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Boston Globe reporter Julian Benbow gives us intel on Boston College

Each week, catches up with the beat writer who covers the Hokies' opponent. This week, we touched base with Boston Globe reporter Julian Benbow for details on the Eagles.

1) How much of a weight was lifted off of Boston College with its win over UMASS?

BENBOW: "Believe it or not, none. The celebration after the UMass win was loud enough that you could hear them singing the fight song from the press conference room.  You could tell it was a relief to get a W, finally. But they weren't kidding themselves, and coach Steve Addazio admitted as much when he said, "Everybody understands exactly who we played and everybody understands exactly who we’re going to play, OK? There’s no delusion there."

They put the overall losing streak to bed, but the ACC streak was the one that haunted them, and that's still very much alive and the cloud over the team really doesn't go away until they beat an ACC team. So this game -- and every ACC game -- still has a ton of weight." 

2) Much has been made about Scot Loeffler’s return to Virginia Tech. What’s been the reaction from him or anyone else at BC about his return?

BENBOW: "Surprisingly, there hasn't been much. Between the kicking game and clock management, the offense has kind of been overshadowed. That's partially my fault -- I had to step out and do some Ivy League previews. He was also pretty low-key in general about going back to Blacksburg. But it's also still so early that no one has a particular opinion on the job Loeffler's done.

By and large, people are optimistic. There's potential in the passing game even if weather conditions limited the Eagles in the opener. Addazio's still faithfully committed to the running game, but he's open to the idea of taking shots down the field. Some observers like ATLEagle have noticed some of the wrinkles he's added, but it will probably take more time to get a real feel for him." 

3) Has Loeffler made much of a difference yet with the offense? 

BENBOW: "Again, that's tough to say because conditions in Dublin didn't allow for opening up the playbook much. But the two long touchdowns on first-down plays against UMass were big because they were so out of character for BC. "

4) Is Patrick Towles the QB the Eagles have sorely missed in recent seasons? What stands out about him?

BENBOW: "There's a lot of confidence in Towles. It's been there since the spring. Even when he was competing with Darius Wade, it almost felt like it was understood that the starting job belonged to Towles. They haven't had a true passer since Chase Rettig was throwing 38 times a game four years ago and they still have a quarterback that can pick up yards with his feet even if Towles isn't necessarily as mobile as Tyler Murphy.

Towles' numbers probably won't be too crazy simply because he's in Addazio's system, but the offense will still go as he goes. The first thing that stands out is his stature and his demeanor. In terms of having the quintessential look of a quarterback, he's straight from central casting. He embraced his role as a leader as soon as he arrived and it seems like the team follows him, which is always important."

5) Defense has been BC’s staple for a few years. Is that still the case and what stands out defensively?

BENBOW: "A lot was made of fourth-and-19 and putting the Georgia Tech game in the hands of the defense, but ... I actually understood what Addazio was doing there. BC's defense is its backbone. It forced five straight three and outs against the Yellow Jackets. It held UMass to 29 yards of total offense after the first quarter. They haven't necessarily been tested yet, but they've been impressive nonetheless."   

Benbow's fearless prediction:

I'm actually not big on predictions. I picked Virginia Tech for the Boston Glove -- mostly because I can't see a team turning the fumbling four or five times for a third straight game -- but I wouldn't be surprised if BC took one on the road. 

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