Can Boston College continue its Offensive Surge Against Virginia?

Written by Brett Korpi
​At first blush Boston College’s 45-42 upset victory over Louisville, last week seems like an aberration. Moreover, when you look at the facts, it is hard to think otherwise. The Eagles scored their most points against a Power Five opponent since posting 52 against NC State in 2009, and it was just the second time they scored more than 40 against an ACC opponent. The 555 yards of total offense was a season high and the most yards for the Eagles since 2008.

BC has been a team known for its offensive ineptitude the last few seasons. Ranking second to last (127th) in scoring offense in 2015 and 119th in 2016. Before the Louisville game, the Eagles were again ranked 119th averaging 16.3 points per game. They have now jumped up to 105 averaging 20.4 points per game. Head coach Steve Addazio and Co. will be looking to continue that progression on Saturday when they head to Charlottesville, VA, to take on the Virginia Cavaliers (5-1, 2-0) in an ACC cross-divisional match up.

True-freshman running back A.J. Dillon buoyed the offensive outburst with a breakout performance powering his way to 272 yards and four touchdowns. The outstanding day earned him many honors including the Walter Camp National Player of the Week.

“A.J. Dillon, I mean did you see what he did? I have been around a long time, and he was a beast. That was an unbelievable, unbelievable performance.” Addazio proclaimed after the game.

As a whole, the Eagles ran for 364 yards with quarterback Anthony Brown adding 65 yards before being knocked out of the game in the 3rd quarter. He was replaced by graduate-junior Darius Wade who closed out the victory. However, Addazio did say Brown would be the starter if healthy against Virginia.

When they take on the Cavaliers, the Eagles will be going up against a defense that ranks 42nd in stopping the run allowing 140 yards per game. For perspective, before last week Louisville ranked 38th allowing 131 YPG on the ground. And, BC has faced four teams that currently rank in the top 40, Clemson, Northern Illinois, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.

Addazio knows his team will be going up against defense prepared to stop their strength. “On defense, they’ve done a great job. I think their No. 1 player there is No. 9, Andrew Brown. He’s a fantastic defensive lineman. He’s powerful. He’s athletic. And you got Quin Blanding, one of their defensive backs. I think an excellent player. And I think they’re well coached. And I think they’re well put together.”

Virginia will be tasked with stopping a bruising running game that not only showcases Dillon but also junior running back Jon Hilliman who rushed for 122 yards against Notre Dame. Cavaliers head coach Bronco Mendenhall knows it will be tough bringing down the two physical backs. “It will be a different test, but our ability to play first down especially against the run will have a lot to do with our ability to play third down. You have to have a stomach for contact in this kind of game because your gap is your gap regardless of the number of times the 240-pound back smashes in there with another body, puller. You can’t ever get tired of taking that on. That’s the kind of game Boston College likes to play.”

Reason for the running game’s success is an area that has been much maligned in the recent past and has dealt with critical injuries, the offensive line. Lineman Chris Lindstrom who has taken over leadership of the unit, since center John Baker went down in the first game of the season, has been used as a Swiss Army knife moving from guard to tackle on a game-by-game basis and even lining up in the backfield on some plays. For his performance against the Cardinals, he was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

“Chris is playing at a high-level right now. I said that from pre-season camp. But he’s playing at a high-level right now. He’s playing tackle. He can play guard. We lined him up in the backfield. I mean he is a physical, rough player right now.” Addazio said of Lindstrom. “I mean you talk about you think about a BC offensive lineman; he’s a physical, rough player as you would imagine when I always envisioned a BC offensive lineman.”

All the vital components in BC’s offense will be looking to prove it is not a one-hit wonder against Cavaliers, another prime ACC opponent with postseason aspirations at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 21st and will be broadcasted locally on NESN.

Share This Story:

Related Content

Louisville Football
Adrian Beecher

Cards Travel To Take On Cavs

By Garin Turner Both Louisville (2-3, 0-3 ACC) and Virginia (2-3, 0-2 ACC) look to get to .500 on the season and notch their first

Read More »