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What To Watch For: Boston College

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This week’s #W2W4 hopes that the defense can take it one step further.

NCAA Football: Louisville at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

CAN BOSTON COLLEGE TURN LOUISVILLE OVER AND GET EASY POINTS?

Louisville continued their trend of turning the ball over at least one time last week. Lamar Jackson threw a pick-six to ice the game for the second time this year. BC safety Lukas Denis leads the country in picks so far and they have two defensive ends that can really put pressure on the quarterback.

Denis is the guy that really stands out for BC’s defense. Three of his five interceptions have been on overthrows or tipped passes over the middle. Another was playing over top and taking advantage of an ill advised jump ball. The last one was jumping a post route and stepping in front of the receiver. That’s the recipe for a ball hawk. Denis plays deep safety very well. He reads quarterbacks and he is always in the right spot when the ball is in the air.

Lamar has overthrown guys a good amount this year and he’s been known to pull out his heater across the middle in the past. Those two things don’t bode well for UofL being turnover free this weekend.

LOUISVILLE SHOULD HAVE MORE SUCCESS WITH PRESS COVERAGE

I think Peter Sirmon reads this post. Last week I hoped that Sirmon would utilize some press coverage and they did just that. They didn’t run “bump and run” like the commentators kept stating. They just lined up in press and then turned and ran with receivers. That takes away that cushion that we all hate and allows guys to make a play on the ball. It just didn’t work out very well.

NC State has big receivers and they can all make plays. They showed that very well last week when State decided to attack UofL’s corners with jump balls and fade routes. What was frustrating were the deep post route where Kelvin Harmon ran right past Russ Yeast. The double move against Trumaine Washington was also hard to stomach. Sirmon made adjustments. He blitzed more and he trusted his defensive backs to make plays for him. That just didn’t happen.

Boston College will push the ball downfield. They don’t have a quarterback with the accuracy of the guys they’ve faced so far. They also don’t have a bunch of big receivers. Louisville should look to press and they should actually try some bump and run. Jaire Alexander and Ronald Walker are aggressive guys that should do well if they are allowed to jam at the line and throw guys off their route. Russ Yeast has plenty of size, too. Why not let these guys put their hands on guys and disrupt things?

LOUISVILLE NEEDS TO GIVE REGGIE BONNAFON 15+ CARRIES

Bobby Petrino has completely abandoned the running game this year for whatever reason. Lamar Jackson isn’t running the ball as much and running back carries are down from last year, also. It was a big issue last season with Brandon Radcliff averaging over 6 yards per carry and only getting 10 carries a game. But, they ran Lamar more last year so it at least made some sense. Especially with Lamar making incorrect reads at times on zone read plays.

This season has been very different. David Hale tweeted out a stat during the NC State game that showed the lack of first half running back runs for Louisville. What jumped out to me is that they didn’t even hand it off against Kent State and Murray State. That showed me that Petrino just doesn’t want to run the ball. Why? I have no clue.

Louisville absolutely has to run the ball against BC. They’re terrible at defending the run and they are plenty good at defending the pass. This isn’t rocket science. Reggie is a solid running back and he’s shown flashes of being able to run downhill. That’s what Louisville needs this weekend as well as going forward. If they can get the traditional run game going it would actually allow them to run play action passes.

BOSTON COLLEGE CHANGING THINGS UP ON OFFENSE

Steve Addazio defended his offensive game plan after his offense couldn’t get into the endzone until late in the first quarter last week. Addazio seems to always defend his offense even though it’s demonstrably terrible each year. They run the ball into a wall for two downs and then they call a play with 5 yard routes even though they need 8. There’s no reason to think that a veteran coach like Addazio doesn’t know that his offense isn’t any good and his job is on the line because of it.

That leads me to think that he will adjust his offense in hopes that it will spark his team and save his job. BC runs the ball on first and second down about 70% of the time so maybe they look to pass the ball early. Maybe they utilize some short pass plays to make second and third downs more manageable for Anthony Brown. Hell, maybe they spread the field and get more speed on the field. Anything would be better than what they’re doing and it wouldn’t be a shock to me at all if they finally pull the trigger on some changes.