#80 Boston College Football 2015 Preview

Boston College Eagles

Overall Rank: #80
#12 ACC

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Coach Steve Addazio has certainly exceeded expectations during his two years at Boston College. The Eagles have gone to two straight bowl games and won 14 games. Usually it takes until year three for a new coach to really make his mark on a program. Coach Addazio did not need that much time. Surely many teams have learned it is a mistake to overlook Boston College during the last two years, but year three could be when reality starts setting back in.

2014 Record: 7-6, 4-4
2014 Bowl: New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Penn State (L 30-31)
Coach: Steve Addazio (14-12 at Boston College, 27-23 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Fitch
Defensive Coordinator: Don Brown

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jon Hilliman, RB, 860 yards
Passing: Darius Wade, QB, 23 yards
Receiving: Dan Crimmins, WR, 305 yards
Tackles: Justin Simmons, S, 76
Sacks: Malachi Moore, DE, 4.0
Interceptions: Justin Simmons, S, 2

Other Key Returnees: RB Myles Willis, P Alex Howell, LB Steven Daniels, LB Mike Strizak, DE Kevin Kavalec

Key Losses: QB Tyler Murphy, WR Josh Bordner, DL Brian Mihalik, LB Josh Keyes, DB Manuel Asprilla, DB Dominique Williams, OL Andy Gallik, OL Seth Bentancourt

Boston College won games last year with their rush offense and their rush defense. Running back Jon Hilliman rushed for 860 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman. He is a tough back who can pick up some extra yards by running through defenders. Myles Willis will again back up Hilliman. He has a bit more explosive speed and rambled for 459 yards on just 88 carries. A talented defensive front seven allowed a mere 94.5 yards per game on the ground. That was tops in the ACC and second in the nation. Defensive ends Kevin Kavalec and Malachi Moore are very disruptive against the run and there is more than enough experience ready to replace departed end Brian Mihalik and linebacker Josh Keyes.

Dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy made the most of his season starting at Boston College. He only threw for 1,623 yards, but Murphy rushed for 1,184 and was a huge reason why the team ranked 14th in the nation in rushing yards per game. Another reason for that ground success was an experienced offensive line that is now all but gone. Darius Wade figures to step into the starting quarterback role. He is pocket passer who has a nice arm, but it remains to be seen, even if the line gives him time to operate, whether or not Wade can pick out his receivers. As a freshman last year, Wade attempted just eight passes. Last season’s ineffective secondary, which ranked 11th in the ACC in pass defense, is decimated by graduation. Now younger and inexperienced players must step up and that will not be easy considering the front seven is much more effective chasing down running backs than quarterbacks.

The Bottom Line:
There is still a long way to go and a lot for Boston College to prove before they are considered a regular ACC contender. The talent of the defensive front should keep the Eagles around in most games, but the offense, especially the line, needs to be better than expected. Games against Maine and Howard will give Coach Addazio some time to fill the holes, but the schedule is not all that easy after that. In order to reach six wins, BC will either have to hold serve at home against everybody except Florida State or find a way to win a road game against, most likely, either Duke or Syracuse.

Projected Bowl: None

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 254.7 (14th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 129.3 (122, 14)
Total Offense: 384.0 (80, 10)
Scoring Offense: 26.2 (83, 10)
Rushing Defense: 94.5 (2, 1)
Pass Defense: 229.8 (66, 11)
Total Defense: 324.2 (11, 3)
Scoring Defense: 21.3 (21, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.08 (57, 7)
Sacks: 2.54 (33, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 1.62 (29, 4)


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