College Preview |
Has there ever been a quieter 9-3 season than Boston
College's 2005 campaign?
The nationally televised second half problems in the 28-17 loss to
Florida State in the ACC opener all but crushing BC's ACC title dreams
with a forgivable blowout loss at Virginia Tech and an unforgivable
gaffe at North Carolina allowing the Seminoles to go off and win the
conference title. There was a road win over a great Clemson team,
along with wins over Virginia, NC State and Maryland, but no one
seemed to notice, including the ACC bowls.
Despite going 8-3, BC was exiled to Boise to play in the MPC
Computers Bowl to complete a third nine-win season in four years and
a seventh straight winning season under head coach Tom O'Brien. All the Eagles did was finish
first in the ACC in total offense, first in run defense (and fifth
in the nation), and seventh in scoring defense while Syracuse turned
out to be one of the worst teams in America. Yup, the ACC, at least
for now, seemed to make the right choice when it came to getting a
there any reason to believe Boston College won't be a 7-to-9 win
team again and finish with yet another bowl victory after winning
six straight? Why not? O'Brien has created a consistent
football factory that always seems to do the same things, but does
them really well. His teams always have big, talented lines,
solid defenders that don't make mistakes, and heady skill
players who always produce. However, last year's team was the one to
win an ACC title with. This year's squad is good, but it doesn't
quite measure up.
Free live college football scores
Head coach: Tom O'Brien
10th season: 66-42
Off. 17, Def.18, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 16
Best BC Players
OG Josh Beekman, Sr.
LB/FB Brian Toal, Jr.
FS Jamie Silva, Jr.
4. QB Matt Ryan, Jr.
5. CB DeJuan Tribble, Jr.
6. OT Gosder Cherilus, Jr.
7. DT B.J. Raji, Jr.
8. RB L.V. Whitworth, Jr.
9. RB Andre Callender, Jr.
10. DE Nick Larkin, Jr.
at Central Michigan
at NC State
at Florida State
at Wake Forest
2005 Record: 9-3
Preview 2005 predicted wins
at Clemson W 16-13 OT
Virginia W 28-17
at Virginia Tech
at Maryland W 31-16
Boise State W 27-21
If the Eagles are going to
make a push in the Atlantic, they'll have to do it with a fairly
anonymous team full of good veterans. The star power isn't there
compared to teams like Florida State, Clemson, or even Maryland. That's
just fine by BC; this is a hard-nosed team that doesn't appear to have a
problem with the lack of recognition.
The offense will center around the running game early on with the 1-2
punch of L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender returning for a third
straight year and with more speed behind them. Matt Ryan is a big passer who needs to make the average receiving corps shine. The
offensive line that allowed only 15 sacks last year won't be quite as
good, but it'll hardly be a liability.
The Eagle defense has to replace all-star end Mathias Kiwanuka and
linebackers Ray Henderson and Ricky Brown, but the secondary should be
outstanding and there's enough beef upfront to give most running games
fits. Brian Toal leads a linebacking corps that should very quietly be
among the best in the ACC.
The ACC is full of very good teams looking to take the next step.
Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia, and NC State have all had
plenty of success. Boston College might not have what it takes to break
from the pack, but under O'Brien, it's not going to fall far out of
Schedule: It's strange. Who starts off a season at Central Michigan?
The Eagles had better be tuned up with big showdowns against Clemson,
BYU and at NC State over the following three weeks. If Maine plays like
it did last year when it pushed Nebraska and two years ago when it beat
Mississippi State, BC won't be able to just show up and win. And all
that comes before October. On the plus side, there's three weeks between
the battle at NC State and the showdown against Virginia Tech followed
up by the Atlantic battle at Florida State. Things ease up in a big way
before ending the season at Miami.
Offensive Player: Senior OG Josh Beekman. One of the nation's best
guards, he's one of the stars of the best line in the ACC last year. He
could move to center if needed, and he'll dominate wherever he's put.
Defensive Player: Junior LB Brian Toal. Hampered a bit by a shoulder
injury last season, Toal wasn't quite the force he was as a freshman.
When 100%, he's not just a deadly linebacker, he's also an unstoppable
goal line fullback.
to a successful season: Senior WR Tony Gonzalez. With Will Blackmon
and Larry Lester gone, the always dependable Gonzalez goes from being a
nice number three target to a go-to number one receiver. He has the
quickness and the hands, and he led the team in touchdown catches last
season, but he has to prove he can also deal with everyone's number one
will be a success if ... BC finishes with another nine-win season. The team isn't as
good as last year's version and has brutal luck with the ACC scheduling
getting Virginia Tech and Miami from the Coastal Division. In fact,
playing at Florida State and at Miami should all but kill any ACC title
dreams. Even so, the rest of the slate isn't all that bad; winning eight
and another bowl game would be a nice feat ... again.
Oct. 21 at Florida State. They had them. BC survived a
worst-case-scenario opening few minutes against the Seminoles only to
see the offense die once starting QB Quinton Porter got hurt. A win in
Tallahassee would mean the Eagles will be in the Atlantic Division
- Sacks: Opponents 35 for 203 yards - Boston College 15 for 91 yards
- Third down conversions: Boston College 76 of 177 (43%) - Opponents 66
of 192 (34%)
- Rushing touchdowns: Boston College 21 ... Opponents 6
The Last Time Boston College…
…played in a bowl game…2005 (MPC Computers Bowl vs. Boise State)
…missed a bowl game…1998
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Ball State)
…was shutout…1998 (Virginia Tech)
…scored 50 points…2003 (Ball State)
…won a conference title…2004 (share, Big East)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…1993 (Glenn Foley)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2003 (Derrick Knight)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1983 (Brian Brennan)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (DE Mathias Kiwanuka)