Last game of the season, gang. Obviously we wish it could have ended much differently. But we still have our rivalry game with Boston College this Saturday -- so if nothing else, a win there would at least make us feel better, right? There are some people who would not want that result, however. Those people went to Boston College...
Below, A.J. Black (who you should follow on Twitter) from SB Nation's excellent BC Interruption, which you should be well acquainted with already, stops by to tell us what we need to know about Boston College football. We also do the same over there, which you'll want to read.
It's obvious that Boston College has completely bought into Steve Addazio's system and identity for this program, and it's largely worked like gangbusters. What is it about the head DUDE that gets the Eagles believing (and this quickly)?
At first glance you would think that it's Addazio's energy that gets everyone to buy in. While that certainly is part of it, there is a lot more to it then that. He is a pretty solid game coach, but he is a master of being able to say the right thing at the right time. Whether it's a recruit, a pre game speech, talking to the fans on a mic after the game, or a press conference, Addazio says what people need to hear, and most importantly people respond to him. Also, credit when credit is due, Addazio has done a great job planning for some of the bigger games the past two years, he can see how to beat opposing teams even if he doesn't have the personnel, keeping BC within striking distance of Clemson and FSU.
Tyler Murphy has been fairly successful at quarterback for BC. What does he excel at most -- even if it's not always evident on the stat sheet?
There is one thing that Murphy does, and he does it better than any other QB in the ACC, and that is run the football. He has elite speed at the QB position, and his elusiveness and breakaway speed has led to over 1,000 yards of rushing (the first ACC QB since Josh Nesbitt). His arm is mediocre to bad, his decision making is okay, but his ability to run the option is something special. If you watch Murphy he holds the ball an extra moment, and that helps him read the end and confuse the defense.
BC's gained a reputation for churning out some great linebackers in recent years. Do you feel like anyone has really stepped up this year, or have they just played well as a unit in 2014?
There is some pretty solid talent at the linebacker position, but I don't think it's anything as special as Luke Kuechly, Mark Herzlich or Brian Toal. Josh Keyes started the season off hot, making four sacks in September, but hasn't been as effective rushing the passer as the season has progressed. He is fast, and reminds me as a Kevin Pierre-Louis, a linebacker who is good closing on plays but not necessarily a game changer. The other linebacker you will want to watch is Steven Daniels. Unlike Keyes, he is more of a coverage linebacker, built like a defensive lineman, Daniels isn't fast at all, but has good instincts.
Has the team noticed a steep drop-off without Andre Williams? Or has that been mitigated by more effective running from the quarterback position?
Kind of? Put it this way, you are not going to easily replace the production of the leading running back in the country with a group of freshmen and sophomores. However what BC did was spread out the production, BC actually has more rushing yards this year through 11 games then they did through 13 games last year. Murphy certainly has been a major reason for helping fix this, but a trio of running backs have really lifted the team over the season. Jon Hilliman a true freshman is a bruising running back, who reminds me a lot of Andre Williams, and leads the team with 11 touchdowns. Marcus Outlow is a speed back, who has been a great change of pace back for the Eagles, and has shown that he can even line up in the slot and catch passes if needed. Finally sophomore Myles Willis who played last season, gets his fair share of rushes as well.
You won't find many Syracuse fans predicting an Orange win in this one. Assuming we can say the same for Eagles fans, right? What's your prediction come Saturday?
Hey, it's BC and Syracuse so you never know. However, it's a home game for BC and the Eagles are playing tough football this season, I think it's going to be closer than Vegas predicted, but expect BC to win a squeaker 27-13.
Thanks again for taking the time out for these, A.J! Again: be sure to follow him on Twitter, and head over to BC Interruption for everything you might want to know about Eagles football.