#43 Boston College 2018 Football Preview

Boston College Eagles
Overall Rank: #43
#7 ACC
 Boston College Logo
Boston College has steadily rebuilt their program under the direction of head coach Steve Addazio over the past five seasons. The Eagles got off to a slow start in 2017 at 2-4, but turned things around down the stretch as they won five of their final seven games. There is a lot of confidence and high expectations heading into the 2018 season up in Chestnut Hill and it will be interesting to see if Boston College can get to eight or nine wins this fall.
2017 Record: 7-6, 4-4
2017 Bowl: Pinstripe Bowl
Coach: Steve Addazio (31-33 at Boston College, 44-44 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Scot Loeffler
Defensive Coordinator: Anthony Campanile and Jim Reid
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: AJ Dillon, RB, 1,589 yards
Passing: Anthony Brown, QB, 1,367 yards
Receiving: Tommy Sweeney, WR, 512 yards
Tackles: Zach Allen, DE, 100
Sacks: Zach Allen, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: Lukas Denis, FS, 7
Other Key Returnees: LT Aaron Monteiro, LG Sam Schmal, C Ben Petrula, RG John Phillips, Chris Lindstrom, TE Chris Garrison, DT Ray Smith, SLB Connor Strachan, SLB Kevin Bletzer, MLB John Lamot, SS Will Harris
Key Losses: DE Harold Landry, CB Isaac Yiadom
A.J. Dillon is someone that is a stone cold lock to play on Sundays in the NFL. The running back rushed for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns and is a strong candidate for a 2,000-yard season if he stays healthy all year long. The offensive line should be another strength this season as the Eagles return all five starters up front, which should help keep the running game moving along nicely. Quarterback is a bit of a question as both Anthony Brown and E.J. Perry will battle it out all year long until someone takes full control of the starting job. The passing game is at least going to have to evolve into enough of a threat that teams won’t stack nine in the box on defense. Tommy Sweeney is the leading returning pass catcher at tight end after catching 36 passes for 512 yards and four touchdowns in 2017.
Zach Allen leads a solid defensive line group heading into the 2018 season. Allen had 100 tackles and six sacks last season, and his senior leadership is going to be vital for the rest of the defensive line. The linebackers will be boosted by the return of Connor Strachan who missed last season due to injury. Kevin Bletzer and John Lamont are back as well and this trio should be able to post some big-time tackle numbers, especially if the defensive line can dominate the line of scrimmage. Lukas Dennis had a huge 2017 season at free safety in 2017 as Denis intercepted seven passes. It will be up to Denis and Will Harris to continue to make big time plays in the secondary since Boston College has some work to do out at cornerback.
The Bottom Line:
The Eagles should be able to get off to a fast start in 2018 as the schedule is favorable in the first couple of weeks of the season. A two-game road trip to Wake Forest and Purdue in weeks three and four will be critical swing games for Boston College. If they can at least split those two games and get to the NC State game on October 6th with four wins, then they will be in great shape. Miami visits the Eagles on October 26th to begin a four-game gauntlet that will decide what direction their season will go for the most part. This stretch of games includes a trip to Virginia Tech, followed by a home game with Clemson and a road trip to Florida State. It would be a huge boost to the Boston College program if they can find a way to win two of those four games, but even one win against a quality opponent from that group will help in a big way. Look for about a seven-win regular season with a chance for an eighth win in a bowl game as the Eagles will play well all year long, but the schedule is a tough one.
Projected Bowl: Quick Lane Bowl
2017 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 220.4 (25th in nation, 3rd in Conference)
Passing Offense: 166.3 (114, 13)
Total Offense: 386.7 (84, 9)
Scoring Offense: 25.7 (85, 12)
Rushing Defense: 190.9 (94, 11)
Pass Defense: 191.9 (24, 4)
Total Defense: 382.8 (57, 8)
Scoring Defense: 36.4 (116, 13)
Turnover Margin: 0.38 (30, 4)
Sacks: 2.00 (65, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 1.15 (13, 2)
Madness 2019 NFL Draft Rankings:
#26 Zach Allen
#42 Lukas Denis