Louisville comes off of their bye week with a chance to get halfway to bowl eligibility against Boston College. BC is struggling a bit at 3-2 with a blowout loss to Kansas and a loss to Wake Forest that they had a chance to win. The struggles aren’t on the offensive side of the ball where AJ Dillon is leading the ACC in rushing again and Anthony Brown has shown development as a passer. The Eagles have a new offensive coordinator and the early returns show that he’s improved the offense as a whole.
The quarterback position has been a little up and down for BC over the last few years but they’re getting good play from Anthony Brown this year. Brown is healthy and he is finally in an offense that allows him to push the ball down the field. BC has an obvious advantage with play action because of their great running game and they are now using deep passes off of that run game. Brown is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt and his top four pass catchers are all averaging over 13 yards per catch on the year. He has also done a good job protecting the football. He threw two interceptions against Wake last week but those were his first two of the year. Brown is still very inconsistent and doesn’t do well when the offense is playing from behind, but he can make plays if Louisville doesn’t defend well down the field.
AJ Dillon is still doing the ridiculous things he’s been doing since the last time he came to Louisville. Dillon is averaging over 5 yards per carry on the season and a lot of that is after contact. The most impressive thing to me about his game is that he always gets a couple of extra yards when he’s tackled. Obviously, Louisville will have to slow down Dillon for them to be able to win the game. He has the ability to control the clock as well as break off big runs for scores.
The Eagles have done a good job handling Dillon’s workload by mixing in David Bailey a good amount. Bailey ran for 100 yards last year against Louisville when Dillon was out and he’s improved as a sophomore. Bailey has good speed to go with his 240 pound frame. He has the same issue as Dillon when it comes to making guys miss with his feet but he will definitely run through tackles and shrug off arm tackles. BC has also done a good job of working the running backs into the passing game. Having a former NFL guy calling plays has definitely helped there.
BC lost a few key pass catchers from last year but they have diversified a bit with their tight ends to help offset that. Kobay White is back as the top receiver on the team and he has made some very impressive catches already this year. White being able to be a deep threat as well as a reliable possession guy has been great for Brown as a passer. Zay Flowers is the number two receiver and the true freshman has great speed and the ability to make people miss. He’s a comparable player to Tutu Atwell but might be better at making guys miss. Keeping both of them in front of the defense will be key. They have the type of speed that you can kill with off of play action.
Hunter Long leads the team in receiving yards at tight end. He’s been a consistent guy for the offense with a handful of catches in all but one game this year. Jake Burt and Korab Idrizi also have a handful of catches on the year as BC is able to run out a bunch of veteran guys on the edge. These guys know how to block and are always in the right spots in the passing game. They provide this offense with a great ability to nickel and dime the ball down the field.
BC lost a lot from their offensive line last year as they replaced three full time starters. That includes Chris Lindstrom who was drafted in the first round. So far, the line has stepped up and played well. Tyler Vrabel is starting as a redshirt freshman at left tackle and has drawn rave reviews. The line has protected Brown well this year and has avoided a lot of negative plays overall. Louisville will have to find a way to find creases in this blocking scheme to create some negative plays and get this offense into long yardage situations.