Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

2007 Boston College Eagles
Posted Dec 31, 2007

2007 Boston College Eagles Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

Boston College Eagles

Recap: First-year head coach Jeff Jagodzinski inherited a talented team that he helped guide to 11 wins for the first time since 1940, and a nation’s-best eighth bowl victory in-a-row.  The fact that the finale was the Champs Sports Bowl, and not the Orange Bowl, was a disappointment for the Eagles, who started 8-0 and lost to Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game.  The season featured the Heisman run of Matt Ryan, the best quarterback since Doug Flutie to play in the Heights, and a player that earned a reputation for excelling late in games.          

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Matt Ryan

Defensive Player of the Year: S Jamie Silva

Biggest Surprise: The play of the defense.  Even without LB Brian Toal and DT B.J. Raji for the entire season, the Eagle defense was the backbone of a program that often had trouble putting points on the board.  Boston College finished second nationally in run defense and 19th in total defense, despite beginning the season without any true defensive stars.   

Biggest Disappointment: Losing at home to 5-3 Florida State on Nov. 3.  In one of the biggest games in school history, No. 2 Boston College flamed out in front of the nation, managing just one touchdown through three quarters, and allowing a Geno Hayes pick six to end its comeback hopes with a minute left.

Looking Ahead: As a caretaker, Jagodzinski did a fine job, but what happens after Ryan and a slew of other key seniors graduate?  We’re going to find out next season, the staff’s first really big challenge at Boston College.  Getting back Toal from injury and Raji from suspension will provide a big lift to a defense that’ll carry the program in the early going.      

- 2007 BC Preview
2006 BC Season

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 8-4
2007 Record: 11-

Sept. 1 Wake Forest W 38-28
Sept. 8 NC State W 37-17
Sept. 15 at Ga Tech W 24-10
Sept. 22
Army W 37-17
Sept. 29 UMass W 24-14
Oct. 6 Bowling Green W 55-24
Oct. 13 at Notre Dame W 27-14
Oct. 25 at Virginia Tech W 14-10
Nov. 3
Florida State L 27-17
Nov. 10 at Maryland L 42-35
Nov. 17 at Clemson W 20-17
Nov. 24
Miami W 28-14
ACC Championship
Dec. 1 Virginia Tech L 30-16
Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 28 Michigan State W 24-21

Dec. 28
2007 Champs Sports Bowl
Boston College 24 ... Michigan State 21

Five Michigan State turnovers and a big bomb gave Boston College its eighth straight bowl win and its first 11 win season since 1940. Up 17-13 midway through the fourth quarter, Matt Ryan found Rich Gunnell for a 68-yard touchdown pass, but the Spartans wouldn't go away as Brian Hoyer, who threw four picks, threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Deon Curry and a pass for a two-point conversion to Kellen Davis to pull within three with 6:04 to play. BC's offense struggled to close, but punter Johnny Ayers did a good job of pinning the MSU offense deep. BC's Paul Anderson picked off an overthrown Hoyer pass to snuff out any late hopes of forcing overtime. Ryan threw three touchdown passes in all, including two to Gunnell, while Hoyer finished with two scoring passes.
Offensive Player of the Game: Boston College WR Rich Gunnell caught six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Game: Boston College S Jamie Silva made ten tackles and intercepted two passes

Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 22-47, 249 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 12-33. Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 6-138, 2 TD
Michigan State - Passing: Brian Hoyer, 14-36, 131 yds, 2 TD, 4 INT
Javon Ringer, 21-101. Receiving: Kellen Davis, 4-38, 1 TD
Thoughts & Notes ... Michigan State lived on ball control offense all year long with a great running game and a mere 13 turnovers, but it gave the ball away five times to BC, only ran for 172 yards, and couldn't find much of an offensive rhythm. It didn't help that Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick each appeared to be bothered by little injuries. ... Even without Jonal Saint-Dic, who was suspended, MSU got consistent pressure on Matt Ryan and came up with three sacks. The defense did enough to win the game allowing just 276 yards with 68 coming on one play. ... BC's defense never let the great MSU backs break off the type of big runs that could've changed the game around. With QB Brian Hoyer struggling, MSU needed Javon Ringer to hit a home run or two, and he didn't. ... MSU star return man Devin Thomas started the game off with a 79-yard kickoff return leading to an early Spartan touchdown, but BC kept him under wraps the rest of the way. A few bobbles helped, but Eagle punter Johnny Ayers had a great game pinning MSU deep.

Dec. 1

ACC Championship

Virginia Tech 30 ... Boston College 16
Tied at 16 midway through the fourth quarter, Eddie Royal caught a 24-yard touchdown pass to give the Hokies the lead for good. The Tech defense held on with an interception on fourth down deep in its own territory, and a 40-yard interception return for a score from Xavier Adibi with 11 seconds to play. In a strange first half, BC got on the board first as Jamie Silva snatched the ball and took it for a 51-yard score. A Matt Ryan 14-yard touchdown run gave the Eagles a second quarter lead, but the extra point was blocked and returned for a two-point conversion to spark a run of 23 unanswered points. Sean Glennon threw three touchdowns passes to three different receivers.
Player of the game: Virginia Tech QB Sean Glennon completed 18 of 27 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: Virginia Tech - Passing: Sean Glennon, 18-27, 174 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Branden Ore, 19-55. Receiving: Josh Morgan, 8-55, 1 TD
Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 33-52, 305 yds, 2 INT
Andre Callender, 15-51. Receiving: Andre Callender, 13-92

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Eagles simply didn't have the gamebreakers Virginia Tech had. There were a few occasions when the BC receivers had the ball in places to make a big, big play, and couldn't do it. Andre Callender did a little of everything to keep the offense moving, and Matt Ryan had the short passing game going, but in the end, the Hokies were just better. With that said, raise your hand if you thought Ryan was going to pull it out late? He's a special college quarterback who had a great final game, even if he didn't get the win.

Nov. 24
Boston College 28 ... Miami 14
Boston College overcame four turnovers with two Matt Ryan touchdown passes in the second quarter and punctuated the win with a 45-yard Andre Callender scoring dash for the program's first victory over Miami since the 1984 Doug Flutie Hail Mary game. Miami tied it at 14 early in the fourth quarter on a two-yard Sam Shield touchdown catch from Kyle Wright, who also connected with Ryan Hill from 23 yards out in the third quarter following a turnover. Ryan answered the Shields two plays later with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Megwa, and Miami never had an answer.
Player of the game: Virginia Tech LB Vince Hall made 13 tackles
Stat Leaders: Miami - Passing: Kyle Wright, 23-42, 198 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Demaryius Thomas, 15-43. Receiving: Sam Shields, 5-39, 1 TD
Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 26-43, 369 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Andre Callender, 15-96, 1 TD. Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 9-135

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Boston College might not have needed to beat Miami for the ACC title, but ending the 15-game losing streak to the Canes, getting to ten wins, and going into the showdown against Virginia Tech on a high note is a major plus. There were too many turnovers, there can't be four against the Hokies, and there has to be better pass protection. The line is getting Matt Ryan killed lately, and that's going to be a big, big problem when facing Tech.

Nov. 17
Boston College 20 ... Clemson 17
Boston College shocked Clemson, and won the Atlantic Division title, on a Matt Ryan 43-yard touchdown pass to Rich Gunnell with 1:46 to play. The Tigers came close on their final drive with Aaron Kelly letting a sure touchdown through his hands, and a sack pushing a final field goal attempt to 54 yards, which Mark Buchholz left just short as time ran out. Neither team ran well, but Clemson managed a one-yard James Davis scoring run in the first, and took the lead late in the fourth with a four-yard Cullen Harper run. BC outgained Clemson 375 yards to 273.

Player of the game: Boston College QB Matt Ryan completed 31 of 47 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown with an interception
Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 31-47, 315 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 22-75. Receiving: Andre Callender, 11-92
Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 26-40, 226 yds, 1 INT
C.J. Spiller, 11-52. Receiving: Tyler Grisham, 10-89
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... All the highlights will show the Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Rich Gunnell to beat Clemson, which wasn't exactly the Flutie Hail Mary, but was more important, but it was the BC defense that deserves the credit for the win for the Atlantic title. Much maligned after a rough few weeks, the secondary tightened up against the Tiger passing game to go along with a run defense that shut down C.J. Spiller and James Davis. BC would obviously get a BCS bid with an ACC title, but it might assure itself of at least an at-large spot if it beats Miami next week.

Nov. 10
Maryland 42 ... Boston College 35
Maryland put up 472 yards to Boston College's 466, getting a 37-yard Darrius Heyward-Bey touchdown run off a reverse along with three Chris Turner touchdown passes, including two to Jason Goode, on the way to a 42-21 lead. BC and Matt Ryan tried to bomb their way back late, with Ryan connecting with Ryan Purvis for touchdowns from five and 13 yards out, but the Terps recovered the onside kick after the final score and held on. The two teams combined to convert 20 of 32 third down chances.

Player of the game: Maryland QB Chris Turner completed 21 of 27 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 33-56, 421 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 12-56. Receiving: Ryan Purvis, 10-102, 2 TD
Maryland - Passing: Chris Turner, 21-27, 337 yds, 3 TD
Lance Ball, 32-109, 1 TD. Receiving: Jason Goode, 6-56, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BC got hit with a perfect storm of circumstances in the loss to Maryland. It was Senior Day for the Terps, and they played one of their most inspired games of the season, the Eagle linebacking corps was banged up, there was no running game, and the team was relatively flat early after the loss to Florida State. That doesn't excuse the poor secondary play, and now the once promising season comes down to next week's game at Clemson. If the defensive backs aren't better, Cullen Harper will bomb the Tigers to the Atlantic title and BC will be on a three-game losing streak.

Nov. 3
Florida State 27 ... Boston College 17
Boston College couldn't pull out a second straight close game with Matt Ryan getting picked off three times, with the last one a by Geno Hayes for a 38-yard score with 1:10 to play. Drew Weatherford bombed away for 354 yards for the Noles with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Preston Parker and a 42-yard pass play to Decody Fagg, but the Eagles stayed in the game with a 30-yard Brandon Robinson touchdown catch and a one-yard Ryan Purvis catch. Jamie Silva made 16.5 tackles with a forced fumble and a sack for BC. The two teams combined for 786 passing yards and 18 penalties

Player of the game: Florida State QB Drew Weatherford completed 29 of 45 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 26-53, 415 yds, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Matt Ryan, 9-30. Receiving: Brandon Robinson, 7-163, 1 TD
Florida State - Passing: Drew Weatherford, 29-45, 354 yds, 2 TD
Antone Smith, 22-63. Receiving: Preston Parker, 9-93, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BC got away with a bad game from Matt Ryan against Virginia Tech, but it couldn't do it two weeks in a row. While he might be the Heisman-caliber star to rely on time and again, it would help to get some semblance of a running game that hasn't been there for a few weeks. Florida State got decent pressure on Ryan, like the Hokies did, and while Ryan normally handled it well, he appeared to press too much with the weight of the offense on his shoulders. The loss hurts, but it wasn't a killer. The ACC title is still there for the taking, but there can't be a slip against hot Clemson in two weeks. Beating Maryland is a must to get the team's groove back after two straight rough battles.

Oct. 25
Boston College 14 ... Virginia Tech 10
Shut down cold for roughly 55 minutes, Boston College and QB Matt Ryan woke up to pull off the improbable comeback thanks to a 24-yard touchdown pass to Andre Callender with 11 seconds to play. Down 10-0 and the ball on his own eight, Ryan took the Eagles 92 yards in just over two minutes, finishing up with a 16-yard scoring pass to Rich Gunnell. With 2:11 to play, BC went for the onside kick and got it as the ball bounced off a Hokie before the Eagles recovered. Ryan went 66 yards in seven plays for the game-winning score. Virginia Tech got a 44-yard Jud Dunleavy field goal and an eight-yard Eddie Royal touchdown catch for the lead, but only finished with 265 yards of total offense, while BC finished with 32 rushing yards.
Player of the game: Boston College QB Matt Ryan completed 25 of 52 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions
Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 25-52, 285 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 7-29. Receiving: Brandon Robinson, 5-86
Virginia Tech - Passing: Sean Glennon, 15-25, 149 yds, 1 TD
Branden Ore, 21-101. Receiving: Eddie Royal, 4-77, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... There were several things good and bad that'll be glossed over by the epic comeback in the win over Virginia Tech. The good: the defense was phenomenal. Outside of a big run by Branden Ore, the Eagles almost completely shut down the Hokie attack. The bad: the offensive line had no prayer of handling the Virginia Tech speed on the defensive line for about 55 minutes. The good: The punting of Johnny Ayers was terrific. It's not a stretch to say it kept BC in the game. The bad: Matt Ryan, even when he wasn't under pressure, couldn't hit an open target. And then came the final two drives. Great teams have ways of making the plays they need to make, and BC did that. Overcoming adversity is what No. 2 teams do.

Oct. 13
Boston College 27 ... Notre Dame 14
Andre Callender ran for two short first half touchdowns and caught a nine-yard scoring pass in the third quarter to a 20-0 lead, but Notre Dame fought back with a 19-yard Evan Sharpley scoring pass to Robby Paris and a 25-yard Brian Smith interception for a touchdown. Matt Ryan answered with a five-play, 44-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Challenger, and then the defense took over. The Irish finished with just 193 yards of total offense and 28 rushing yards.
Player of the game: Boston College RB Andre Callender ran 23 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns, and caught ten passes for 91 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 32-49, 291 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 23-90, 2 TD. Receiving: Andre Callender, 10-91, 1 TD
Notre Dame - Passing: Evan Sharpley, 11-29, 135 yds, 1 TD
James Aldridge, 5-17. Receiving: Robby Parris, 4-94, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BC keeps on winning, and that's all that matters, but eventually, it's going to have to do all the little things right. Against Notre Dame, the Eagles gave away an interception return for a score, and committed 12 penalties for 107 yards. Now the real work begins, playing at Virginia Tech in two weeks to start a nasty finishing kick, and while BC is good enough to beat everyone on its schedule, it'll have to play better than it did against lightweights like Army, UMass and Notre Dame. This is a top three team, and now it has to act like it.

Oct. 6
Boston College 55 ... Bowling Green 24
Jamie Silva came up with three of Bowling Green's six interceptions, Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes, and Andre Callender scored from 51-15, and four yards out as BC won in a rout. The Falcons scored first on a 40-yard field goal, and then the Eagles dominated, with Silva returning an interception 65 yards for a score and Nick Larkin picking of a pass for a seven-yard touchdown as part of a 38 point first half. In the third quarter, Ryan connected with Justin Jarvis for a 71-yard touchdown, and with Brandon Robinson for a 14-yard score, on the way to a 52-10 lead before the Falcons got back on the board with a 32-yard Freddie Barnes touchdown catch. BC only outgained the Falcons 471 yards to 465.
Player of the game: Boston College QB Matt Ryan completed 24 of 32 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 27-43, 275 yds, 1 TD, 5 INTs
Rushing: Chris Bullock, 7-27. Receiving: Corey Partridge, 12-100
Boston College  - Passing: Matt Ryan, 24-32, 312 yds, 4 TDs
Andre Callender, 15-74, 1 TD. Receiving: Andre Callender, 5-84, 2 TDs

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After lackluster performances against Army and UMass, could BC simply turn it back on and blow out Bowling Green? Uh, yeah. The defense continues to be as nasty and ball-hawkish as any in America, while Matt Ryan was Matt Ryan, pitching a near-perfect game. Andre Callender has been on fire over the last few weeks, and will be certain to be featured over the next two weeks. As long as all the parts are on, this is as complete a team as any in the top ten.

Sept. 29
Boston College 24 ... Massachusetts 14
BC jumped out to a 17-0 first half lead, highlighted by a nine-yard Justin Jarvis touchdown catch and a one-yard Andre Callender touchdown run, but UMass fought back, getting a 41-yard Rasheed Rachner touchdown catch and a 35-yard Jeremy Horne scoring grab in the third quarter. When BC had to turn it back on, it did, going 70 yards in ten plays with Callender scoring from four yards out. UMass committed 17 penalties for 114 yards.
Player of the game: Boston College RB Andre Callender rushed 32 times for 115 yards and two scores, and caught four passes for 20 yards.
Stat Leaders: Massachusetts - Passing: Liam Coen, 12-21, 151 yds, 2 TDs
Rushing: Matt Lawrence, 20-64. Receiving: J.J. Moore, 5-51
Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 24-42, 204 yds, 1 TD
Andre Callender, 32-115, 2 TDs. Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 6-97

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Will Boston College be able to turn it back on against Bowling Green? After sleepwalking through the past two weeks against Army and UMass, now the Eagles have to face a hot passing team that's going to push the ball deep for 60 minutes. BC cranked out the big drive it had to have late to beat the Minutemen, and it would be nice if there could be a true breather of a blowout. Right now, the team appears to be playing like it has 7-0 in the bag before facing Virginia Tech in late October.

Sept. 22
Boston College 37 ... Army 17
After a lackluster first half, Boston College turned it on to get two second half touchdown passes from Matt Ryan, and following an 11-yard interception return for a score from Army's Brian Chmura, got a 66-yard Andre Callender touchdown run to put it away. The Eagles got up 16-0, helped by a one-yard Ryan run and a 22-yard scoring pass to Rich Gunnell, but Army got back in the game before halftime with a seven-yard Wesley McMahand touchdown run and a 26-yard Own Tolson field goal. The Eagles ended up outgaining Army 202 yard to 44 on the ground, and 573 yards to 259 overall.
Player of the game: Boston College QB Matt Ryan went 35-of-51 for 356 yards, three touchdown passes and two interceptions.
Stat Leaders: Army - Passing: Carson Williams, 15-32, 191 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Patrick Mealy, 9-27. Receiving: Damion Hunter, 4-37
Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 35-51, 356 yds, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Andre Callender, 9-87, 1 TD. Receiving: Kevin Challenger, 9-104

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's nice when you can go through the motions and win by 20 points. Army was never really a threat to Boston College, but the Eagle coaching staff had issues with the team's play, with head coach Jeff Jagodzinki saying so at halftime. When needed, the Eagles got the drives and points they needed to put the game away, and the defense was the killer, at least in the second half, it's been all year. The key will be to not completely blow past the next two weeks against UMass and Bowling Green to get to Notre Dame. Staying sharp is a must.

Sept. 15
Boston College 24 ... Georgia Tech 10
Boston College dominated on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Yellow Jackets 527 yards to 267 while not allowing any points until a two-yard Jonathan Dwyer touchdown run in the fourth quarter. BC jumped out to a 21-0 lead on a one-yard L.V. Whitworth touchdown run, a 39-yard scoring grab from Brandon Robinson, and a 16-yard Whitworth run. The BC defense kept Tech star RB Tashard Choice to 31 yards, helped by 12 tackles from LB Jolonn Dunbar.
Player of the game: Boston College QB Matt Ryan completed 30 of 44 passes for 435 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Boston College
- Passing: Matt Ryan, 30-44, 435 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Andre Callender, 17-54. Receiving: Kevin Challenger, 7-88
Georgia Tech
- Passing: Taylor Bennett, 20-39, 204 yds
Rushing: Tashard Choice, 15-31. Receiving: Demaryius Thomas, 5-68
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BC made its official statement this week that it's the class of the ACC, and a legitimate player in the national title race, with a dominant win over Georgia Tech. The game wasn't as close as the final score might indicate. The defense shut down Tashard Choice and the Yellow Jacket running game, but the real key was Matt Ryan. Basically, BC was night-and-day better at quarterback, and it showed. Ryan made every key throw, kept drives moving, and effectively bombed away all game long. With Army, UMass, Bowling Green and Notre Dame ahead, it'll be tempting not to dream of 7-0 before facing Virginia Tech.

Sept. 8
Boston College 37 ... NC State 17
Tom O'Brien didn't have much success in his return to BC as his NC State team turned it over seven times to ruin a good offensive day. Andre Callender broke things open for BC touchdown runs from four and 69 yards in the fourth quarter, While Jolonn Dunbar took a Harrison Beck interception 14 yards for a score and L.V. Whitworth scored from a yard out. NC State had a 10-7 lead early, helped by a two-yard Beck run, but didn't get back into the end zone until the final few moments on an 18-yard John Dunlap catch.
Player of the game: Boston College RB Andre Callender ran 18 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and added a pair of receptions for 30 yards.
Stat Leaders: NC State
- Passing: Harrison Beck, 26-50, 321 yds, 5 INTs
Rushing: Andre Brown, 13-63. Receiving: Andre Brown, 7-77
Boston College
- Passing: Matt Ryan, 15-34, 142 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 18-158, 2 TDs. Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 3-25

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BC won by bombing away on Wake Forest, and now it won by grinding it out against NC State. Oh yeah, and there were seven turnovers to help matters. The Eagle defense has been swarming, and most importantly so far, it's doing whatever it can to force the big play. Ball security will now be a major issue for anyone playing the Eagles, and if the ground game and D are rocking, this will be a nasty team to beat. Remember, Matt Ryan is still the best player in the ACC.

Sept. 1
Boston College 38 ... Wake Forest 28
Matt Ryan threw five touchdown passes and DeJuan Tribble picked off three passes as Boston College survived a firefight with Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons scored the first 14 points of the game on a 22-yard interception return for a score from Alphonso Smith and a five-yard touchdown catch from Kenneth Moore, and held a 21-14 lead after a 40-yard fumble return for a score from Chip Vaughn, and then BC caught fire scoring 21 straight points on three Ryan touchdown passes. Wake pulled within seven on a 12-yard Kevin Harris touchdown grab, but BC was finally able to pull away in the final minutes on a 28-yard Steve Aponavicius field goal.
Player of the game ... Boston College QB Matt Ryan went 32-of-52 for 408 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.
Stat Leaders: Wake Forest- Passing: Riley Skinner, 28-37, 236 yds, 1 TD, 3 INTs
Rushing: Kevin Harris, 4-10  Receiving: Kenny Moore, 15-126, 1 TD
Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 32-52, 408 yds, 5 TDs, 2 INTs
Andre Callender, 14-49  Receiving: Brandon Robinson, 9-127, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Even without B.J. Raji on the inside, BC showed the run defense is going to be among the best in the ACC after holding Wake Forest to just two net yards. While the Eagle running game didn't exactly take off, it didn't need to with Matt Ryan coming up with a fantastic performance, spreading the ball around well and, for the most part, making great decisions. Under the pressure of a surprisingly effective Demon Deacon passing game, the secondary held up when it had to. It won't get pushed by NC State's passing game next week, so it needs to use the game as a tune-up for the showdown with Georgia Tech.

Sept. 1 - Wake Forest
Offense: Wake Forest will never come out and outbomb anyone, but it'll run effectively behind a veteran offensive line, get the timely passes when needed, and won't screw up. The attack only averaged 21.6 points per game and was 96th in the nation in offense, but there were only 15 giveaways. QB Riley Skinner is back after helping the offense lead the ACC in passing efficiency, but everything will revolve around the ground game with several good runners and four starters returning up front. The receiving corps will be an issue needing to move 2006's leading rusher, Kenneth Moore, back to his natural receiver position.
Defense: The D could be even better than last year when it was solid at bending but rarely breaking finishing 12th in the nation in scoring defense. There's not a Jon Abbate to rely on, and a few key defensive backs need to be replaced, but there's plenty of experience everywhere and lots of speed and athleticism in the secondary. There needs to be more pass rush from the defensive front and there could stand to be fewer big plays allowed against the pass, but the overall production should be solid.

Sept. 8 - NC State
Offense: This won't be a bombs away attack under Dana Bible, but it could be with a big, fast, experienced receiving corps that should be able to spread the field. The trio of running backs, Toney Baker, Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene, should be a major plus, but the line has to be far better and needs to replace the starting tackles. It'll be a three-man race for the starting quarterback job between Daniel Evans, Nebraska transfer Harrison Beck, and Justin Burke, with the one of them needing to be able to move the offense consistently, something that wasn't done this spring. This will be a running offense that will eventually grow into a 50/50 balance.
Defense: This will be a solid defense, but it won't be spectacular. It could be fantastic in 2008 when all the promising young prospects are ready to shine, but for now, this will be a good, sound D that should be far more consistent than last year. Demario Pressley and Martrel Brown lead a strong line that should be the strength, while three senior linebackers will keep the mistakes to a minimum. The secondary has to come up with more big plays after helping the Pack pick off just seven passes.

Sept. 15 – at Georgia Tech
Offense: Is it possible an offense can lose the offensive coordinator, a sure-fire NFL superstar and a four-year starting quarterback and be better? Absolutely. Calvin Johnson's departure will sting, but the passing game should be even better with Taylor Bennett (or any one of a slew of terrific prospects) taking over for Reggie Ball. Patrick Nix left to take over the Miami offense, but John Bond is a veteran who did a good job with the Northern Illinois program for the last three years. James Johnson will be a decent number one target, and now someone else has to quickly emerge to take the heat off and give Bennett more options. Tashard Choice is an All-ACC caliber back leading a deep and talented group of runners working behind a fantastic line loaded with experience and
Defense: The defense had two lousy games against Clemson and West Virginia and was solid against everyone else. With just about everyone returning, expect another great year holding almost everyone to under 300 yards and around 20 points. The defensive line will be one of the team's strengths with one of the best groups of ends in America. MLB Philip Wheeler deserves All-America attention while the safety tandem of Jamal Lewis and Djay Jones will be one of the ACC's best. The corners are a bit suspect and the proven linebacker depth is a bit thin, but those aren't glaring problems.

Sept. 22 - Army
Offense: Last year, Army used a veteran offensive line to work the running game behind while the passing game struggled. Now it has to be the other way around. The backfield, while banged up in spring ball, is solid, the line will be a work in progress. The passing game needs to improve hoping for top-prospect Carson Williams to turn into the leader and playmaker everyone's expecting him to become, or else David Pevoto has to take over the reins and be consistent. No matter who's under center, the interceptions have to slow down. Jeremy Trimble leads a potentially strong receiving corps.
The defense has spent most of its time trying to survive. Now it has to start making big plays in all areas after coming up with just 11 sacks, four interceptions and 11 forced fumbles. Everyone at every spot can tackle, motor and toughness is never a problem, talent is always the issue. There's good experience and size up front, Caleb Campbell, when he returns from a knee injury, will be one of the nation's most productive safeties leading a decent secondary, and the linebacking corps, in time, will put up plenty of big tackling numbers once new starters Brian Chmura and Frank Scappaticci get comfortable. Overall, the defense has to do a better job of dictating the action instead of letting things happen and trying to make the play.

Sept. 29 - Massachusetts

Oct. 6 - Bowling Green
Offense: The offense went from being all-pass, no-run in 2005 to being a running team last year thanks to mobile quarterbacks in Anthony Turner, and early on, Freddie Barnes. Now there's a battle between Turner and Tyler Sheehan for the starting job with the hopes of balancing things out. The backfield should be excellent with the addition of JUCO transfer Eric Ransom to go along with power of Chris Bullock and Dan Macon. All-star center Kory Lichtensteiger leads a a good line that should get better and better as the year goes on. The one area of development will be receiver with some deep threats needing to emerge to go along with mid-range possession-target Corey Partridge.
Defense: Bowling Green might not always be a brick wall on defense, but it will do whatever it can to make plays all over the field. Last year this was a break-but-don't bend defense giving up points, but not yards. Now it needs to stiffen. With an emphasis on speed and quickness, the front seven will be flying around looking to get into the backfield to dictate the tempo, while the solid secondary will benefit. There might be problems against the better power running teams with a new set of tackles and smallish linebacking corps, but that'll be offset by the big plays ... at least that's the hope.

Oct. 13 – at Notre Dame
Offense: Yeah, Charlie Weis is a great offensive coach, but there's some serious rebuilding needing to be done. There are good prospects, but there are several major concerns and no proven production. Can the line be better despite losing three starters? Will the skill players be remotely close to as good as the Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight and Darius Walker foursome of last year? Are the quarterbacks ready? The quarterbacks appear to be fine, the running backs will be solid in a combination, and the receivers are fast and decent. The line will be a plus by the end of the year, but it'll be a problem early on.
Defense: Charlie Weis is trying to improve a defense that was fine against the mediocre, but lousy when it came to stopping the better offenses. Gone is defensive coordinator Rick Minter, and in comes Corwin Brown, who installed a 3-4 scheme to try to generate more big plays and get more speed and athleticism on the field. The line will be the issue early on as two steady starters are needed to help out Trevor Laws. Maurice Crum leads a promising linebacking corps that should shine in the new defense. The big problem could again be the secondary. It has experience, but it won't get as much help from the pass rush, like it did last year, and needs the young corner prospects to push the unspectacular veterans for time.

Oct. 25 – at Virginia Tech
Offense: Can Tech win a national title with a mediocre offense? It was 99th in the nation in total offense, but it did a great job of taking advantage of all the breaks generated by the defense. Eight starters return, led by ACC Player of the Year candidate Branden Ore at running back, but he needs the line to be healthy for a full season, and better. The passing game has good pieces, but it has to be far more consistent considering there are four talented senior receivers returning. Quarterback Sean Glennon had a good off-season, and now it has to translate into better production.
For two years in a row, Tech has led the nation in total defense, and last season, was number one in scoring defense allowing 11 points per game. There's no reason the D can't be even better with eight starters returning led by the 1-2 linebacking punch of Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. Corner Brandon Flowers is emerging as one of the best in the nation, "Macho" Harris is a good defender on the other side, and the line is loaded with size, quickness, depth and experience. As good as things were, and will be, it's not like the D played a who's who of offensive machines, so the overall numbers might be a tad bit overrated, but make no mistake about it; this is a special defense.

Nov. 3 - Florida State
Offense: After a dreadful two seasons, the offense is under new leadership with new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher coming in to breathe life into the nation's 70th ranked attack. Step one is to find some semblance of a running game, and that starts with talented junior Antone Smith getting more carries. The offensive line, problem one over the last few years, gets a big upgrade with the addition of line coach Rick Trickett from West Virginia. He's immediately pushed everyone to get into better shape and to get a lot tougher. The passing game won't be forgotten about, with Fisher wanting to bomb away down the field to Greg Carr and DeCody Fagg. Now a steady quarterback has to emerge between Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee.

Defense: The defense came up with a better year than it got credit for, but it gave up too many points. Now the potential is there for this to be a Florida State defense again with tremendous speed and talent in the secondary and a good enough front seven to come up with a big year. There are question marks. Everette Brown is a good-looking pass rushing end, but he needs help from the other side. The linebacking corps will be special as long as Derek Nicholson and Marcus Ball can quickly return from torn ACLs, otherwise it'll be an undersized group with no depth. As always, there's a slew of NFL talent to work around, highlighted by tackle Andre Fluellen and safety Myron Rolle.

Nov. 10 – at Maryland
Offense: It's all there for the Terps to be steady, explosive and very, very productive as long as everyone plays as well as they should. This will be one of the four best offenses in the league as long as injuries don't strike up front. The line is full of veterans and should be a rock, but there's no depth. The receiving corps might be the fastest in the ACC and Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore form a tremendous 1-2 rushing punch. It's all there for a big season, but that's what everyone said last year and the Terps were merely average.
The defense didn't exactly work last season, but it didn't seem to matter. No one stopped the run, the secondary was average, there weren't enough takeaways, and the 3-4 that was supposed to generate a serious pass rush wasn't even close. The Terps still won nine games helped be the defense coming through when it absolutely had to. This year's group won't be so fortunate and has to be better. The defensive line should be better with end Jeremy Navarre and tackle Dre Moore good enough to hope for All-ACC honors. Erin Henderson leads an athletic linebacking corps that needs experience, but should be good in time. The secondary is a concern, especially the corners hoping for Isaiah Gardner to become a shut-down defender after returning from a shoulder injury.

Nov. 17 – at Clemson

Offense: Clemson had the ACC's best offense last season, but it didn't get nearly enough from the passing game. Expect more of the same. The 1-2 rushing punch of James Davis and C.J. Spiller is among the best in the country, and while the line loses four starters, there's enough experience and talent up front to pave the way for a big rushing year. The receiving corps has potential, but a quarterback has to emerge to consistently produce. Cullen Harper has the job to start the year, but superstar recruit Willy Korn will likely take over at the first opportunity. No matter who's under center, and despite all the bells, whistles and formations of the Rob Spence offense, it'll be all about the running game.
Defense: As long as the corners are fine, this will be one of the nation's best defenses. The line, even without Gaines Adams, will be amazing, thanks to the emergence of Ricky Sapp and a great rotation of tackles. Assuming Tramaine Billie (broken ankle) and Antonio Clay (family tragedy) are back, the linebacking corps will fly around and make plays all over the filed. The safety situation is one of the ACC's best with Chris Clemons, Michael Hamlin (broken foot and all) and DeAndre McDaniel all potential all-stars, and the corners should be decent, at worst.

Nov. 24 - Miami
Offense: After a miserably inconsistent year finishing 87th in the nation in both total and scoring offense, the attack needs to play up to its talent level. The backfield will be amazing with Javarris James and true freshman Graig Cooper each good enough star for just about anyone in the country. The line has potential with two good tackles in Jason Fox and Reggie Youngblood to work around, and now the passing game has to be far better. The Kyle Wright vs. Kirby Freeman quarterback battle will be an ongoing debate, and the receiving corps has to step up and be better. Lance Leggett emerging as a true number one target would be a start.
Defense: The defense finished seventh in the nation last year despite not getting any help from the offense. The starting 11 should be good enough to shut everyone down, but there will be early concerns with the depth on the defensive line and the secondary. Safety Kenny Phillips and end Calais Campbell might be the two best defensive players in the nation, and everything will revolve around them; they must stay healthy. The linebacking corps might not have name stars, but it'll be a rock against the run with a good rotation of talents.



Related Stories
Post-Bowl Risers: Offense
 -by  Jan 6, 2008
Under Armour Top 30
 -by  Jan 4, 2008
Post-Bowl Risers: Defense
 -by  Jan 8, 2008

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Boston College
[View My HotList]