BC (2-4, 0-3 ACC) head coach Steve Addazio, on the other hand, must have had a lump in his throat when he set his focus on the Cardinals after his team’s 23-10 defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech. Dual-threat quarterbacks have absolute thrashed the Eagles on the ground this season. Four of the six quarterbacks they have faced have gained over 100 yards on the ground, including Notre Dame’s Brandon Wimbush who ran for 207 yards and four touchdowns.
The ordinarily stout BC defense has had impressive moments this season, but quarterbacks who can run off of the read option have been its Achilles heel. Wimbush turned the Notre Dame game from a 10-7 score at the half to a 49-20 blowout. And, The Eagles opened many eyes with when they had No. 2 Clemson tied 7-7 going into the 4th quarter. However, Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant helped turn it into another lopsided defeat for BC, 35-7.
What makes the situation worse for Addazio and company is their inability on offense. The Eagles are averaging just 14.6 points-per-game. That sort of scoring ineptitude puts pressure on a defense, and when facing an offense and quarterback who have made names for themselves scoring fast and often it is a downright scary task.
Addazio is very much aware of Jackson’s ability. “He Doesn’t need a lot of introduction,” Adazzio said of the talented junior.
“Makes things happen with his arm, with his legs. He’s electric. He’s probably one of the fastest guys in all of college football and certainly a great player.”
The Boston College defense did perform better against Virginia Tech, and their fleet-footed quarterback Josh Jackon. The Eagles held the Hokie to just 32 yards gained on the ground and sacked Jackson five times. Defensive end Harold Landry had three sacks in the effort, while fellow end Zach Allen added a sack to go along with his 14 tackles. The pair will be a big part of trying to contain Lamar Jackson.
“We’ve got to do the best we can to contain him, and those two guys (Landry and Allen) are certainly really fine players. Takes more than just the defense ends to contain this guy. But that’ll be a challenge, trying to keep him in the pocket on third down and also in the read-zone game where he reads the ends. And that’s always a challenge.” Addazio said of the task of trying to stop Jackson. “It’s been a challenge for everybody all season. He makes a lot of plays and he’s going to make plays in this game. And need to try and limit those plays and try to create some confusion and penetration and things like that.”
For the Eagles to have any chance of an upset against the Cardinals they better hope they find a way to contain Jackson, if they don’t it will be a tall order keep up with the fast and furious scoring pace, something they are not built to do.
Kickoff is at 12:20 p.m. from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, and will be on the ACC Digital Network.