Boston College Football: 2014 Spring Practice Preview

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

The BC Eagles look to climb up the ACC ranks after replacing a ton of talent from their much-improved 2013 campaign.

From the "What Had Happened Was" File:

Overview Boston College finished the 2013 season at 7-6 with a 4-4 ACC mark. They finished tied with Syracuse for 3rd in the Coastal Division, behind national champion Florida State and Clemson.

vs. the Hokies This game went as the Hokies' 2013 campaign went: when Logan Thomas played well, VT usually won; when he struggled, it was ugly. Against BC, LT3 completely sabotaged himself. His stat line? 24 of 41 for 391 yards, 2 TD, and 2 INT through the air, and nothing spectacular on the ground except for 2 fumbles. In this game, he threw perhaps the ugliest interception in the history of modern football while forcing a play midway through the 4th quarter:

ACC Must See Moment | BC's Kevin Pierre-Louis Interception for Touchdown | ACCDigitalNetwork (via ACC Digital Network)

Losses USC (35-7), Florida State (48-34), Clemson (24-14), UNC (34-10), Syracuse (34-31), Arizona (42-19)

Signature Win Unfortunately, the win over VT was BC's signature win of 2013. It was the Eagles' first victory over the Hokies since 2008, when then-QB Chris Crane bested the Tyrod Taylor led Hokies 28-23.

Postseason The Eagles fell to Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats 42-19 in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.

Two Biggest Question Marks for 2014

The String of Nameless BC QB's Continues?

Boston College isn't known for their quarterbacks (aside from that Doug Flutie and that other guy whose name I refuse to mention-it still stings). I bet 90% of Hokienation can't even name BC's 2013 starting QB (Chase Rettig, btw). The Eagles believe they have their QB of the future in class of 2014 January enrollee Darius Wade (6-2, 183), out of Middletown, DE; however with him not quite ready to throw into the NCAA fire, their2014 quarterback looks to be a stop-gap guy: a former Steve Addazio recruit from the University of Florida, senior graduate transfer Tyler Murphy (6-2, 214). Says Rich Thompson for the Boston Globe in this nifty piece:

"Murphy started six games for the Gators last season and played in 12. He completed 112-of-185 passes for 1,216 yards and six touchdowns before suffering a shoulder injury. As an injury-prone quarterback from the previous regime, Murphy had limited options available at Florida.

Murphy has the physical tools and foot speed to operate in a rolling pocket-passing attack, a task Rettig struggled with at times last season. He is a quick study who has acclimated to new teammates and served as a mentor to Wade.

Murphy is more of an ACC prototype QB than Rettig, who was a pure pocket passer and gameday caretaker. The 6-2, 180-pound Wade was the Delaware offensive player of the year at Middleton High School and he possesses a strong pass/run mix."

Player

Ht.

Wt.

School/Hometown

247Sports
Rating

Natl.
Ranking

Other Offers

Sherman Alston

5-7

165

St. Joseph Regional

Montvale, NJ

2*

#40 APB

Delaware, New Hampshire

Albany, Bryant

Marcus Outlow

6-0

190

Norwich Free Acad.

Norwich, CT

3*

#87 RB

UConn

Jonathan Hilliman

6-1

210

St. Peter's Prep

Jersey City, NJ

3*

#24 RB

27 total, incl: Bama, OhSt, Fla,
Mich, Pitt, Tenn, WVU, UNC, UVA

Way Too Early Prediction:

There's nothing to predict here, as Murphy will be the guy, and Wade looks to be the quarterback of (at least the foreseeable) future beginning in 2015. It will be interesting to see what weapons Murphy has once the season begins, as BC lost a ton of offensive production from last year's squad. Either way, seeing BC move from a pro-style offense to a more spread-oriented game as is expected will be strange. To be quite honest, I don't see that system surviving very long in Chestnut Hill-it'll be hard to get the talent you need to effectively run that system at BC. Why? Their academic standards won't allow much wiggle room and they don't have a national recruiting profile to offset their location-which is compounded by the fact that they are located in New England and recruits from your "hotbed" areas of Florida, Texas, etc. apparently hate cold weather.

Replacing Williams

Gone from Chestnut Hill is beast running back Andre Williams, who rushed for 2,177 yards and 18 TD. How do you replace a 2,000+ yard rusher? Sophomores Tyler Rouse (5-9, 192) and Myles Willis (5-9, 192) will be splitting spring carries; however, the battle for the RB1 job will certainly stretch into August, as Williams's potential replacement may not even be on campus yet. The Eagles inked three prep running backs out of the class of 2014: Sherman Alston, Marcus Outlow, and Rutgers decommit Jonathan Hilliman. Let's take a look at those guys:

Way Too Early Prediction:

Willis will likely start, but look for Hilliman to factor in. He's a powerful runner and assuming he picks up the playbook, is far too talented to keep on the sideline.

#BCSigningDay: Jon Hilliman (via Boston College Athletics)

The Final Word-Fun Fact Edition

Andre Williams's 2,177 rushing yards in 2013 was the fifth highest single-season rushing output of all time.

1. Barry Sanders

2,628

Okla. St.

1988

2. Kevin Smith

2,567

UCF

2007

3. Marcus Allen

2,427

USC

1981

4. Troy Davis

2,185

ISU

1996

5. Andre Williams

2,177

BC

2013

6. LaDanian Tomlinson

2,158

TCU

2000

7. Tony Dorsett

2,150

Pitt

1976

8. Mike Rozier

2,148

Nebraska

1983

9. Matt Forte

2,127

Tulane

2007

10. Ricky Williams

2,124

Texas

1998

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