#56 Boston College Football 2016 Preview

Boston College Eagles
Overall Rank: #56
#10 ACC
Boston College was painful to watch at times last year. The defense was so superb that the Eagles should have been better than 0-8 in ACC play. But that is how bad the offense was in 2015. The defense was the best in the nation, allowing just 254.3 yards per game, but the offense never could do enough to pull off an ACC victory.
2015 Record: 3-9, 0-8
2015 Bowl: None
Coach: Steve Addazio (17-21 at Boston College, 30-32 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Scot Loeffler
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Reid
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jeff Smith, QB, 450 yards
Passing: John Fadule, QB, 464 yards
Receiving: Thadd Smith, WR, 233 yards
Tackles: Connor Strachan, LB, 75
Sacks: Matt Milano, LB, 6.5
Interceptions: John Johnson, DB, 3
Other Key Returnees: QB Troy Flutie, QB Darius Wade, WR Charlie Callinan, DE Harold Landry
Key Losses: LB Steven Daniels, S Justin Simmons, DE Mehdi Abdesmad, DT Connor Wujciak
The defense cannot get much better than they were last year, but there is hope. Unfortunately for the Eagles, defensive coordinator Don Brown parlayed that success into a job at Michigan. New coordinator Jim Reid should be able to keep the good times going though. The front line will be led by Harold Landry, who had a breakout sophomore season with 4.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss. The Eagles hope for a similar breakout season from sophomore end Zach Allen. The talented group of linebackers will again be led by Connor Strachan and Matt Milano. Strachan led the team with 75 tackles and Milano added 60 tackles, including a team high 6.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles-for-loss. The rush defense ranked second in the country, but the pass defense was not far behind at sixth. Justin Simmons is a big loss at safety, but John Johnson is ready to emerge as a leader and Isaac Yiadom and Kamrin Moore are experienced cornerbacks.
It is expected that the defense takes a step back, but the offense has to take a step forward. Darius Wade was lost three games into the season and the offense never recovered. John Fadule, Jeff Smith and Troy Flutie picked up the offense and are back, but Wade and Kentucky graduate transfer Patrick Towles will be the ones battling for the starting gig. Towles was successful and relatively consistent during his time with the Wildcats and he is the one that can turn this offense around. Smith actually led the team in rushing and should be used in a variety of ways this season. An injury that derailed Boston College’s season just as much the Wade injury was the injury to Jon Hilliman after four games. BC wants to run the ball as much as possible and that did not happen last year. Myles Willis took over for Hilliman, but only garnered 198 yards on 67 carries. But with Hilliman and Willis back, the ground game should be improved.
The Bottom Line:
The offense has potential with some better skill players, but it will be the play of the offensive line that determines how big of a step forward Boston College’s offense can take. The line was a huge problem last year and, with three starters returning, the unit must be better. After back-to-back seven win seasons in 2013 and 2014, last year was a bit of a fluke for Coach Steve Addazio. Opening up the season against Georgia Tech in Ireland will be a tough test. Two weeks later the Eagles head to Virginia Tech. Non-conference games against Massachusetts, Wagner, Buffalo and Connecticut are all winnable games. If Boston College can pull off those four wins, they just need to steal two ACC victories to go to a bowl game.
Projected Bowl: Quick Lane Bowl
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 164.4 (74th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 111.2 (124, 14)
Total Offense: 275.6 (125, 14)
Scoring Offense: 17.2 (120, 14)
Rushing Defense: 82.8 (2, 1)
Pass Defense: 171.5 (6, 1)
Total Defense: 254.3 (1, 1)
Scoring Defense: 15.3 (4, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.25 (46, 6)
Sacks: 2.83 (18, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.33 (79, 10)


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