Welcome back guys and gals to the most perplexing read of your week. I know you missed the Q&A shenanigans last week and are craving some real solid questions to dive deep into the depths of this weeks opponent. Strengths, weaknesses, what keeps them awake at night...I’m here to deliver.
This week Mr. A.J. Black from ‘BC Maven’ was kind enough to submit himself to my round of questioning. He provided insight, provided some humor, and somehow left with a shred of journalistic integrity. Lets do this.
Sorry for the season synopsis AJ but most CC readers don’t follow the happenings of the Boston College Eagles on a week by week basis (a real travesty, I know). Let me wax-poetic real quick with the completely understandable and not at all insane path as to which the Eagles current sit at (3-2) (1-1). Boston college “Enter Sandman’d” the season against what many thought would be a decent Virginia Tech team, but took care of business at home bringing their lunch pail to work and grabbing and early win. The following week they didn’t let Richmond capitalize on their “Spidy Sense” that danger was forthcoming and crushed them quickly with the bottom of an AJ Dillion shoe before they even got to spin a web on Chestnut Hill, notching win numero dos (muy bien). The head scratcher was somehow letting Les get ‘Miles’ ahead of your team with a scrappy Kansas squad that frankly got a little Jay “hawky” on BC on a freaky Friday, handing them their first loss of the year, chewing up grass the whole game. The following week BC gave Rutgers the full blown F.A.M.I.L.Y treatment, pounding them like you do a little brother when no one is watching….because really, it was Rutgers and BC, no one was watching. Last week BC took on Wake Forest, and it was a bit of a mixed drink between the Deacs and the Eagles with some back and forth play. In the end, just like former Wake alum Arnold Palmer, it only took 3 strokes, (or 3 points if your European) for WF to bag the par 5 (or game 5), Eagle. Five games in, sitting at 3-2. Is this where you thought BC would be?
Sorry I am bad with coming up with musical references, but I sure am good with wrestling GIFS. After BC beat Virginia Tech the hope was going to be BC at 4-1 or 5-0 heading into the Louisville game. They got absolutely shredded by Kansas in a game that would have ended up with a coach being fired in any other program other than Boston College. They followed that up with a game against Rutgers where they made Artur Sitkowski look like Trevor Lawrence, and a Wake Forest game where they couldn’t get off the field. It’s 3-2, but based on the strength of schedule BC has played against so far, it feels far far worse.
As many expected Boston College is often looking to make an impact on the ground. AJ Dillion had a ‘welcome’ to the world game against Louisville a few years back and I’m pretty sure Coach Adazzio has rewarded him with 75 carries in every game since then. While Dillion is an absolute threat, do they rely on him a bit too much?
Nope, not any more. Enter David Bailey, Steve Addazio’s backup 240 pound sled that he can run 12-15 times a game and I hate to say it is only a tad less talented than AJ Dillon, who I thought was the second coming of Andre Williams two years ago.
Bailey is fast, shifty and can catch the ball (he also threw for a touchdown last week!). I think Steve Addazio runs the ball a lot, but he is actually doing a nice job of balancing carries between the two which has helped Dillon stay fresh.
The Boston College defense has had some struggles this year allowing teams to pass for over 255yds/game so far this season. The good news for you is that Louisville has struggled in the passing game and may not be able to take advantage of that weakness. The bad news? BC is also allowing 183yds/game on the ground…giving up roughly (add the three, divide by two, carry the four)….972 yds per game on the defensive side of the ball. What in the ‘Flutie Flakes’ is going on up there?
BC lost a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Zach Allen was a monster last year and could take over games by himself (watch the Clemson game where he held them in check basically by himself), along with Wyatt Ray they had 15.5 sacks between the two. The crew they have out there can not get any pressure with a standard four man rush, they have been successful with some blitzing but last week they allowed Wake to convert 17/24 on third down. The secondary is extraordinarily young, and have Brandon Sebastian back there but there are a lot of question marks around him.
While I’m sure the majority of these Q&A sessions you do are very straightforward and devoid of nonsense I’d also assume three questions in you already know we ain’t rolling in that mud this week, AJ. So let me hit you with a hypothetical. I rent a storage unit, we’ll say it a 10 foot cube, and I lock a bald eagle and AJ Dillion in that room for 52 minutes and 7 seconds. After partaking in a few of your favorite microbrews and a lobster roll or three while we wait, we slide up that corrugated metal door and witness the aftermath. What do we see?
Your questions are out there man. Ok, so AJ Dillon teaches the bald eagle some upper body exercises that immediately turns the Eagle into the avian version of DK Metcalf, as we open the gate AJ is riding the Eagle who he has named Apple Sauce (his favorite food, not a joke look it up).
They ride off into the sunset and we don’t see AJ again until he lands Applesauce at the NFL combine.
I think hearing you say “Your questions are out there man” may have been the best compliment I’ve ever received. Okay, back to more serious topics. How in the Chestnut Hill do you get a delay of game on a field goal attempt?
Only way I can explain it is that Steve Addazio lost track of the time. He said in his press conference that he thought the kick was going to be snapped in time (and watching the play it looks like Boumerhi was ready with 8 seconds left on the clock. I have no idea why Addazio didn’t see the clock get to 1 and call a time out. I don’t totally buy his excuse, field goal kicking has been an adventure under Addazio since 2014, and he’s changed Special Team coordinators multiple times. This is on him.
Louisville has not taken down Boston College on the gridiron since 2016. At the time I’m writing this the Cards are currently a 4 point favorite at home, looking to grab their first ACC win since in the Satterfield era. How does this massive battle play out on Saturday, at 12:30, with the eyes of the world watching a ‘Regional Sports Network’?
BC’s defense looked better against a dynamic offense in Wake Forest--which is weird to say, but they kept the explosive plays to a minimum which was my biggest concern. Louisville is better of course than last year, but I think Addazio will fix things just enough to win this one. I expect a really close one, but I’ll go BC 31 Louisville 28.
Huge thanks again to A.J. for taking time from his busy job over at SI to come tickle my fancy for a few questions. If you missed it earlier this week I answered some questions for him as well because frankly, I’m just a super nice guy trying to get the word out about these ‘Louisville Cardinals’. Go check out A.J on twitter here or give his site a follow here. (I heard he moonlights as a ‘Wahlburgers’ fan account in the off season).