The Boston College defense is a solid defense, but not the same type of defense the Irish just faced according to Bill Diedrick.
"They are a defense that's not going to allow you the big play," said Diedrick. "They're going to make you slug it for 80 yards or more, trying to give you the long field. They're going to give you a lot of underneath stuff and then they're going to rally to the ball. They're very, very good tacklers, and that is really what they premise their defense on."
The Irish offense surprised a lot of people and came out and moved the football early against USC. Diedrick was asked if the first two drives against USC gave him hope for the future. "You like to hope that you'd be able to sustain that over a period of four quarters."
Running back Julius Jones has become the playmaker for the Irish offense. Diedrick says he's starting to put it all together now. "I think that the challenge for Julius was to come out and have to games, back to back, and I think he played well against USC. He put two together, now he's got to put a third one together, and to finish strong the entire year."
Defensive coordinator Kent Baer worked with BC offensive coordinator Dana Bible at Stanford. Baer says Bible hasn't changed much since the two worked together. "Coach Bible and I used to work together so we'll have a little bit of familiarity I guess," said Baer. "He's pretty much the same in his passing game, a little more running than I've seen in the past, it's because they've got a great back. The system is good, they do a lot of things with them, a lot of formations, and personnel groups."
Baer is going to have to play Boston College without the services of Glenn Earl who is out with an unknown injury. "Garron Bible comes in and plays that spot. Quentin Burrell still plays the other safety. That's about the only direction we've got to head right now. I don't see it changing our nickel a lot."
Baer says they haven't settled on who will play the dime back position as of yet. "It might be Freddie (Parish), it might be (Jason) Beckstrom--we haven't really addressed that. We're going to talk about it tonight."
Losing Earl is a big loss for the Irish defense—especially considering the two great tight ends that Boston College has. Baer says the Irish defense used Earl a lot against the tight end. "One of the things we always did with Glenn was play him down on the tight end side, away from strength. They do a great job of running the football with those two tight ends. Both are excellent receivers, big, strong, physical kids who can run. That's probably the two best tight ends we've seen. There's a little concern there, we're going to try to do some things to help him (Bible) a little bit."
The Eagles also have a very good running back in Derrick Knight. Baer said Knight reminds him of another great back they just played against. "He reminds me a lot of the SC starter, Lendale White--very similar style of running, very physical. He's an inside-outside runner. He doesn't just do one or the other. A lot of breakaway runs with his speed, playing on that Astroturf probably helps a little bit. We haven't seen that for a while."
The Boston College game has boiled over into a game of passion over the years. We asked Baer if he thinks the way the Eagle team reacted after their win last year at Notre Dame would serve as motivation for his defense. "I've got more e-mails, it's amazing. Somebody sent me pictures of a guy grabbing grass, putting their finger in the air, signaling No. 1. I don't pay a lot of attention to that, I really don't. I think that stuff only lasts for about one play. It's definitely a big rival, it means a lot to a lot of people. It'll be fun--I'm looking forward to it."
Baer's defense was shredded again this year by USC last week. Baer said he looked at the film and it confirmed what he thought had happened while watching the game. "It was pretty much what I thought after the game, we missed a lot of tackles. That's uncharacteristic of us—we're a pretty good tackling team. If I look at one thing, that's my biggest disappointment."
The Irish are 2-4 heading into the game against Boston College. Baer says the Irish remain motivated and showed it at practice on Tuesday. "It was good, the kids we're very upbeat, good Tuesday practice. They knew a little bit more than what they normally do on Tuesday's because we had a long walk-through this morning. I was pleased with today's practice."