With the football season less than 11 weeks away, it is never too soon to begin to look at the opponents that will try to derail the Clemson Tigers’ quest for a second-consecutive national championship and their third appearance in the College Football Playoff in as many years.
Today, we continue our series with the Tigers’ fourth opponent—the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles will look to play the role of sleeper, sandwiched between the Tigers’ road trips to Louisville and Virginia Tech.
Steve Addazio is entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Eagles, but has yet to win more than seven games in a given season.
Three of his first four seasons, the Eagles finished their season with a 7-6 record—including this past year, getting to the seven-win mark with a 36-30 victory over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl. While the Boston College faithful are probably more concerned with the hockey team than their football team, it would appear that new AD Martin Jarmond may not share the same sentiment coming from football powerhouse Ohio State.
Boston College Offense:
Coach Addazio hired former Auburn and Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler to revive his struggling offense last season, but the returns were mixed if anything.
The Eagles ranked next-to-last in the ACC (13) in scoring offense and passing offense, 10th in rushing offense and last in the ACC in total offense—leading the Eagles to try something different in Loeffler’s second year.
Boston College will attempt to be more up-tempo in 2017 in hopes of jumpstarting their offense, however the offense will have to improve with a new quarterback.
“The quarterback play is so critically important,” Addazio said. “Both of these guys, Anthony Brown and Darius Wade, did some great things throughout the spring. Throwing the ball, command of the offense, putting us in and out of good plays, leading the team.
“We saw some really good quarterback play. And I think that we’ve got depth, we’ve depth at that position now, and that’s the first time we have had that kind of depth and that level of play. So that will help our offense incredibly.”
Boston College Defense:
The Eagles defense will once again be tasked with carrying the offense—which is something that they should be used to doing.
The Eagles finished last season ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing defense (7), total defense (9) and second nationally in sacks (3.62). They return the nation’s leading sack producer from last year, Harold Landry, who finished the season with 16.5 sacks.
“Here’s a guy that’s laser focused. Came in here, made a decision, a great decision, number one, to get his degree,” Addazio said. “Harold never redshirted here. So, this is his fourth year. He wanted to get his degree and continue to grow physically in terms of power, strength and speed. He wanted to be part of building something special with his teammates.
“So, Harold, for all the right reasons, has decided to come back here. When guys do that, they’re usually laser focused on their goals, both personally and team.”
Joining Landry are linebackers Connor Strachan-who led the Eagles with a team-high 80 tackles– and Ty Schwab who added 61 tackles