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Boston College

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Any time Boston College reaches a bowl game, it can’t be considered a disappointment, especially coming off a year with only three wins. The Eagles still got blown out by every relevant team and didn’t really have a good win, but they at least made it to a bowl game and beat Maryland. In an effort to be more competitive against the ACC’s best, they’re opting for a more up-tempo offense.

But having an up-tempo offense and moving the ball consistently are two different things. The Eagles still have to figure out their quarterback between Darius Wade and Anthony Brown and neither of those guys is going to turn this group into an elite offense. To help, the line gets four starters back, so it only makes sense that they remain run-heavy between Jon Hilliman (542 yards, 6 TDs) and Davon Jones (361 yards, 2 TDs). Of course, Hilliman averaged just 2.9 yards per carry last year and that’s something that needs to improve. Receiver is also set with their top six guys back including Michael Walker, Jeff Smith and Tommy Sweeney, but someone will have to get them the ball. This offense was one of the worst in the country last season scoring 20.4 points per game, so there’s a long way to go.

At the least, a defense that allowed 24.6 points per game should be just as good, especially with sack master Harold Landry returning (led nation with 16.5 sacks). They have enough outside of him with Connor Strachan and Ty Schwab at linebacker, but the secondary really struggled against any decent passing team last season. Safety Will Harris and corner Kamrin Moore lead the group and improvement is needed.

Getting back to a bowl game will be far from easy with a more difficult non-conference schedule. None of those games are freebies with Notre Dame and Central Michigan standing out, with both probably being tougher than any non-conference game last season. To go with that, finding ACC wins will be difficult as usual and having to play Virginia Tech from the Coastal division doesn’t help. The Eagles will likely need to steal a road game with Syracuse and Virginia being the likeliest. If they can do that, there’s another path to six wins and a bowl game.

Boston College has the worst odds to win the conference (+10000 at 5Dimes Sportsbook), along with three other teams and that’s not a surprise. The Eagles aren’t expected to compete for the Atlantic title any time soon, but getting three or four wins in ACC play is the next logical step for this team. To have that happen, their offense needs to improve with a new quarterback and the defense has to continue beating up on weaker competition.


2017 Boston College Eagles Football Schedule

Sept. 1 at Northern Illinois
Sept. 9 vs. Wake Forest
Sept. 16 vs. Notre Dame
Sept. 23 at Clemson

Sept. 30 vs. Central Michigan
Oct. 7 Virginia Tech
Oct. 14 at Louisville
Oct. 21 at Virginia

Oct. 27 vs. Florida State
Nov. 11 vs. NC State
Nov. 18 vs. Connecticut
Nov. 25 at Syracuse

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