Northwestern 24, Boston College 17: Where'd The Usually Reliable Run D Go?

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: Kain Colter #2 of the Northwestern Wildcats scrambes as Max Holloway #56 of the Boston College Eagles pressures on September 3, 2011 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.The Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Boston College Eagles 24-17. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Brian: The usually reliable Boston College rushing defense seemed a bit exposed on Saturday. The Eagles gave up a total of 227 yards on the ground to the 'Cats, including 85 to running back Mike Trumphy. BC hasn't allowed an opponent to rush over 200 yards since the Oct. 10, 2009 game against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. What went wrong with the Eagles defense on Saturday?

Jeff: We do have a few new faces on the defensive side of the ball compared to last season but that shouldn't be the entire issue. First, give credit where credit is due to Northwestern. They were well coached and mixed up their looks enough to have continued success on the ground through most of the game. The BC D snuffed out a bunch of running plays for losses but then Northwestern typically came back and got some decent chunks on their next set of downs. Also, BC has always had a little more trouble when facing a mobile QB compared to just having to worry about the guys in the backfield.

Brian: The bad news is that Central Florida rolled up 316 yards on the ground against a bad Big South team in Charleston Southern on Saturday night, including eight ... EIGHT TDs on the ground (a program record). Final score: 62-0. Does BC have any hopes of fixing whatever is broken in the rush defense? Your thoughts?

Jeff: I am really not worried about anything UCF did against Charleston Southern. Yes, Duke and Oregon State lost to Richmond and Sacramento State respectively on Saturday but we saw a lot of scores more like UCF's. We see this at the beginning of every season and we are no closer to guessing what teams will finish the year in the top 25 than we were a few weeks ago.

UCF is a good team. Are they as good as Northwestern? Maybe we'll know for sure by the end of the season but my guess is they'll both finish the year as top 50 programs and closer to the top 25 but still outside the top 20. BC could've won the game on Saturday and they will likely have an opportunity to win Saturday. They will not give up 316 yards on the ground this weekend.

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