New England College Football Preview: Boston College Eagles

The Boston College Eagles are the one New England team in one of the power five conferences.  The ACC is a daunting conference when you have the likes of Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, etc. all competing for national glory.

Boston College is one team in the ACC that when on their game can compete with the big guns of the ACC but recently haven’t seen that success since 2007.  However; this year may be a breakout year for the Eagles.

2017 Season

BC went 7-6 last year and made another appearance in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in the Bronx.  And for the second time, they lost to a Big 10 foe, this time the Iowa Hawkeyes 27-20.

Their 2017 season started with a less than convincing win over MAC opponent Northern Illinois 23-20 and then went on a three game losing streak.  And in those three games, BC was blown out of the water losing by a combined score of 117-37.  The three losses came to Wake Forest, Notre Dame, and Clemson.  But if you believe in moral victories, BC was pretty much even with second ranked Clemson for three quarters until the rails fell off in the fourth.  Doesn’t help when you get outrushed 342-97.

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BC Athletics

After going .500 in their next two, something happened that very few people were expecting.  BC started scoring, and scoring A LOT.  They hung up 45 against Louisville in a win, 41 against Virginia in a win, an absolute blowout of a win vs. Florida State in which they put up 35, they scored 39 vs. UConn, and 42 against Syracuse.

They opened up the offense a lot more, started becoming less predictable, and perhaps the biggest move that may pay off huge, was a switch at running back.   Instead of relying on Jon Hilliman, Steve Addazio began using AJ Dillon a lot more and man can this kid play.

But the biggest loss for BC was against NC State.  They lost the game 17-14 but the bigger loss in that game was QB Anthony Brown.  Brown went down with a torn ACL and BC’s hot streak took a massive hit.  BC weathered the storm thanks to AJ Dillon.

Returning Players

For the first time since 2011, BC will have the ACC preseason player of the year on their team in running back AJ Dillon.  Dillon lead all rushers last year since he exploded on to the scene against Louisville.  He had 1,569 yards and 14 TD’s a year ago for the Eagles and this year is a serious Heisman favorite.

QB Anthony Brown is back to prove that he’s over his knee injury from a season ago.  Brown only threw for 1,176 yards and 9 TD’s last year but he only really got to showcase his talent in a few games.  One thing he has to watch out for is interceptions.  He had 8 int’s to 9 TD’s a year ago.

Defensive end Zach Allen (who shares the #2 with Dillon) is a preseason all ACC and all american this year.  He looks to fill the role of Harold Landry who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans.  Allen lead the team with 6 sacks last year and will be a force on the D-line for BC.

2018 Schedule

9/1 vs. UMass

9/8 vs. Holy Cross

9/13 @ Wake Forest

9/22 @ Purdue

9/29 vs. Temple

10/6 @ NC State

10/13 vs. Lousiville

10/26 vs. Miami

11/3 @ Virginia Tech

11/10 vs. Clemson

11/17 @ Florida State

11/24 vs. Syracuse

Boston College CFP Bound?

This may sound crazy, but if BC can stay healthy, keep the up tempo open offense like they had last year, this team could make a lot of noise.  They were picked to finish fourth in the ACC Atlantic division this year but they want to finish first and get back to the ACC title game for the first time Matt Ryan played for BC.

If they play to the level that they’re capable of, meaning Zach Allen locks down the d line, AJ Dillon is a legit Heisman player, and if Anthony Brown plays like he did last year, this team could win near 11 games.  A big question mark for them is head coach Steve Addazio.  He’s been known to make some rather questionable in game decisions during his tenure here at BC.

 

Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)

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