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Opponent Breakdown: Boston College Eagles Offense

Maine v Boston College Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston College has long been known as a physical offensive team with big running backs and NFL offensive linemen. Well, that identity left when Steve Addazio was let go. The BC rushing attack has fallen off since 2019 and the Eagles currently have one of the worst rushing attacks in the country. I think a few things contribute to that but I don’t think for a second that Jeff Hafley will look to move away from trying to establish the run against a Louisville defense that has had some struggles stopping the run.

The key player for any offense is the quarterback and BC has a really good one in Phil Jurkovic. The Notre Dame transfer is healthy this year and all of the traits that have made him an NFL prospect have been on full display. He has the size at 6-5/214 and he can move enough to avoid the rush and extend plays. His big arm is what impresses me the most. He can pump the ball down the field on deep routes but he really puts the ball on a rope on throws to the sideline. He’s one of the most talented quarterbacks UofL will see this year.

However, Jurk has thrown a handful of terrible interceptions this year including his first throw of the Virginia Tech game. He also fumbled the ball on his first snap of the season. There are plenty of reasons for Jurk’s poor play so far but he also just doesn’t look like himself. He’s a very emotional player, and it has sometimes seemed like the frustration has gotten to him. One has to hope that the Cards can cause some havoc and make the plays when they come available to them.

BC is averaging 1.8 yards per carry on the season and Patrick Garwo is barely averaging three yards per attempt himself. Garwo ran for over 1,000 yards last year but a miracle would have to happen for him to get there this season. Garwo is a powerful runner with solid speed and I think he does a good job of seeing the running lanes. They just have not been able to get anything going in the run game so far.

The Eagles have some of the best receivers in the ACC and Zay Flowers is the best of them. Flowers can take over a game at any moment and one of the worst things about BC’s offensive struggles is that they haven’t figured out a way to get him more involved. Flowers is averaging seven catches per game but outside of the Rutgers opener, he hasn’t been able to make any big plays for the offense. No one on this offense scares me as much as Flowers. To me, he’s very similar to Tutu Atwell in the way that he can make plays at any level of the defense and score any time he touches the ball with any space.

The other receivers on the team are very good players and they all have great speed. Jaelen Gill is a former Ohio State receiver who has played a role of a possession guy but he has the speed to get behind a defense. He teams with Jaden Williams to combine to make a great compliment to Flowers as you can’t focus on just one player. Both of these guys can break out in a game. The other player to watch is George Takacs who transferred in from Notre Dame he’s second on the team in catches and he had a big game against Rutgers with 7 catches for 84 yards.

Now let's get to why this offense is struggling. The offensive line lost all five starters from last season and they are an absolute shell of what this offensive line once was. They can’t open running lanes and they don’t get any push. They also can’t protect Jurk in passing situations which they’re in all the time because they can’t run the ball. It hasn’t mattered if teams have brought pressure or dropped into coverage, this group is unpredictable on any pass play. When they have protected, the passing game has looked good, but they just haven’t been consistent at all and Jurk is being pressured on 44% of his passes. This is the entire game in my opinion. UofL can’t allow this team to figure it out against them.