Each week we talk with opposing bloggers about BC's opposition. Let's see what what John from Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician has to say about this weekend's matchup....
BC Interruption: After last season this season has to be disappointing to say the least, was the injury to your quarterback the catalyst for this fall, or are there other factors too?
Troy Nunes: Sooo many factors. Terrel Hunt's injury didn't help matters, but neither did injuries to main receiving targets (Ashton Broyld and Brisly Estime) or most of the offensive line. Couple those with a change at offensive coordinator and a few freshman playing all the minutes at quarterback, and you can understand how things sort of got out of hand in a hurry for the Orange.
BC Interruption: Speaking of quarterbacks, AJ Long is a true freshman, and honestly BC fans probably don't know much about him. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Troy Nunes: If whatever nerve injury A.J. Long has dealt with in previous weeks is done with, Long should be a pretty effective passer overall, especially rolling outside the pocket. He's a true dual-threat, with the ability to take hits and has speed to the outside that he uses well on read-option plays. I wouldn't call him amazing throwing the ball. But he does have a nice deep ball when given time, and has found Steve Ishmael, Ben Lewis and Jarrod West with it a few times this season. If BC can hit Long behind the line of scrimmage (not out of the question), that should take him and the offense out of rhythm.
BC Interruption: Scott Schafer seems like a very animated coach, and probably bought a lot of good will last year after giving the Orange a "hard nosed" personality. What are fans thinking about him as the team struggles?
Troy Nunes: "Hardnosed" has become more of a kitschy catchphrase than a mantra for Syracuse fans this season, as the team has really failed to live up to whatever the term was supposed to mean. I think most of the Orange faithful is willing to give him another year to figure things out—especially given the injuries they dealt with in 2014—but Shafer and the entire staff will be on a short leash next year. Anything less than six wins will be an utter disappointment, and there are no excuses left to write for a staff that made a ton of questionable decisions this fall.
BC Interruption: Syracuse has the 33rd-ranked rushing defense but has struggled against some of the better rushing teams in the ACC. What kind of defense should we expect on Saturday and who are some of the bigger names on the Orange D?
Troy Nunes: Syracuse struggled against Pitt's rushing attack last week, so that doesn't bode well for its matchup with Boston College, I'll admit. But chances are you'll still see the same Orange defense that's been out there all year: one that will blitz most plays and play a high-risk, high-reward style built on generating turnovers. Cameron Lynch is the player to watch at outside linebacker, while Brandon Reddish has become the team's most steady DB. The run defense will be led by NT Eric Crume, and if he can get some penetration, that should help SU slow BC down at least a little.
BC Interruption: Alright, rivalry game, who wins on Saturday?
Troy Nunes: I wish I could say Syracuse here. I really do. But there's just too many things wrong with the Orange right now to pick them over a Boston College team that's really hung tough all season. The SU offense will be its own undoing, with a few turnovers making the difference. Boston College takes it, sadly, 23-9.