Boston College is riding high coming into this week’s game. They are ranked for the first time since 2008 and off to a solid 3-0 start. For more perspective on how the Eagles are playing I spoke with A. J. Black of SB Nation’s BC Interruption:
T-Mill: With an offense averaging 50+ points per game and a defense not as stout as usual is this bizarro Addazio Boston College?
A.J.: I have no idea where this came from. Last season Boston College hit an all time low after a listless loss on a Friday night against Virginia Tech. After the game a very agitated Steve Addazio came up to the mic, and ended the press conference by emphatically saying “It will come together and it will be beautiful”, and like a modern Nostradamus, the next week BC ripped off 500+ yards against Louisville, and this trend continued to present. I think a lot of the credit goes to three different people. The offensive line is absolutely fantastic and have gelled together after years of playing together, AJ Dillon is probably the best running back BC has ever had, and Scot Loeffler has come together with a dynamic scheme that more recently looks like something out of Stanford. On defense, the issue is up the middle, and getting gassed by tempo offenses.
T-Mill: Do you think the two extra days after the Wake Forest game will be beneficial or did it screw up the team’s rhythm?
A.J.: I think it will be fine. The team has had a screwy first month of games. They played UMass and was up 48-7 at halftime and yanked all the starters for the second half, they followed that up with Holy Cross and once they got up 21-0 they sat the starters (3 drives into the game). We saw a side effect of this against Wake Forest as the Eagles were gassed going up against a team that put up 105 plays on them. Hopefully as the season progresses conditioning is something that BC continues to work on, but could be a factor to watch against Purdue.
T-Mill: Obviously A.J. Dillon is a next level talent, but what about Anthony Brown? How much has he exceeded expecations?
A.J.: Oh yes. Going into this season Brown was the biggest question mark on this team. Last season he was inconsistent at best, but this year he has looked calm and collected in the pocket and has threaded some really nice passes. We were hoping for just a game manager who could keep defenses honest about Dillon. What we got is a perfect compliment to Dillon, a passer who can hit short intermediate and long passes, and is quickly becoming a nightmare for opposing defenses.
T-Mill: Purdue has had a very rough start, but is still extremely close to being 3-0 as well instead of 0-3. What concerns you the most about Purdue?
A.J.: The offense. Jeff Brohm’s fast tempo offenses mimic what BC struggled with against Wake. If Purdue can stay on the field I think BC is in trouble.
T-Mill: Who else has been a standout in the 3-0 start?
A.J.: The wide receivers and tight ends have been stellar for BC, which is not par for the course for Steve Addazio led offenses. Jeff Smith is the #1, and runs all sorts of jet sweeps and short passes, he is quick and elusive. Kobay White is a lengthy deep threat with incredible hands, and Tommy Sweeney is a legit NFL tight end who can catch the ball and run block. On the defensive side of the ball the safeties and corners have played lights out so far. Lukas Denis and Wil Harris the safeties are going to play in the NFL, while Hamp Cheevers has quickly risen to CB1 on the roster.
T-Mill: How do you see Saturday playing out given we have lost 3 games by 8 points total?
A.J.: I think it is going to be a close game like you think. However, I just don’t see Purdue’s defense stopping BC’s offense. BC only won by a touchdown against Wake Forest, who, no offense is a better team than Purdue. And that was even with spotting the Demon Deacons 15 points on flukey special teams mishaps. If BC cleans up those mistakes, I think the Eagles win by 10 on Saturday.