#77 Boston College Football 2017 Preview

Boston College Eagles
Overall Rank: #77
#13 ACC
Boston College had a bit of an up and down 2016 campaign, but it ended on a high note with a 36-30 win over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl. The next step for the Eagles is to be more competitive against the top teams in the conference. They were absolutely crushed by the best the ACC has to offer. It will be a tall task to win six or seven games in 2017, but BC can be more competitive.
2016 Record: 7-6, 2-6
2016 Bowl: Quick Lane Bowl vs. Maryland (W 36-30)
Coach: Steve Addazio (24-27 at Boston College, 37-38 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Loeffler
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Reid
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jon Hillman, RB, 542 yards
Passing: Darius Wade, QB, 100 yards
Receiving: Michael Walker, WR, 420 yards
Tackles: Connor Strachan, LB, 80
Sacks: Harold Landry, DE, 16.5
Interceptions: Will Harris, DB, 2; Kamrin Moore, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Davon Jones, WR Jeff Smith, TE Tommy Sweeney, LB Ty Schwab, DE Zach Allen, DE Wyatt Ray
Key Losses: QB Patrick Towles, DB John Johnson, DE Kevin Kavalec, LB Matt Milano
Boston College will attempt to speed up their often anemic offense. The unit ranked last in the ACC in total offense and 13th in scoring offense. If the offense is going to improve, they will have to do it with a new quarterback. Darius Wade has a little bit of experience after backing up Patrick Towles last season and starting three games in 2015, but he will be pushed by redshirt freshman Anthony Brown. In the end, Wade’s experience should win him the job, but Brown does have a nice arm and a lot of potential. With the top six receivers back, the passing game should be better. The ground game should be improved too with an offensive line that is much more experienced and a pair of running backs in Jon Hilliman and Davon Jones that are much better than their numbers from last season indicated. Two years ago Hilliman rushed for 860 yards and 13 touchdowns and those numbers slipped to 542 yards and six touchdowns in 2016.
The Eagles defense once again carried this team. And they may have to do so again. Harold Landry passed on the NFL after leading the country with 16.5 sacks. He likely could have been a first round draft pick, but instead he will lead the Boston College defense. At linebacker Connor Strachan and Ty Schwab are a great duo to build around. Strachan tallied a team high 80 tackles, while Schwab added 61 tackles. The secondary is not full of proven playmakers, but there is experience and talent. Will Harris picked off a couple passes at his safety spot last season and Kamrin Moore and Isaac Yiadom are quality senior cornerbacks, but the unit as a whole needs to make more big plays, especially with the pressure that Landry and the rest of the line can get on the opposing quarterback.
The Bottom Line:
This should be an interesting season for Boston College and Coach Steve Addazio. After last year’s bowl win and with plenty of talent returning, the Eagles should have high hopes heading into the 2017 campaign. As long the offense can do anything, Boston College should be able to win quite a few games. However, that might just be mean they win the games they should win. Beating teams like Clemson, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Florida State is asking too much though and the Eagles will struggle to get back to a bowl game in 2017.
Projected Bowl: None
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 149.1 (96th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 143.8 (120, 13)
Total Offense: 292.8 (127, 14)
Scoring Offense: 20.4 (118, 13)
Rushing Defense: 108.5 (7, 1)
Pass Defense: 205.6 (34, 4)
Total Defense: 314.2 (9, 2)
Scoring Defense: 25.0 (44, 9)
Turnover Margin: 0.54 (24, 3)
Sacks: 3.62 (2, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.15 (68, 7)
Madness 2018 NFL Draft Rankings:
#16 Harold Landry