Boston College Preview 2006 Further Analysis
Boston College Eagles
Posted Jul 31, 2006

Boston College Eagles Preview 2006 Further Analysis

1st and Ten – The Eagles’ Beek(man) – We’ve all come up with monikers for various teams, units or players and two of the oft used ones in college football were Linebacker U and QB U.  But, if someone was wise enough to anoint an OLU – a moniker for offensive linemen, especially over the past 12 to 15 years, you could make a strong case for Boston College.  Over that time, the Eagles have consistently produced top quality NFL linemen.  Pete Kendall.  Chris Snee.  Jeremy Trueblood.  But, the best of the lot might still be wearing a BC jersey, offensive guard Josh Beekman.  The 325 pounder played guard last season, was a second team All-ACC selection and helped pave the way for two 700 yard+ rushers in 2005.  Considering the fact that the ACC had 15 defensive players selected in the first 63 picks of the recent NFL draft, you can understand how dominant the defenses were in this league last season, so creating space for nearly 1,500 yards rushing says a great deal about the Eagles offensive line and Beekman, in particular.  With Pat Ross having graduated, the center position might be where Beekman lands this season, but that will only solidify the middle of the line that much more.  The Eagles leading lineman has quick feet and can get movement, which makes you think of former Buckeye center Nick Mangold, who became a late first round pick in the ’06 NFL draft.  As a guard, though, Beekman is that much more important against quick, one-gap penetrating defensive tackles.  But, in the end, the versatility that he possesses makes him such a valued member of this team and of this offensive line.  If the Eagles are going to carry on the moniker of OLU, then they’ve got a solid candidate to carry the flag this fall, no matter what position he plays.

2nd and Seven – Ryan’s Hope – With time having nearly run out on the BC offense against Wake Forest last season, QB Matt Ryan eventually replaced Quinton Porter and did his best Terry Elston imitation.  For the uninformed, Elston was a QB for the Houston Cougars back in the late 1970s/early 1980s who came into a few games late and made a habit out of pulling victory from the jaws of defeat.  Ryan summoned up his ‘inner Elston’, completing 7 of 9 passes for 134 yards in the last two minutes of action to beat Wake Forest 35 – 30, including two touchdowns to seal the improbable, comeback win.  He didn’t immediately stay the starter, but he got the coaching staff’s attention.  And, by the NC State game, he took over the starting position for good.  The Eagles haven’t lost since.  He seems to have that same chip on his shoulder toughness that Glenn Foley had and he rises up to accept the moment of the late game situation like that other BC QB.  What was his name – Flutie, something or other?  Sure, that’s select company to be a part of, but Ryan gives this team and its offense the confidence that they can score every time they have the ball. 

3rd and Three – Silva Streak – Jamie Silva might not be thought of nationally as one of the best safeties in college football, but in due time, he’ll be in the team picture.  The junior from Rhode Island (East Providence in the house!) was a pleasant surprise last season, leading the Eagles in tackles with 87.  In the process, he became the team’s resident play maker on defense.  And, that’s nothing to scoff at, considering the fact that Mathias Kiwanuka, first round pick of the New York Giants, was terrorizing linemen from his defensive end position last year (or trying to with a bum knee).  As you watch the Eagles play, you always see #44 coming into the picture on your television screen.  He just seems to be in the right position, at the right time, and that, my friends, is a special quality to possess.

4th and One – BC and Juwan Howard – When you think about the Eagles, what’s your first thought?  Sure, the easy answers are Flutie or Foley or the miracle in South Bend, but how about this thought…Juwan Howard?  Say what.  Well, go with me on this one – Howard was a solid player in the NBA for a long time.  For a year or two, he was even a star.  However, the former Fab Fiver was consistently part of NBA trades, enough value for another team, not enough to stay on his current team.  In other words, you could count on Howard to get average 14 and 8 each year, but he wasn’t going to pull a Dirk Nowitzki and carry his team to a championship.  Is that Boston College?  Good enough to get into a bowl game each year, but never good enough to make a concerted push for a BCS championship, or even a BCS bowl game?  Teams know that Tom O’Brien’s team will be in contention for the ACC championship and will be tough in head-to-head competition, but when will they take that next step?  Is a trip to Jacksonville for the ACC championship game more realistic than it was last fall?  Perhaps not, but then again, Juwan did take his team to the Final Four twice.  

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