Team: Boston College
2014 Record: 7-6
Returning starters: RB Jon Hilliman, FB Bobby Wolford, WR Charlie Callinan, WR Dan Crimmins, DT Truman Gutapfel, DT Connor Wujciak, DE Kevin Kavalec, MLB Steven Daniels, LB Mike Strizak, CB John Johnson, S Justin Simmons, P Alex Howell, K Mike Knoll
Most important offensive player: QB Darius Wade – Taking over for the departed Tyler Murphy, Wade is set to take over and may be a better fit for the Eagles. Wade is not only athletic and very mobile, but has a strong arm. He appears to be a better passer than Murphy was, which should help Boston College take another step forward offensively.
Most important defensive player: DE Kevin Kavalec – Kavalec is a solid defensive lineman who helps give the Eagles someone who can generate pressure off the edge without having to blitz. As his productivity increases, the enter defense benefits.
Emerging offensive player: WR Sherman Alston – The short, speedy wideout is a home run waiting to happen. With elite speed, quickness and shiftiness, he could become a dynamic weapon for the Eagles this season.
Emerging defensive player: S Cameron Seward – The redshirt freshman has emerged as the replacement for former starter Dominque Williams. Seward size, speed and loves to hit. He is a perfect fit for the physical style the Eagles like to play.
How they matchup with Syracuse: Boston College has had more success over the past few seasons than Syracuse. One main reason is because of their physicality on both lines. While that still remains an advantage, the gap has shrunk. The Eagles will likely be the favorite when they come to the Dome, but the game could mean more to the Orange. The last game of the year could be the difference between going bowling and staying home. Expect this to be a close matchup, but Syracuse being at home certainly helps.
Season outlook: Can Boston College make it a third straight season with at least seven wins? A lot will depend on quarterback Darius Wade, who is lacking in experience. They are also replacing all five starters on their offensive line. Those two areas will be huge factors in their success. Their schedule is tough, three non-conference games are very winnable. Getting back to the postseason would be a successful year for the Eagles.