.

    He has scored eight touchdowns, including one in overtime that gave BC a 16- 13 victory at Clemson last season, two vs. Virginia, and one last week against BYU. He picked up a first down on 11 additional occasions. He has been stopped short only seven times.

    Jamie Silva

    Jolonn Dunbar, LB -- The team captain currently leads the Eagles in tackles, 25, as he is coming off a 10-tackle effort against BYU. Explosive and very athletic, Dunbar adds another dimension to BC's defense with his aggressive play.

    Jamie Silva, S -- A preseason All-ACC selection, Silva is the leader of Boston College's defense. A ferocious hitter and big-time playmaker, Silva is all over the field making plays, and he is a statsheet stuffer. Through three games, he is averaging 8 tackles per game and has registered four tackles for loss, a sack, and an interception.

    Boston College Game Notes

    DOUBLE THE PLEASURE
    Boston College has now played back-to-back double-overtime games (both wins) for the first time in school history. The Eagles, in fact, had been involved in only one other double-overtime game, a 45-44 loss to Miami in Tom O'Brien's first season as head coach. The team had never played in two overtime games in one single season, much less back-to-back OT games. BC is now 4-3 all-time in overtime games and has won three in a row dating back to last season's 16-13 OT win at Clemson, BC's first win as a member of the ACC.

    CAPTAINS
    Senior offensive guard Josh Beekman, junior linebacker Jolonn Dunbar, and junior quarterback Matt Ryan are captains of the 2006 squad.

    SCORING STREAK
    Since Oct. 8, 1998, Boston College has not been shut out by an opponent. The streak is 94 games long. BC is 61-33 (64.9%) during the streak, outscoring opponents 2,393-1,898. During the streak, the fewest amount of points BC has scored in a game since is six: Nov. 25, 2000 @ Miami (Final Score 6-52) and Sept. 21, 2002 @ Miami (Final Score 6-38).

    SMITH THIRD IN NATION IN KICK RETURNS
    True freshman Jeff Smith, who led the nation in kickoff return yardage heading into last week's game vs. BYU, is now third in the nation in that category. Smith sparked the Eagles all day in the Clemson game with his electrifying kickoff returns. Smith returned five kickoffs for 213 yards, one shy of the school record, and broke a 96-yard return for a touchdown to swing momentum in BC's favor at the start of the second half.

    Smith played quarterback and safety at Silver Lake Regional High School in Plympton, Mass., then added to his football honors with a sensational spring on the track. He finished second in the nation (at the 2006 Nike Outdoor Nationals on June 17) in the 200 meters (21.15). He also won the 2006 Massachusetts (21.01) and New England (20.89) titles in the event.

    BOWLED OVER
    Under Tom O'Brien, BC has gone to a school-record seven consecutive bowl games and has won six in a row; the Eagles are the only team in America to have won bowl games the past six years in a row. With a 11-6 all-time bowl game record, Boston College is second all-time in bowl game winning percentage (.647) among teams with at least 15 bowl appearances.

    BOSTON COLLEGE RANKS HIGH
    In the 2006 US News university rankings, Boston College is ranked 34th, a six-position upswing from 2006, is the highest ranking in school history. Boston College was also listed as 41st on the "Great Schools, Great Prices" survey. The university was ranked as one of the 25 "New Ivies" by Kaplan/Newsweek. Finally, Boston College was ranked 43rd in the National Collegiate Scouting Association Power Rankings, which averages the U.S. Sports Academy Director's Cup rank (NACDA) and the NCAA Student-Athlete Graduation Rate of each school. BC finished 16th in the Divisions I rankings.

    During Tom O'Brien's tenure as head coach, BC has won the American Football Coaches Association's Academic Achievement Award (2004) and finished as an Honorable Mention selection seven additional times. Following last season, USA Today re-ordered its final 2005 football Top 25 by APR (Academic Progress Rate) score to measure a combination of athletic and academic success and BC finished number one in the country.

    NFL CONNECTION
    Nineteen BC players have been selected in the NFL Draft during the Tom O'Brien era. Ten of these 19 players were selected in the first four rounds.

    This past year, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka was selected by the New York Giants in the first round (32nd overall), becoming the 14th player in BC football history to be selected in the first round.

    TWO EAGLES ARE AWARD NOMINEES
    Senior OG Josh Beekman has been named to the 2006 Outland Trophy watch list. The Outland Trophy has been awarded to the best offensive or defensive lineman in college football since 1946.

    Junior Brian Toal has been named to the 2006 Watch List for the 12th Chuck Bednarik Award for Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year, as well as the Butkus Award for Best Linebacker. Players selected to the watch lists have distinguished themselves as All-Conference or All-America selections from their respective universities in past years.

    YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Senior free safety Larry Anam was born in Lagos, Nigeria; tailback Survival Ross and wide receiver Taylor Sele were both born in Liberia.

  • Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus was born in Haiti.

  • Junior defensive Tackle B.J. Raji was active at his church during high school, playing drums and tutoring children.

  • Junior cornerback Taji Morris took Tae Kwon Do during the winter to improve his balance, flexibility, concentration and self discipline; Taji's twin brother plays wide receiver for Monmouth University in New Jersey.

    FATHER AND SON REUNION
    Keith (defensive line coach) and Keith (sophomore defensive tackle) Willis, father and son, are entering their third season as father and son duo for Boston College. Keith Willis, the coach, enjoyed a 12-year career in the NFL (10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers) after starring at Northeastern, and is in his sixth year on the Boston College sidelines. Keith Jr., played in all 12 games last year, registering 20 tackles, and is enrolled in the Carroll School of Management.

    VETERAN STAFF AT THE HELM
    BC's coaching staff is now in its fourth season completely intact. In the ten-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 tenth season. Dana Bible (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks/wide receivers) and Jason Swepson (running backs) are each in their eighth year. Bill McGovern (linebackers) is in his seventh season. Keith Willis (defensive line) is in his sixth while two coaches – Kevin Lempa (defensive backs) and Jim Bridge (tight ends) – are each in their fourth season.

    CLASS ACTS Seven players on the Boston College roster already have earned their undergraduate degrees. Eagles Larry Anam, Josh Beekman, Tony Gonzalez, James Marten, Mark Palmer, J. Survival Ross and Taylor Sele earned their degrees in 2006. Once again in 2006, the BC football program proved it is a class act by achieving one of the top six graduation rates in the country. The Honorable Mention status, bestowed by the American Football Coaches' Association in its annual graduation rate survey, was BC's 14th.

    Boston College Depth Chart

    Offense

    WR 84 Kevin Challenger . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . .178 . . . . .Jr.

    13 Taylor Sele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .204 . . . . .Sr.

    LT 70 James Marten . . . . . . . . . . . .6-7 . . . . . .307 . . . . .Sr.

    73 Clif Ramsey . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-6 . . . . . .313 . . . . .So.

    LG 72 Ryan Poles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .295 . . . . .Jr.

    78 Ty Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .300 . . . . .Jr.

    C 61 Kevin Sheridan . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .290 . . . . .Jr.

    62 Bryan Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .292 . . . . .So.

    RG 75 Josh Beekman . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .321 . . . . .Sr.

    67 Tom Anevski . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .291 . . . . .Jr.

    RT 77 Gosder Cherilus . . . . . . . . . .6-7 . . . . . .318 . . . . .Jr.

    71 Carlos Huggins . . . . . . . . . . . .6-6 . . . . . .316 . . . . .So.

    TE 85 Ryan Thompson . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .259 . . . . .Jr.

    80 Ryan Purvis . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .254 . . . . .So.

    WR 26 Tony Gonzalez . . . . . . . . . . . .5-10 . . . . .202 . . . . .Sr.

    2 Brandon Robinson . . . . . . . . .5-10 . . . . .195 . . . . .So.

    QB 12 Matt Ryan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .218 . . . . .Jr.

    or 10 Chris Crane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .232 . . . . .So.

    FB 49 Mark Palmer . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .249 . . . . .Sr.

    38 J. Survival Ross . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .227 . . . . .Sr.

    TB 30 L.V. Whitworth . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .216 . . . . .Jr.

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

    Defense

    LE 52 Austin Giles . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .285 . . . . .R-Fr.

    98 Alex Albright . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .230 . . . . .Fr.

    LT 60 Ron Brace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-3 . . . . . .335 . . . . .So.

    or 97 Brady Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .285 . . . . .R-Fr.

    RT 90 B.J. Raji . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .340 . . . . .Jr.

    93 Keith Willis . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .270 . . . . .So.

    RE 57 Nick Larkin . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-4 . . . . . .250 . . . . .Jr.

    95 Brendan Deska . . . . . . . . . . . .6-5 . . . . . .261 . . . . .R-Fr.

    LB 48 Tyronne Pruitt . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .220 . . . . .Jr.

    7 Kevin Akins . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .212 . . . . .So.

    LB 40 Jolonn Dunbar . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . .233 . . . . .Jr.

    34 Mike McLaughlin . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . .250 . . . . .R-Fr.

    LB 35 Robert Francois . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .240 . . . . .So.

    or 16 Brian Toal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-0 . . . . . .232 . . . . .Jr.

    SS 19 Paul Anderson . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .210 . . . . .So.

    8 Marcellus Bowman . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . .206 . . . . .R-Fr.

    FS 44 Jamie Silva . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .208 . . . . .Jr.

    45 Wes Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1 . . . . . .205 . . . . .Fr.

    CB 27 DeJuan Tribble . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . .190 . . . . .Jr.

    17 Razzie Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . .174 . . . . .R-Fr.

    CB 9 Larry Anam . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-11 . . . . .196 . . . . .Sr.

    29 Taji Morris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . .181 . . . . .Jr.

    Specialists

    PK 20 Ryan Ohliger . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .209 . . . . . .Jr.

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

    LS 51 Jack Geiser . . . . . . . . . . . .6-2 . . . . . . .230 . . . . . .Fr.

    KR 27 DeJuan Tribble . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .190 . . . . . .Jr.

    6 Jeff Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .190 . . . . . .Fr.

    PR 27 DeJuan Tribble . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .190 . . . . . .Jr.

    6 Jeff Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-9 . . . . . . .190 . . . . . .Fr.



    Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien


    Boston College media relations and Mark McLeod contributed to this report.


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