The Syracuse Orange scored a pretty nice upset over Virginia Tech this past week, but if they want to get back to .500, they’ll need to defeat the rival Boston College Eagles on Saturday. BC’s coming off a bye, but they’ve also been hot and cold all season, and coach Steve Addazio is firmly on the hot seat. Quite a bit of intrigue in this one playing mid-year, versus the teams’ typical date after Thanksgiving.
Below, A.J. from BC Interruption (who you should follow on Twitter) joins us to discuss everything you’ll need to know about the Eagles. We answer some questions over there too, which you should check out at BCI.
At 3-3 on the season, are Boston College fans content, or do they feel like the Eagles are underachieving so far in 2016?
BC has not been satisfying their fan base so far this year. It's been a tale of two teams so far. Against the creampuffs, BC has looked fine, they took care of UMass, Buffalo and Wagner. But against the ACC they have looked very suspect. They blew a very winnable game against GT in Dublin to start the season and have been outscored 104-10 against VT and Clemson. Fans really want to see BC show up against an ACC opponent and so far we haven't seen it.
While the passing game has looked better than last year's travesty, BC's offense is still among the country's worst. What's the issue? Personnel? Scheme? Coaching? All of the above?
Where do you start? First off the offensive line is still a mess. They are a bit older, and playing a tad better, but still not good enough, and they make mistakes constantly that negate plays. Secondly, Pro Football Focus came out with the statistic today that BC wide receivers have dropped 12.3% of the passes that Patrick Towles has thrown — most in the country. That isn't going to do. Thirdly, I'm not sold on Towles as QB, he takes forever to get rid of the ball, and doesn't do a great job going through his progressions and instead locks in on his first target. Finally, the coaching can't get out of their own way. We refer to it as the "Run, run, pass, punt" offense. You'll see a healthy dosage of it on Saturday.
- Defense has long been the Eagles' calling card, and Clemson game aside, that's the case once again this year. How do you feel like 2016's D stacks up compared to recent iterations?
I'm not sold on this either. Again, against the cupcakes, and a GT team that isn't that good they look pretty good. But against Clemson/VT they have been a train wreck. And Syracuse fans can lick their chops because what seems to be the issue is the fast tempo offenses. BC's defense is all about getting the right personnel in for their blitzes, and when they can't do that they sort of just stand around in a soft zone coverage that teams like Syracuse can pick a part. They have some talent though, Harold Landry is a beast, and their linebacking corp has made some great plays.
While the transitive property means nothing, the Orange did just beat a ranked Virginia Tech team that beat BC 49-0. Does that tell you anything about this #OrangeEagle matchup at all?
Well the only thing I can see is that if Syracuse can keep the pressure up, and get BC's offense off the field quickly, the Eagles are going to be in for a long day.
Wake Forest is improved this year, and NC State looks better than recent years too. What do you think the Atlantic Division pecking order looks like right now, in spots four through seven?
I would go NC State, Wake, Syracuse, Boston College.
We talking about the #OrangeEagle Trophy anymore? Or should we just enjoy its permanent residence in Central New York?
Just take it, our program is a mess.
Boston College tells Las Vegas they're correct and beats Syracuse by _____.
Three? I dunno, I have a hard time believing BC is going to beat anyone right now.
- Syracuse picks up win number four and probably gets Steve Addazio fired by _____.
Sunday. Honestly it wouldn't surprise me if Addazio is canned by Sunday if BC goes out and gets pasted. If that happens, and this is just me guessing here I have no intel, I would bet Paul Pasqualoni finishes the season as a new Boston College AD brings in his new guy.... please be PJ Fleck...please be PJ Fleck.
Prediction time: What happens in this one, and why?
Not buying BC at all in this one. I think the offense is too inconsistent to put up points and the defense will again be exposed. I think Syracuse routs the Eagles 34-10.
Thanks again to A.J. for taking the time out to answer these. And be sure to follow him on Twitter, and head on over to BC Interruption to read more about Boston College.