Maine, Howard, Northern Illinois
Florida State, Duke, Wake Forest Clemson, Louisville, Virginia Tech, NC State, Notre Dame Syracuse
Series leader: Louisville (5-3)
Louisville currently leads the series with Boston College which started in 1986. In that first game in 1986, Boston College would blow out the Cards (led by Howard Schnellenberger) 41-7 in Chestnut Hill. Schnellenberger would get his revenge a few years later with back to back wins in 1989 and 1990, but then lose two more times in 1991 and 1994. John L. Smith would get the current win streak started with a 52-28 home victory in 1998. The Cards and Eagles would meet for the first time since that 1998 matchup in Louisville’s first season as a member of the ACC in 2014. Bobby Petrino would beat Boston College in 2014 and 2015, although last year’s contest was a narrow 3-point victory.
There’s no sugar-coating it; Boston College had an awful season. They would get all of their victories in the month of September, and not one of those wins against a Power 5 Conference. To be fair, though, 5 of those losses came by 3 points or less. If they didn’t have an offense that ranked last in the ACC in scoring (17.2 points a game), Boston College may very well have gone to a bowl game last season.
Steve Addazio is entereing his 4th year at the helm of Boston College. His first two years were actually pretty good, going 7-6 in both 2013 and 2014 while going to the Independence bowl in 2013 and Pinstripe bowl in 2014. During that time, he went 4-4 in the ACC in both years. Some of the stops he’s made in his previous coaching positions were at Syracuse, Indiana, Florida, Notre Dame, and Temple. He has a background in coaching tight end’s and offensive line’s, while serving as offensive coordinator at Florida in 2009-2010. Before taking the head coaching job at BC he was the head man at Temple, going 9-4 and winning a bowl game that year. Overall he is 30-32 as a head coach.
BC returns 12 starters (6 offense, 6 defense) for the upcoming season. While technically not a starter for BC last year, graduate transfer Patrick Towles (yes, that Patrick Towles) will likely be starting at quarterback for the Eagles. BC will also get back running back Jon Hilliman, who went down early last season with a broken foot.
Boston College will be stout once again on defense. Harold Landry was a 4-star recruit, and really started to live up to that status last year with 4.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. While Steven Daniels, who led the team in tackles, is gone after graduation, look for junior Connor Strachan to step up and take over in the middle for that front seven. John Johnson is someone to keep an eye on as well. Johnson is coming off a year where he had 3 passes broken up, 2 forced fumbles, a blocked punt, and 3 interceptions.
For the second time in three years, Boston College will more than likely start a graduate transfer at quarterback as Patrick Towles transferred in to the program after graduating from Kentucky (weird typing those words). At Kentucky, Towles threw for 5,099 yards with 24 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. A total of 4 different quarterbacks saw playing time last year. Combined, they threw for 1,331 yards with 8 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.
The offense is going to be a project to build back up. Boston College had the #1 scoring defense in the ACC (#4 in the nation) and still went 3-9. New offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler will really have his work cut out for him. He spent the last few years as an offensive coordinator/quarterback coach at Auburn and Virginia Tech. He has experience has a quarterback coach dating all the way back to 2000. They do get Jon Hilliman back from injury, but don’t expect this offense to be markedly better this coming season.
The defense is going to be another tough one to go against as they bring back 6 starters from one of the best defenses in the country. As mentioned earlier they lost 5 games by a field goal or less. They do lose defensive coordinator Don Brown to Michigan, but Jim Reid has plenty of experience, as well as a lot of returning talent to work with. Look for BC to have one of the best defenses in the nation again this year.
4 players to remember
Patrick Towles-More than likely will be the starter.
Jon Hilliman-Was lost early in the season, he’ll one of the biggest threats on offense.
Harold Landy- Junior defensive end had a very promising sophomore campaign where he had 14.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and 3 forced fumbles.
Matt Milano- Disruptive player in the backfield, the linebacker had 17.5 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles in 2015.
This game isn’t one that people are really talking about during this long offseason. I don’t think this is one of those games that could sneak up on the Cards like the Marshall game, I do think that it’s going to be another low scoring/tough matchup against a good defense. The Cards should have no problem winning this game, I don’t think it’ll be a high-scoring blow out where Bobby lights up the scoreboard.