It’s fitting that the Syracuse Orange football season potentially comes down to whether or not they can beat a Boston College Eagles team with no discernible defense and a backup quarterback under center, no? And yet, this is no assured victory — for either team. So begins yet another chapter of a rivalry that’s mostly been “whatever,” but is also the best option we have.
Since we’re not Boston College fans (thankfully), we went ahead and asked one about what to expect in this game. BC Interruption’s Niraj Patel joins us to talk all about the Eagles. You can check out those responses below.
How’s A.J. Dillon holding up? Seems Steve Addazio has no choice but to do what he usually does with running backs and give him over 30 carries per game the rest of the way.
Only one game removed from a 200 yard performance, I think AJ’s doing just fine. Typically, I would disregard everything that happened against Clemson last week, but all things considered, he managed over 70 yards on under 20 carries. This year is a bit different because of the back behind him in David Bailey. Bailey is an equally physical runner that makes sure the offense doesn’t miss a beat. They’re looking to maintain a power running game, and Bailey’s production gives AJ just enough spells to average closer to 25 carries a game.
Speaking of the offense, the passing game has been a constant issue under Addazio? Is it all a product of the scheme, or is some attributable to not having the right personnel at receiver or quarterback (or a combination of the two)?
I think it’s a bit of a combination, but definitely more a product of the scheme. It’s just how Addazio envisions his offense. Now some years you could argue either the quarterback isn’t really up to par or the receivers aren’t getting open. More often than not though, I don’t think it would matter all too much. The best passing quarterback BC has had under Addazio was in his first year. That year also happened to be the year of Andre Williams and his Heisman campaign. One of BC’s most productive receivers of all time was also on that team and the offensive coordinator also happened to be now Ohio State coach Ryan Day. I wouldn’t say that team neglected the passing game then, but that was probably the most prolific it’s ever been. Now we’re onto a backup quarterback, but the team needs no excuse to establish the run.
Been asking other opponents this, since there’s no right answer: Who’s the second best team in the ACC?
Lol. No one deserves it and it pretty much changes weekly. Man, I don’t know. Can I abstain? If not, I’ll give it to UNC cause why not?
Syracuse and Boston College are each other’s “rivals” by default, but how much do fans care about this game beyond what’s at stake for BC in the larger picture?
Wait, you don’t care about this hallowed rivalry? I’m with you though. It’s definitely a forced rivalry if there ever was one. It feels like a rivalry that neither fan base wants to admit is a rivalry because they find the other not necessarily inferior, but totally inferior. It’s a game they feel they need to win every year as a minimum threshold for a decent season. You just have an unnerving, sad feeling if you lose. Not devastated, just ... blech. Maybe you could describe it as an ex you just can’t get over and keep coming back to. You think you’re on to bigger and better things. You want to be the hot new thing at the party (the ACC), the next darkhorse or upstart, but deep down, and maybe not all that deep, everyone, including yourself, really knows you’re both the same and are good for each other.
Do Eagles fans want Addazio out? Did the Kansas blowout change a lot of opinions there?
The Kansas game might have swayed the final few holdovers. Addazio did bring the team back to consistent [yearly] performance, but people have just grown tired, and no one expects much in the end.
Defense has been a calling card of this team in recent years, but not so much this season. Is that just due to the losses in the offseason, or something more?
It’s primarily the offseason losses. Most, if not all, of the production on the defensive side was lost, including some key coaches. It’s not all young guys, but most don’t have that much game experience. That being said, it’s not really an excuse for the pitiful job tackling in most every game this season.
Name one unsung Boston College player that Syracuse fans should get a bit more familiar with.
Maybe not unsung, but a player I’ve been hyping and a name that only really gets attention at BC is Hunter Long. He is BC’s leading receiver at tight end, but there’s something special about him. He’s really athletic and is a flat out baller. Every time he catches the ball, it’s a critical first down or a long completion. Due to the nature of BC’s pass game or lack there of, his numbers might not be as gaudy as they could be (although I’m sure his yard per catch is pretty fire) if he were featured more, he is one of the best playmakers on the field.
Is there a specific Syracuse player or position group that most concerns you?
Never. Maybe the ghost of Eric Dungey.
Prediction time; Who wins this one and how?
30-27 BC. The Eagles rushing attack is too much. They can’t really seem to stop Syracuse, but do just enough.
Thanks again to Niraj for taking the time out to answer these. Be sure to follow BC Interruption and check out the site too, for all things Boston College.