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Previewing the Boston College Offense

Taking a look at what to expect from BC in #TheRivalry

NCAA Football: Boston College at Northern Illinois Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In what should be another exciting edition of #TheRivalry, Wake Forest travels to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College at 1:00 in Alumni Stadium.

This article will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Boston College offense.

Be sure to check out the preview of Boston College I did during our series previewing each of Wake’s opponents this year.

This series isn’t exactly known for high-powered offenses who put a huge number on the scoreboard.

In 2015 at Alumni Stadium, Wake Forest won 3-0 in overtime after Boston College failed to convert near the goal line at the end of regulation.

Last year the Eagles defeated the Deacons 17-14 in Winston-Salem to become bowl eligible in the last regular season game for both teams.

The Eagles averaged 20.4 points per game last season, which was good for 118th of 128 FBS teams.

They had three 30+ point wins, against Wagner (42-10), Buffalo (35-3), and UConn (30-0). Their best win was in the QuickLane Bowl against Maryland by the score of 36-30. It was their first bowl win since 2007.

These games would seem to indicate that they had a fairly high-powered offense.

But games like the one at Wake where they only had to score 17 points to win showcase the fact that the offense still struggled against stronger teams. Boston College suffered several blowout losses, coming at the hands of Virginia Tech (49-0), Clemson (56-10), Louisville (52-7), and Florida State (45-7).

Last season BC’s offense was terrible, as they struggled to score against opponents with even decent defenses. BC has been one of four teams nationally to score fewer than 100 total points in conference play in each of the last two seasons. Also, the Eagles were 127th in the nation — second to last — in total offense with an average of 292.8 yards per game.

In their first game this season, the Eagles defeated Northern Illinois 23-20 in Dekalb, Illinois.

Redshirt freshman Anthony Brown started at quarterback for BC against the Huskies, and will likely get the nod against the Deacs on Saturday over graduate student Darius Wade. Brown is only the second freshman in Boston College history to be named the opening day starter.

Brown threw for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns, and completed 26 of 42 passes in the win. Eight different receivers caught passes from Brown.

In a quote from the Boston Globe: “Brown connected on tough throws downfield but missed open receivers over the middle. He found the end zone twice but tried to squeeze a throw into a tight spot and threw an interception. He made mistakes expected of a young quarterback in his debut, but he played above his age in the most critical moments.”

Brown sounds a lot like a young John Wolford, and will again be counted on to make big throws in critical situations against the Deacs.

Junior tight end Tommy Sweeney and junior receiver Michael Walker lead the receiving corp for the Eagles, along with redshirt freshman Kobay White.

Walker had eight catches for 50 yards and a touchdown against the Huskies. Brown and White are both redshirt freshmen and roommates, and seem to have developed a great chemistry. White finished with six catches for 76 yards.

This comes as part of a change in the offensive approach by coach Steve Addazio. In his first game, Brown threw more passes than any quarterback during Addazio’s tenure. BC had thrown 35 or more passes just once under Addazio, when John Fadule completed 23 of 37 against N.C. State in 2015.

“We’re going to throw the ball more,” Addazio said. “We’re going to throw it.”

Jon Hilliman will be the running back to look out for, as he carried the ball 25 times for 58 yards against Northern Illinois. Brown had the second most carries with only 7.

Kicker Colton Lichtenberg converted all three field goal attempts, with a long from 42 yards out, and both PATs.

Below are some highlights of the Eagles’ season-opening win:

This should be another exciting edition of #TheRivalry as both teams are on the rise, and have offenses that should be much improved over the last few meetings.

As always, Go Deacs!