AJ: Welcome back to BC Interruption for another installment of our weekly banter, where Eric Hoffses and I talk about Boston College Eagles football and all the newsworthy stories of the week. This week we have a ton to talk about, after Boston College took care of Virginia Tech on the road, in a thrilling come from behind victory. And the reward for this? BC gets to host College Gameday and a primetime matchup with the Clemson Tigers. Eric, how big was Saturday’s win for the program?
Eric: It was the resiliency that this team continues to show. There are so many times in the past when a BC team would’ve just folded on the road in a spot like that. Instead, BC came out and totally dominated the 2nd half outscoring VT 24-7. I think credit has to go to Steve Addazio here. We all know that Daz has a horrendous record when he trails at the half but he got the job done. By the way, Justin Fuentes was undefeated when leading at halftime. AJ what stood out for you in Saturday’s win?
AJ: It has to be the coaching staff. One of the biggest knocks on Steve Addazio has been his inability to adjust in game, he has a horrible record when down at the half. BC looked bad in the first half, the defense was getting shredded, Ryan Willis was rolling, and Anthony Brown was literally bobbling and falling all over the field. Eagles come out in the second half, and they look like a completely different team. That is the staff that fixed that. Bravo to them. Secondly, the play of Travis Levy really stood out. I hadn’t seen much from him before Saturday that made me think he was anything more than a 3rd down back, but he showed that against the right opponents he could be the lightning to AJ Dillon’s thunder.
Eric, the defense has shown glimpses of brilliance for halves this season, what have you seen in terms of improvement?
Eric: I’ve seen improvement from the secondary and the defensive line. The secondary was getting beat on some explosives earlier in the year and I really questioned if the unit really deserved a nickname like the “no fly zone”. The last few weeks the unit has made all the right plays. I’d still like to see it against an elite offense like Clemson though. AJ, #2 Clemson is coming in on Saturday, and they bring a very, very talented team on both sides of the ball. AJ, how the heck does BC hold their own against the Tigers?
AJ: I don’t think Clemson really has a weakness per say, but I think BC is going to need to follow Syracuse’s blueprint from last year. If BC thinks they are going to line up and run AJ Dillon or one of their backs into that line 40 times and win, they are mistaken. They are going to need to have a big game from Anthony Brown, use some of their gadget plays, and run the play action more than typical. I would love to see some designed runs and options from Brown as well. On the defensive side of the ball, Ray Smith and Tanner Karafa are going to have to have big games, and they can not let Travis Etienne escape to the second level.
Eric, did I miss anything?
Eric: AJ I’m with you on the gameplan. Another example is from this year when Texas A&M piled up 501 yards on Clemson and was a two point conversion away (and a fumble at the 1-yard line) from taking the Tigers to OT or defeating them. AJ, final question from me, do you think the cold and crowd will play a big factor on Saturday?
AJ: I would really like to say yes, but I think Clemson is too disciplined and has too much experience to allow the crowd to bother them. The cold, I believe is overrated. While Miami certainly looked miserable two weeks ago, I think once a team gets going, the cold sort of becomes a non-factor. But hey you never know, Trevor Lawrence said he has never been north of Virginia. It’s going to be around freezing, the ball might feel a little different in the cold.
Eric, what makes Clemson’s defense so nasty?
Eric: It’s the front four. If you go to the game watch home impressive those guys look in person. They look like NFL defensive linemen. That’s the biggest difference between Clemson and every other team in the ACC.
TWO MINUTE DRILL
AJ: Eric, College Gameday on campus this week, what’s the last BC football moment you can think of this big?
Eric: Andre Williams getting invited to the Heisman Ceremony was a huge deal. Before that it was the final ACC Championship game appearance . AJ, you wrote about it earlier who is going to be the guest picker this week?
AJ: I’m going with Luke Kuechly. Eric, final question, AD Martin Jarmond was able to muster up free parking for Gameday, using Stokes Lawn for the event, and an extra hour of tailgating. How much has he meant to the growth of BC Athletics?
Eric: What more can you say about him? The better question is why the hell couldn’t the guys before him pull this stuff off?