Scouting Report: Boston College

An in-depth look at Syracuse's next opponent, the Boston College Eagles.

Scouting the Offense

Boston College’s offensive attack is primarily based on the run game. They have run 540 rushing plays this season compared to just 206 passing attempts. They mix in power runs, stretch plays and some zone-read along with designed quarterback totes. The passing attack is built off of the ground game, utilizing play action frequently.

The Eagles are not built to come from behind, but rather to get a lead early, control time of possession and wear down their opponents.

Projected Starters


Tyler Murphy

Running Back

Jon Hilliman


Bobby Wolford

Wide Receiver

Josh Bordner

Wide Receiver

Dan Crimmins

Tight End

Mike Glacone

Left Tackle

Seth Betancourt

Left Guard

Bobby Vardaro


Andy Gallik

Right Guard

Aaron Kramer

Right Tackle

Ian Silberman

Key Players

QB Tyler Murphy: Murphy is the leading rusher for a Boston College offensive attack that relies primarily on the ground attack. He averages nearly 100-yards per game and seven yards per carry with 10-touchdowns. A shifty, slippery, speedy quarterback, the Syracuse defense will be tested by his running ability. He is only an average thrower, but can catch defenses off guard with play action.

RB Jon Hilliman: A physical, downhill runner, Hilliman fits the Boston College system perfectly. He runs smart, patient and explodes through the whole. He has 11-touchdowns on the season to lead Boston College to go with 693 rushing yards.

Offensive Line: The Eagles’ offensive line is a veteran group led by five fifth year seniors. They are all strong run blockers who have led a ground attack that has racked up over 260-yards per game. They will significantly test an Orange defensive front that has been solid throughout the season. Left tackle Seth Betancourt may bre the best of the bunch.


The biggest weakness for Boston College is their lack of a big time passing attack. Tyler Murphy, while a skilled runner, has a below average arm. He has thrown 10 interceptions on the season on only 206-attempts. The Eagles’ receivers are not an especially spectacular group either, though they do have size and are strong downfield blockers.


If you like physical, smash mouth football, Boston College is the team for you. Opponents know the Eagles are going to run at them, and still struggle to shut them down. A big, veteran offensive line is the key, and Tyler Murphy gives them a dynamic ball carrier.

Scouting the Defense

Boston College runs a 4-3 base and predicates themselves on playing more physical than their opponent. They shut down opposing rushing attacks with a strong linebacker corps and versatile defensive backs. They play man defense in the secondary. While they do not blitz as much as others, say Syracuse for example, they will bring pressure on occasion.


Defensive End

Brian Mihalik

Defensive Tackle

Truman Gutapfel

Defensive Tackle

Connor Wujciak

Defensive End

Kevin Kavalec

Strongside Linebacker

Josh Keyes

Middle Linebacker

Steven Daniels

Weakeside Linebacker

Mike Strizak


Manuel Asprilla

Strong Safety

Dominique Williams

Free Safety

Justin Simmons


John Johnson

Key Players

FS Justin Simmons: Simmons leads Boston College in tackles and interceptions. The talented safety is comfortable in coverage as well as coming down into the box in run support. He also blitzes on occasion. An athletic safety, Simmons will be a key factor in the Eagles defensive game plan.

SLB Josh Keyes: Keyes leads the Eagles in tackles for loss and sacks. He is an athletic linebacker who is skilled at blitzing and making plays in the backfield. He will be key against the Syracuse ground attack and putting pressure on Orange quarterbacks.

DE Kevin Kavalec: The best pass rusher on the Eagles front four, Kavalec is very good at using his hands to beat opposing offensive tackles. It will be critical for Syracuse to minimize his disruption against the passing attack. Kavalec is deceptively quick off the edge and very powerful as well.


Boston College is not an elite pass rushing squad, but they play physical defensive football. The Eagles are smart, committing the sixth fewest penalties in the nation. They start with stopping the run and covering well downfield. After limiting Florida State to just 20 points last week, they should have a big advantage over the Orange offense.

Scouting the Special Teams

Projected Starters


Alex Howell


Alex Howell

Punt Returner

Sherman Alston

Thadd Smith

Kick returners

Myles Willis

Sherman Alston


K Alex Howell: Howell has really struggled this season, making only five of his 11 field goal attempts. He has decent power in his leg, but is very inaccurate beyond 40-yards.

P Alex Howell: On the flip side, Howell is a solid punter who averages nearly 43-yards per kick. He is very good at pinning opponents deep in their own territory.

PR Sherman Alston: Alston is a solid returner, but not a big threat. Despite averaging nearly eight yards per return, he primarily fair catches opposing punts.

KR Myles Willis: Willis is dynamic in the open field, and therefore, a threat anytime he touches the ball. He does not have a return touchdown this season, but is always dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Related: Syracuse/Boston College Pre-Game Notes

Related: Boston College Season Stats

Scott Shafer Previews B.C.:

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