2008 CFN Boston College Preview
Boston College LB Mark Herzlich
Can Boston College reload? Does it really have to? There are several question marks, but the Eagles should be more than solid as the season goes on and, thanks to Mark Herzlich and a nasty run defense, they should be in the thick of the ACC title hunt. Check out the CFN BC Preview.
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2008 CFN BC Preview |
2008 BC Offense
2008 BC Defense |
2008 BC Depth Chart
2007 CFN BC Preview |
2006 CFN BC
Head coach: Jeff Jagodzinski
2nd year: 11-3
Returning Lettermen: 40
Lettermen Lost: 21
Best BC Players
1. LB Brian Toal, Sr.
2. DT B.J. Raji, Sr.
3. WR Rich Gunnell, Jr.
4. DE Alex Albright, Jr.
5. DT Ron Brace, Sr.
6. TE Ryan Purvis, Sr.
7. WR Brandon Robinson, Sr.
8. LB Mark Herzlich, Jr.
9. OT Anthony Castonzo, Soph.
10. CB DeLeon Gause, Soph.
2008 Record: 0-0
at Kent State (Clev.)
Sept. 6 Georgia Tech
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 UCF
Sept. 27 Rhode Island
Oct. 4 at NC State
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Virginia Tech
Oct. 25 at North Carolina
Nov. 1 Clemson
Nov. 8 Notre Dame
Nov. 15 at Florida State
Nov. 22 at Wake Forest
Nov. 29 Maryland
CFN Prediction: 8-4
2007 Record: 11-3
Sept. 15 at
Ga Tech W 24-10
Notre Dame W 27-14
Virginia Tech W 14-10
Clemson W 20-17
Dec. 1 Virginia Tech L 30-16
Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 28 Michigan State W 24-21
was common knowledge that when he took over last year, head coach Jeff
Jagodzinski inherited a veteran team with a future first round, $72
million dollar quarterback, but now that much of that senior-laden group
has graduated, the coach’s job is about to get a whole lot tougher. And
now he’ll get to show why he’s one of the hottest coaches in college
Not only has Matt Ryan left the Heights for the NFL, but so have last
year’s top two rushers, the best offensive lineman, and three Second
Team All-ACC defensive players. However, two potential all-leaguers, DT
B.J. Raji and LB Brian Toal, will be coming off the shelf after sitting
out all of last season, and Jagodzinski made his name on being able to
coach offensive players. There’s no real reason to expect much of a
drop-off this year, if any.
After getting to the ACC title game and winning 11 games for the first
time since 1940, the program should continue to expect eight-plus win
seasons every year and be unbeatable in December bowl games. For the
first time since 1996, neither Ryan nor Tom O’Brien is in Chestnut Hill,
meaning Jagodzinski will have to be a leader, and not just a rebuilder.
The schedule doesn’t get especially ornery until mid-October, so new
quarterback Chris Crane will have time to get acclimated in September
against the likes of Kent State, Rhode Island, and UCF. So there will be
time to get everyone’s feet wet in a critical stretch for a team with
several major questions.
Can Crane, who had a good spring, be close to as good as Ryan? Will
there be more of a running game? What will the Eagles do to help out
pass rushing star Alex Albright with concerns about the other end? How
quickly will all the good new recruits be a part of the show?
There’s no real reason to be too worried. There’s still plenty of talent
to work around, the defense will be nasty, and Jagodzinski will do his
part with Crane. In a relatively weak ACC, there’s no reason to shoot
for anything less than a title and a BCS game. The program has stayed
that good, even after the coaching transition.
What to look for offense: Scoring issues early one …and not just
because Ryan is gone. Of course the quarterback will be missed, but even
when he was chasing the Heisman, BC had trouble getting into the end
zone. On top of that, there’s been a complete evacuation at running
back, with a few recruits needing to shine, and two of the line’s best
blockers are on NFL rosters. Even if Crane is up to the challenge, the
Eagles will attempt plenty of field goals, putting even more pressure on
Steve Aponavicius to be better.
What to look for on defense: A brick wall of a run defense. After
yielding just 75 yards a game on the ground, the Eagles might be even
stingier now that DT B.J. Raji and LB Brian Toal are back in the fold.
The front seven is among the toughest in the country, meaning the
secondary had better be prepared for plenty of attention. Teams will
have to throw to win.
The team will be much better if ... a running game can be mined
from an extremely young stable of backs. Whether it’s Josh Haden, the
offense needs to establish a degree of balance to take some heat off the
new quarterback and the passing game. Even the new-age BC offense needs
to have success on the ground, especially in
the post-Ryan era, after finishing 106th in the nation in
It's tough, but all the big ACC games, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and
Clemson, are in Boston. The road schedule is a breeze for a while going
to Cleveland to face Kent State and later traveling to
NC State and North Carolina, and then comes the problem in back-to-back
November dates against Florida State and Wake Forest.
Best Offensive Player:
Junior WR Rich Gunnell. Although he won’t blow you away with his size or
speed, Gunnell simply makes plays, and typically at the most critical
point in the game. The definition of a clutch player, he was always in
Ryan’s crosshairs when the game was on the line finishing with 64
receptions for 931 yards and seven touchdowns. He’ll help Crane out
Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Brian Toal. DT B.J. Raji may have a
little more upside with the NFL, but Toal is an emotional leader and the
best football player on this defense. After a breakout freshman year in
2004, he has leveled off and even regressed, largely due to problems
with his neck and shoulders. Those have been addressed with surgery and
a year of rest, which the linebacker feels has him set up for a monster
finale with the Eagles.
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Chris Crane. While he
doesn’t have to be Ryan for the Eagles to soar, he does have to protect
the ball and get it in the hands of an underrated ensemble of receivers.
Equally important, he must become one of team leaders and accountable in
the clutch, which were two of Ryan’s strongest intangibles.
The season will be a success if ... the Eagles get to eight wins and
extend their nation’s-best bowl winning streak to nine games. They could
easily get off to a 5-0 start, but the second-half stretch of Virginia
Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, Notre Dame, Florida State, Wake Forest,
and Miami might be too much for a program looking for answers in the
offensive and defensive backfields.
Nov. 1 vs. Clemson. What better way to announce that last year was no
fluke than by knocking off the favorite in the ACC? Wake Forest and
Florida State will certainly be in the hunt as well, but the outcome of
this game will go a long way to determining the Atlantic Division
champion. The Tigers will come in with something to prove after losing a
heartbreaker to the Eagles in Death Valley last November.
- Second quarter scoring: BC 123 – Opponents 60
- Average yards per carry: BC 3.4 – Opponents 2.4
- Net punting average: Opponents 37.7 – BC 36.9