Boston College is a good example of the difference that a year can make. At this point last year, Boston College was looking at another poor season after a 2-4 start. Fans were calling for Steve Addazio’s head and there was nothing for the team to hang their hat on. Then AJ Dillon had his coming out party against Louisville’s terrible defense. Dillon became the focus of the offense and they went on to end the season at 7-6.
The Eagles had a lot of hype this off season and I was a big believer in that hype because of Anthony Brown at quarterback. Brown impressed me as a redshirt freshman last year and he was a pretty big recruiting win for BC. With an extra year and the team invested in making him the guy going forward, I fully expected him to take that next step forward.
While he hasn’t lit the world on fire so far this year, he did start the season very well and he has played really well against some of the not so great teams on the schedule. He struggled mightily against teams that have competent defenses and the jury is now out on just how much he’s improved. Louisville doesn’t fall into the category of the defenses he has struggled against, so I think that he will be a key factor in how well this offense plays.
AJ Dillon is the star of this team and he’s really one of the top stars in the ACC this season. Dillon missed their game last week against N.C. State with an ankle injury, but between the fact that he was a “game time decision” and how he looked jogging on the sideline after the injury, I think he will play this week. Louisville fans won’t soon forget Dillon’s huge game at Cardinal Stadium last year where he ran for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns.
They don’t make running backs lie Dillon very often. He runs so well between the tackles because of his great size and pure strength, but he can also do everything you want outside of the tackles because he has great feet and he has plenty of speed once he gets to the second level. If he can’t go this week, BC would turn to Ben Glines who ran for 120 yards in the second half against Temple and 90 yards last week against State. He’s no slouch.
I’ve been very impressed with the receivers for the Eagles since last season and I think they’ve done a little better with utilizing them this year. Jeff Smith and Kobay White are two of the fastest receivers that UofL will see this year and they have both improved to become more than just speed guys since getting to BC. Smith is the leading receiver on the team and he is also used pretty often on misdirection plays like jet sweeps and reverses. Smith is a former quarterback who has also thrown a touchdown pass this year.
White is the guy that worries me more because he is a big time athlete on top of being fast. He can go up and make acrobatic catches and he can run after the catch pretty well. Scott Loeffler has been allergic to throwing the ball down the field in some of their most recent games, but I think that will change this week. White will likely get more deep targets this week.
Tommy Sweeney is another player that UofL fans will remember from last season. Once Anthony Brown went down with an injury, BC decided to run the same pass play over and over again and Sweeney was open each time. I personally think that Sweeney is the best tight end in the country and BC uses him in very smart ways. Look for him to have a handful of catches this weekend on misdirection plays.
UofL will face the best offensive line in the ACC. This group does so well protecting Brown as well as opening massive holes in the running game. I’m always impressed how they look like one unit as opposed to five individuals. When teams try to use stunts or twists the line just absorbs them because guys just pass off rushers so well. Louisville is one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to creating negative plays on defense, and I don’t expect that to change at all this week against this great line.