If you are like me, you can not wait for the newest installment of EA Sports college football game to arrive at stores. I am a bit of a video game junky--much to the dismay of my wife--and NCAA Football '14 has me particularly amped up. This year the game focused heavily on "Keeping it Real", which focused on working on the mechanics of the players, and increasing the overall "realness" of the game.
To get fans excited about the game EA Sports released the rating for all the teams, which BC Interruption examined earlier. If you recall, Boston College received an 86 on offense and and 85 on defense. If you were to say that those scores were based on last year's performance, EA Sports might want to reexamine their perception of "realness". But this is a new season and with a new coaching staff, it brings up the question, what would BC need to do to live up to those ratings?
First, on offense, Boston College was rated an 86, which seems pretty high given that the Eagles finished 100th overall in the country in total offense. But BC has a few things going for them that may help their offense live up to that rating. First off, they have veterans in almost all the skill positions that have played multiple years. Rettig, Andre Williams and Alex Amidon are all seniors, and despite what the college football magazines say, they are all serviceable-to-good players. And I have said it multiple times already, but look for solid contribution from Freshman RB Myles Willis, especially if Tajh Kimble continues to battle injuries. That alone should help improve the offense.
is going to need to implement some sort of run game. This year Steve Addazio has already said that Ryan Day is going to call a lot more running plays, which hopefully will take the pressure off Chase Rettig. Call it hunch, but I suspect that the offensive line will be vastly improved this year with the addition of Matt Patchan and if Frank Taylor and/or Wins Homer are plugged in as starters. Any resemblance of improvement on the front line will spell success for both the running game and the passing game.
Keep Rettig on his feet, control the game clock, and run the ball purposefully and I believe that BC will live up to it's rating of 86.
The defense's rating of 85 is a pill that is more difficult to swallow. I think BC has the biggest hill to climb in terms of fixing their defense. However improving it to a respectable level is not completely out of the realm of possibilities, and an 85 could be an accurate number.
First off, Don Brown is a difference maker, plain and simple. Everywhere he has gone he has improved defenses, turning Maryland from a joke to a powerhouse in a year, and creating a Top 10 defense at Connecticut. Will he have that immediate impact here? Hard to say. Just moving away from the passive, low pressure system, to one that takes chances could be huge for BC, leading to more sacks and takeaways. It could also cause bigger mistakes.
Brown's biggest asset to work with to improve his defense and live up to this 85 rating is his linebackers. Steele Divitto, Kevin Pierre Louis, Steven Daniels, Tim Joy and Sean Duggan are a talented crew that if he implemented correctly can do a whole lot more than they did last year. Daniels and KPL have the speed to rush the QB, something Spaz didn't bother using them for, while Duggan and Joy are raw LB's that need a good coach to help them with technique.
Of course there are other aspects of defense BC will need to improve on to reach that rating of 85. They are going to need some semblance of pressure from the defensive line, and a more active secondary would also be helpful. If BC can turn the 100th ranked defense in the country into one in the 60's, I believe that EA Sports gave them the correct rating.