Personnel Preview: BC Defense

A detailed look at Boston College's defensive starters and key reserves for Saturday night's contest vs. the Irish.

Notre Dame
Boston College
Saturday, October 2nd
Alumni Stadium
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
8:00 EST


Boston College On Defense:
BC Defense '10 Rank Per Game ND Offense '10 Rank Per Game
Rushing Defense #6 71.33 Rushing Offense #99 110.75
Pass Defense #84 238.33 Pass Offense #7 315.50
Pass Eff. #46 118.76 Pass Eff. #63 129.60
Total Defense #35 309.67 Total Offense #37 426.25
Scoring Defense #32 17.33 Scoring Offense #78 23.00

The Boston College defense is very sound and does an outstanding job of playing within the scheme. At first glance, the No. 6 national rank against the run might appear to be deceiving if you look at the schedule, but the Eagle defense held run-happy Virginia Tech to just over 100 yards. It all starts up front with an experienced group of defensive linemen that absorb the brunt of the offensive line, which allows the linebackers to clean up. The biggest issue for Boston College last year and again this year is their ability to pressure the quarterback. None of the defensive lineman would be considered a pass rushing threat and have only registered four sacks on the season.

Needless to say, the linebackers are very good. This unit is a great blend of talent. Mark Herzlich is the inspiration, and experience, Luke Kuechly has a high motor and is a tackling machine and Kevin Pierre-Louis is young, fast, and athletic. This might be the best unit of linebackers that Notre Dame will see all year.

The defensive backfield will stay in coverage-2 throughout the game. They'll keep everything in front of them, so Dayne Crist will need to be patient and take what is given him. He will need to look for his opportunities to go deep, but those will be limited. This group is experienced, disciplined, and very solid. Because of their size, they will also help support the run. They've had difficulty in the past of creating turnovers, but have three interceptions through the first three games.

Anticipated Depth Chart. 

  Defensive Line Hgt/Wgt Stats
  DE Alex Albright, Sr. 6-5, 251  13 tackles/ 5.0 TFLs

LT Kaleb Ramsey , Jr.

6-3, 295  10 tackles/ 1.0 TFLs
  RT Damik Scafe, Sr. 6-3, 309  0 tackles/ 0 sacks
  DE Brad Newman, Sr.. 6-2, 257  8 tackles/ 2.0 TFLs

Alex Albright is the top pass rushing threat for the Eagle defense, although he only has two sacks over the last 13 games. He's solid and can make plays, as he showed last season against the Irish when he made seven tackles. Albright has started over 23 games in his career, including all three Boston College games this season. He leads the defensive linemen in tackles with 13. Seven of his tackles, three for a loss, against Virginia Tech. Albright played at St Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kaleb Ramsey is a strong disruptive player up front. He gets off the ball quickly and can fight through double-teams. Ramsey has 10 tackles on the season, with seven of those coming in Boston College's opener against Weber State. Ramsey started three games and appeared in eight in 2009. Last year against Notre Dame he made four tackles.

Damik Scafe has started two games this season for Boston College and 12 overall. Although he hasn't recorded a tackle yet this season, he's the big body that clogs up the middle. Scafe is strong and difficult to move off his spot. Last season he recorded 35 tackles.

Brad Newman won't make many highlight reels, based on eye-popping plays, but he will scratch a claw every minute of the game. He won't generate much of a pass rush, and due the lack of size, he can be blocked. Newman has started all three games this season and nine in his career. In 2009, he registered 45 tackles, which led all Eagle defensive linemen.

Max Holloway (6-foot-2, 250-pounds, So.) will spell Albright at defensive end. In time, he could develop into a pass rushing threat. Holloway has played in all three games this season and has registered seven tackles. Defensive end Kasim Edebali (6-foot-2, 248-pounds, R-Fr.) and defensive tackle Bryan Murray (6-foot-2, 293-pounds, So.) will rotate in during the game, but the starters will be relied on for most of the minutes.

  Linebackers Hgt/Wgt  Stats
  SLB Mark Herzlich, Sr. 6-4, 244  16 tackles/ 1.5 TFLs
  MLB Luke Kuechly, So. 6-3, 235  37 tackles/ 4.5 TFLs
  WLBKevin Pierre-Louis, Fr. 6-1, 215  23 tackles/ 1.0 TFLs

Mark Herzlich is the strong-side linebacker and was named the ACC defensive player of the year in 2008. Herzlich's battle with cancer prevented him from playing in 2009, but he's fought back and has returned to the starting line-up. He isn't up to the form he showed in 2008, but he certainly can still make plays. It will be interesting to see how he progresses over the course of the year.

Luke Kuechly might have been a secret heading into last season, but he definitely won't surprise people in his second season. He leads the team in tackles with 37, including 4.5 for a loss. Last year as a true freshman he finished second in the nation with 158 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss. Kuechly is a player… not much more you can say. He's one of the top linebackers in the country. He has a nose for the ball, and when he gets there, he is as sure of a tackler as there is in the nation. If Notre Dame is going to be successful on Saturday, they'll have to get a hat on him. Kuechly also played at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kevin Pierre-Louis surprised many by nabbing the starting Will linebacker spot as a true freshman, but he has shown through the first three games that he certainly deserves the time. He doesn't have great size, but he flies all over the field and makes plays. In his first three contests he is second on the team with has 23 tackles.

  Defensive Backs Hgt/Wgt  Stats
  CB Donnie Fletcher, Jr. 6-1, 200  11 tackles/ 0 INTs
  CB DeLeon Gause, Sr. 5-11, 184  11 tackles/ 3.0 TFLs
  FS Wes Davis, Sr. 6-1, 217  13 tackles/ 1 INTs
  SS Dom. LeGrande, Jr. 6-2, 215  5 tackles/ 0 INTs

Donnie Fletcher's best position might be safety, but he has the ability to play corner at the college level. Fletcher is a very good athlete, and a smart player. Given his size, he is physical as well. He started as a true freshman and then split time in 2009.

DeLeon Gause is probably the best athlete in the secondary, and is a solid player, but he does struggle in coverage at time. He's a veteran with 27 starts, including all three games this season.

Dominick LeGrande is a converted linebacker. He's a physical safety with limited range on coverage, but he does do a solid job within the framework of the defensive scheme. He's started all three contests this season.

Wes Davis is a three-year starter (27), the leader of the secondary and another very physical player. Like LeGrande, Davis has some limitations in coverage, but he's a big-time player. Last season he had 46 tackles and three interceptions.

Reserve cornerbacks C.J. Jones (5-11, 173, Fr.) and Chris Fox (5-11, 198, Sr.) have playd in all three games so it's likely that they'll get on the field against the Irish. Reserve strong safety Jim Noel (6-foot-4, 186-ppounds, So.) has also appeared in every game this season and has registered seven tackles and an interception. Top Stories