As preseason camp begins to wind down, the Boston College Eagles have started to get a feel for what their strengths and weaknesses will be for this upcoming football season.
Perhaps predictably so, the Eagles have exhibited a robust defense—one that is capable of generating several turnovers and interceptions. Yet, the Eagles’ offense remains—and has remained—a perennial question mark.
Since Steve Addazio has taken the helm in 2013, the Eagles have posted a 7-6 overall record and a 4-4 conference record twice in a row, for both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.
Though the team has shown moxie in the face of formidable opponents like Clemson and Florida State and has kept many difficult games close (usually until the 3rd or 4th quarter), the team hasn’t been able to climb past a 7-6 record.
Though a 7-6 record for two consecutive seasons certainly isn’t anything to sneer at, especially considering the fact that the team managed an egregious 2-10 record the season before Addazio came aboard, this season will prove to be a pivotal one.
This upcoming season will be Boston College's chance to show how much it has grown past—or regressed from—the team it has been for the past two seasons.
On defense, the team looks stellar—perhaps even more stellar than it did last season, which is saying a lot. According to ncaa.com, Boston College ranked no. 11 in total defense last season, allowing 4215 yards overall, 324.2 yards per game, and 5.13 yards per play. The defense also outranked teams like Alabama, Ole Miss, Miami, Georgia, and TCU.
With the addition of freshman OL Wyatt Knopfke, freshman DT Ray Smith, freshman DE Wyatt Ray, and freshman LB Tanner Karafa and the retention of defensive leaders like senior DB Justin Simmons, LB senior Steven Daniels, and junior LB Mike Strizak, the team will have a truly talented defense.
On offense, the team will have to transform itself. With the absence of quarterback Tyler Murphy, the Eagles’ quarterback (very likely Darius Wade) will have to fill big shoes. Yet, with sophomore RB Jon Hilliman, junior RB Myles Willis, sophomore WR Sherman Alston, and sophomore RB Marcus Outlow, the team has plenty of young talent to work with.
Addazio’s biggest offensive strength for the past two seasons may be his Achilles heel this season. That weakness, of course, would be the Eagles’ running game. If Addazio’s offense remains a two-dimensional game in which running is king, the team will likely become—if it hasn’t already—predictable to other teams.
However, if Addazio can actually add the dimension of passing to his offense, he’ll effectively show that neither he nor the Boston College football team is a one-trick pony.
For now, all we can do is speculate. However, the Eagles will play their first game on Saturday, September 5—in less than two weeks.
With a slightly softer schedule this season than last season, the Eagles really have the opportunity to capitalize and make this season count. However, make no mistake—the Eagles are in for a challenging season. Only time will tell whether or not they will rise to the occasion.
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