Boston College football’s regular season is over, with the Eagles posting a 6-6 record: unsatisfying, but enough to get in to the postseason, and enough to deliver some big moments for the season’s three MVPs:
1. Harold Landry
The clear-cut MVP of this team is Harold Landry, who was recently named to the All-ACC second team. Landry, a junior who came into BC as a 4 star recruit, built on his solid campaign last year by having the best season of his career. The big and elusive defensive end tied for the national lead with 15 total sacks on the year, en route to a BC football single season record. His other stats were off the charts as well, with 20.5 tackles-for-loss and 7 forced fumbles on the year.
If Landry somehow gets 5 sacks in our bowl game, he’d tie the NCAA record of 25.5 sacks set by Mathias Kiwanuka in 2004. But all those stats are just the numerical reasons why he’s our best defensive player, and there’s more to why he really meant so much to BC’s top-10 defense this year, which carried the team to a bowl game.
Opposing teams had to gameplan specifically for Landry, as his disruption in the pass game helped BC to the 10th most sacks in the country at 39. He also took attention off of the inside lineman on running plays, contributing significantly to BC’s 6th ranked rush defense. It makes sense that the Eagles’ most valuable player is a defensive end, considering the defense has been so much better than the offense these past two seasons especially.
2. John Johnson
One of the more hyped players on this BC team coming into the season fully delivered, as John Johnson roamed the secondary en route to 65 total tackles, good for 2nd on the team, and a team lead in interceptions with 3. Taking over for the now Denver Bronco Justin Simmons, Johnson was a ballhawk at safety and even played a little bit of cornerback, helping to give those guys up front a little more time to get to the QB.
Johnson also contributed to BC’s top-ranked rush defense and even managed 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss on the year. Now a senior, John Johnson is rated on NFLDraftScout.com as the 5th best free safety prospect in the country. His stats this season and importance to BC’s defense tend to agree with that, and hopefully he’ll get drafted into the league next year. Until then, we can enjoy his MVP-like contribution to this Eagles team.
3. Paul Pasqualoni (Curveball!)
You’ve probably heard of Pasqualoni from his days as Syracuse’s head coach of 13 years. He’s also spent time in the NFL as well as defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and defensive line coach with the Dallas Cowboys. Most recently, he was the Houston Texans defensive line coach before resigning last season to come coach for the Eagles.
His experience is probably why he’s been so important in giving BC one of the best front-7s in the country. He took the games of Harold Landry, Kevin Kavalec, Truman Gutapfel, and Zach Allen to the next level, as all four had career years this season. That defensive front gave BC the 6th ranked rush defense, consistently holding lesser opponents to low rushing total, and the 10th most best sack team in the country.
That front he coached was probably the main reason why BC was able to beat NC State and Wake, two teams who pride themselves on rushing. Hopefully he’ll be back next year to continue BC’s defensive line dominance, and maybe he’ll even end up as defensive coordinator sometime soon.
`Well, it’s pretty fitting that all three MVPs are part of that defensive unit. On offense, none of the running backs really stood out. The quarterback and receivers had another season to forget, although Tommy Sweeney was a key playmaker by the end of the year.
BC’s defense was certainly aided by a very easy schedule, but they did their job to get BC to a bowl game behind the team’s three MVPS: Harold Landry, John Johnson, and the 66 year old Paul Pasqualoni.
-Tommy Sweeney for catching the two game-winning touchdown passes in ACC wins over NC State and Wake Forest.
-UConn’s entire offense for being a steaming pile of garbage. And on that note, Brad Bates as well for putting UConn on the schedule; that was a laugh riot.
-The entire linebacking corps (Matt Milano, Ty Schwab, Connor Strachan)
-Capitalism, and the NCAA, for creating 41 bowl games, like the “Quick Lane Bowl.” What’s Quick Lane and why in the world does it sponsor a bowl? Thanks to their generosity, we’ll get to see another game this season.
-The BC Interruption community for giving a space for frustrated BC fans to vent.