The Virginia Tech Hokies are back in action this week against a familiar foe in the Boston College Eagles. Unlike previous years, though, BC is the ranked team while the Hokies are the ones having their share of struggles.
At 6-2 on the season with a 3-1 mark in ACC play, the Eagles are having a strong season under head coach Steve Addazio. This is Addazio’s sixth season in charge of Boston College and he currently has a record of 37-35. In his previous five seasons, Addazio had a record of 7-6 on four different occasions and one year where he finished 3-9. Since Matt Ryan departed BC all the way back after the 2007 season, it’s been a frustrating time.
A big reason for Boston College’s success this year is the experience on both sides of the football. A look at Boston College’s two-deep and you’ll notice it is loaded with predominantly juniors and seniors. That’s a stark contrast to the Hokies who have numerous freshmen and sophomores in the two-deep.
BC’s best player, running back A.J. Dillon, just happens to be a sophomore. At 6’0”, 245 pounds, Dillon is a load. He is a power runner and one of the better running backs in the country. On the season, he has rushed for 801 yards and seven touchdowns. He is averaging almost six yards per attempt.
The Eagles actually have an improved passing game in 2018. That may surprise you considering their offensive coordinator is former Virginia Tech OC Scot Loeffler. Loeffler was never known for his creativity on offense, however, having a strong running game has opened things up a bit for a passing game that had struggled for years. Quarterback Anthony Brown is having a solid season completing 58 percent of his passes for 1,390 yards, 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Boston College has been strong on defense in recent years and rank No. 52 in total defense this season. The Eagles are allowing 157 yards rushing per game, however, opponents are gaining under four yards per attempt. Opposing quarterbacks have had strong games against Boston College’s pass defense this season, so that could be good news for Ryan Willis and Damon Hazelton.
These two teams first met in 1993 when both were members of the Big East. They’ve met every year since that time with the exception of 2004 when the Hokies were in their first season in the ACC while the Eagles were wrapping up their final year in the Big East. Tech leads the all-time series 18-8 and have won the past three meetings by at least two touchdowns or more. BC did win back-to-back games in 2013 and 2014.
Can the Hokies get back on the winning side of things Saturday afternoon? Sure, but it won’t be easy.