Boston College Football: Week One Notes: The NIU Game

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• For the second time in four seasons, Boston College opens the season with a road game as the Eagles travel to DeKalb, Ill. to face Northern Illinois.

• The game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday night. Jason Horowitz (play-by-play), David Diehl (color analyst) and Erik Coleman (sideline reporter) will be on the call.

• Coverage on the Boston College IMG Sports Network begins at 8:30 p.m. with Jon Meterparel, Pete Cronan and Scott Mutryn. Fans can listen to the game locally on WEEI 850 AM, nationally on TuneIn and on Sirius XM channel 81.

• The last time BC opened a season on the road at a MAC school was 2008 when the Eagles defeated Kent State 21-0 in Cleveland.

• Current New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was the quarterback for Kent State in the 2008 season opener. Edelman finished 10-of-14 passing for 123 yards and two interceptions.

• Boston College and Northern Illinois meet for the third time in series history and the first time since 2015.

• BC is 2-0 all-time against the Huskies after a 17-14 win over NIU on Sept. 26, 2015, at Alumni Stadium.

• The Sept. 1 game will be the first visit to DeKalb, Ill. for the Eagles. The only other meeting in series history was a 20-10 BC victory over NIU on Nov. 13, 1971 in Chestnut Hill.

• BC has played just four games in program history in the state of Illinois and has yet to win a game in the Land of Lincoln (0-1 at Loyola; 0-3 at Northwestern). 

• BC is 19-3 all-time against current schools from the Mid-American Conference. BC has not lost to a MAC team since 1969 to Buffalo.

• Boston College is set to begin the 119th season in school history as the Eagles travel to Northern Illinois.

• BC head coach Steve Addazio enters his fifth season at The Heights (24-27) and is 3-1 in season openers. The lone loss in a season opener under Addazio was last year’s 17-14 loss in Ireland to Georgia Tech.

• Under Addazio, BC is 8-7 in the month of September, including a 1-3 mark in September road games.

• All-time, BC is 68-48-2 in season openers, including a 12-5 mark since 2000.

• The game at NIU marks the eighth time since 2000 BC will open a season on the road, going 5-2 in those contests.

• Friday’s game marks the first season opener at an opponent’s on-campus stadium since August 31, 2006, at Central Michigan. The Eagles defeated CMU 31-24 as Matt Ryan finished 32-of-48 passing for 323 yards and three touchdowns.

119th Season of Boston College Football

• The 119th season of Boston College football is set to begin on Friday, Sept. 1 at Northern Illinois. All-time, BC is 652-481-37 in 1,170 games.

• BC is 36th in NCAA history with 652 victories. The Eagles are one of eight ACC schools ranked in the top 40 all-time in victories.

NCAA All-Time Won-Loss Records (by Victories)

1. Michigan 935

2. Notre Dame 896

3. Texas 891

4. Nebraska 889

5. Ohio State 886

15. Virginia Tech 728

17. Georgia Tech 723

18. Clemson 717

20. Pitt 712

23. Syracuse 705

26. North Carolina 686

36. Boston College 652

38. Virginia 643

Road Opener

• Boston College opens the season on the road for the eighth time since 2000 Sept. 1 at Northern Illinois. The NIU game will be the fourth MAC opponent BC has faced beginning the season on the road after wins at Kent State in 2008 (21-0), at Central Michigan in 2006 (31-24) and at Ball State in 2004 (19-11).

• BC has won five consecutive season-openers in true road games on the opponent’s home field with the last loss coming at West Virginia in 2000 (34-14). 

• Since 1910, BC is 12-17 in road games to start the season. Since 1996, BC is 7-2 when starting a new season on the road.

Starting at Quarterback

• Boston College enters game week prep work for the opener at Northern Illinois with Darius Wade and Anthony Brown still in contention for the starting job.

• Wade, who is in his fourth year in the program, earned his degree in May and is the only quarterback on the roster with any game experience.

• In 15 career games, including three starts in 2015 before a season-ending injury, Wade has totaled 355 passing yards and has completed 47.8 percent of his passes.

• Brown redshirted in 2016 after arriving at Boston College as a mid-year enrollee in January of 2016. The New Jersey native was a two-year starter at St. John Vianney High School where he was 21-2 as a starter and threw for 4,496 career yards and 58 touchdowns.

Starting A Freshman Under Center

• While the starting quarterback for Boston College in the season opener has yet to be announced, redshirt freshman Anthony Brown would be the second freshman in BC history to start a season opener under center.

• Redshirt freshman Justin Tuggle started the first game of 2009 against Northeastern and finished 3-of-5 passing for 56 yards with a touchdown in BC’s 54-0 victory.

• Glenn Foley entered in the second quarter of his first game his redshirt freshman season and started the rest of the way. He owns BC’s freshman record for most passing attempts (349) and completions (182) in 1990.

• Dave Shinskie played in all 13 games in 2009 and started the final 10 contests to set BC freshman records for passing yards (2,049) and passing touchdowns (15).

• Doug Flutie started the final seven games of his true freshman season in 1981 and ended the year with 1,652 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, eight interceptions and he completed 54.7 percent of his passes.

The Last Time vs. Northern Illinois (Sept. 26, 2015)

• Redshirt freshman Troy Flutie recorded his first career start, throwing a second-quarter touchdown, while freshman Jeff Smith shared time behind center, rushing nine times for 56 yards as the two took over for injured Darius Wade to help guide the host Eagles to a 17-14 victory over NIU.

• BC held NIU to 153 yards of total offense and just 10 first downs while BC finished the afternoon with 326 yards of total offense.

• Sophomore Jon Hilliman rushed for 119 yards on 24 carries, recording his first 100-yard game of the season and fourth of his career, scoring on a game-long 21-yard run to break a 7-7 tie in the third quarter.

Opening Act

• Boston College is 68-41 all-time in season openers. The Eagles have won three of four season openers under Steve Addazio and the Eagles have won 10 of their last 13 opening games of the season.

Scouting This Week’s Opponent: Northern Illinois

• Northern Illinois is coming off a 5-7 2016 season that snapped a streak of six straight MAC Championship game appearances. The Huskies return 57 letter-winners and 12 starters from last year’s team that went 5-3 in the MAC.

• Head coach Rod Carey begins his fifth season at the helm in DeKalb. The former center at Indiana is 36-19 overall at NIU and has led the Huskies to four bowl games. Under Carey, NIU is 16-5 at home, 3-4 vs. Power Five opponents and he is 0-1 vs. Boston College (17-14 loss in 2015).

• NIU ranked 27th nationally in total offense (463.8 yards per game), 16th in rushing offense (239.8 yards per game), 73rd in passing offense (224.0 yards per game) and 55th in scoring offense (30.5 points per game) in 2016. The Huskies return five starters on offense in 2017.

• The Huskies ranked 98th in the country in total defense (451.5 yards per game), 88th in rushing defense (200.8 yards per game), 93rd in passing yards allowed (250.7 yards per game) and 80th in scoring defense (30.3 points per game) last season.

Preseason Award Watch List

• The following list of Eagles was named to various preseason award watch lists and All-America teams:

Harold Landry, Senior Defensive End

AP Preseason All-America First Team Preseason All-America First Team

USA Today Preseason All-America First Team

Sports Illustrated Preseason All-America First Team

Phil Steele Preseason All-America First Team

Athlon Preseason All-America First Team

Lindy’s Preseason All-America First Team

Street & Smith’s Preseason All-America First Team

Preseason All-ACC First Team

Walter Camp Football Player of the Year Watch List

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

Maxwell Award Watch List 

Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List 

Jon Baker, Senior Center

Rimington Trophy Watch List

Tommy Sweeney, Junior Tight End

John Mackey Award Watch List

Jeff Smith, Junior Wide Receiver 

Paul Hornung Award Watch List

Darius Wade, Junior Quarterback

Golden Arm Award Watch List

Jon Hilliman, Junior Running Back

Doak Walker Award Watch List

The Nation’s Leader Returns

• Boston College defensive end Harold Landry decided to return to Boston College for his senior season in January. The All-American led the nation in sacks in 2016 with 16.5.

• Landry led the country with seven forced fumbles en route to Walter Camp and Associated Press All-America honors.

• Landry finished with one of the best seasons of any defensive player in the country in 2016. An AP All-ACC first-team selection, Landry was also selected as the Division I Gold Helmet of the Year Award recipient, given annually to the top player in New England by the New England Football Writers’ Association and the recipient of the 78th annual George “Bulger” Lowe Award, “New England’s Heisman Trophy” and one of America’s oldest college football accolades.

 • Landry, who collected All-ACC second-team honors by the media and coaches, was one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive end.

 • The North Carolina native led the nation with 16.5 sacks and seven fumbles forced. Landry rewrote the Boston College single-season record for sacks in 2016, breaking the old mark of 13 held by Eric Storz (1997) and Mike Mamula (1994). Landry was fifth in the country with 22.0 tackles-for-loss, the second-best total in Boston College single-season history behind only Mathias Kiwanuka’s 25.5 TFLs in 2004.

• Since 2005, only two players have led the nation in sacks and decided to return to school instead of opting for the NFL Draft: Harold Landry and Von Miller (Texas A&M).

• Landry recorded at least one sack in 10 of BC’s 13 games in 2016. He set the BC single-season sack record, breaking the mark of 13 held by Erik Storz in 1997 and Mike Mamula in 1994.

• For his career, Landry has 21 sacks, third in BC history.

• Landry finished 2016 with 22 tackles-for-loss, the second-best single-season total in BC history.

BC Career Sacks Leaders

1. Mathias Kiwanuka (2002-05) 37.5

2. Mike Mamula (1992-94) 24

3. Harold Landry (2014-present) 21

4. Chris Hovan (1996-99) 20.5

5. Erik Storz (1994-97) 19

BC Career TFL Leaders

1. Mathias Kiwanuka (2002-05) 65.5

2. Luke Kuechly (2009-11) 44

3. Chris Hovan (1996-99) 43

4. Harold Landry (2014-present) 39

5. Tim Bulman (2001-04) 38

In the ACC …

• Landry’s 16.5 sacks in 2016 rank third in ACC single-season history. Only Peter Boulware (FSU) and Charles Bowser (Duke) recorded more sacks in one season.

All-Time ACC Single-Season Sacks Leaders

1. Peter Boulware, Florida State (1996) 19.0

2. Charles Bowser, Duke (1981) 17.5

3. Harold Landry, Boston College (2016) 16.5

4. Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina (1980) 16.0

Keith Adams, Clemson (1999) 16.0

Andre Wadsworth, Florida State (1997) 16.0

All-ACC Linebacker Returns

• Senior linebacker Connor Strachan collected All-ACC honorable mention honors in 2016 and returns as one of the top defensive players in the nation in 2017.

• Strachan earned All-ACC honors for the first time after the junior led the Eagles with 80 tackles in 2016. Appearing in 12 games including 12 starts, Strachan is third on the team with 11.0 tackles-for-loss and led the Eagles with four fumble recoveries. The four fumbles recovered ranked second nationally.

• Strachan is 10th among all active ACC players with 167 career tackles.

Sack, Sack, Sack the Quarterback

• Under the direction of defensive coordinator Jim Reid, Boston College tied a school record and finished second in the nation with 47 sacks in 2016. 

• Reid, who was also the defensive coordinator at BC in 1994, equaled the school record for single-season sacks as his 1994 BC defense also totaled 47 sacks.

• BC returns 69 percent of their sack production in 2017 led by Harold Landry (16.5 sacks in 2016). In all, the Eagles have 32.5 combined sacks returning to the field this season.

NCAA Team Sacks Leaders (2016)

1. Florida State (ACC) 51 (3.92 per game)

2. Boston College (ACC) 47 (3.62 per game)

3. Alabama (SEC) 54 (3.60 per game)

4. Michigan (Big Ten) 46 (3.54 per game)

5. Texas (Big 12) 41 (3.42 per game)

It All Starts on Defense

• One of head coach Steve Addazio’s staples to building the Boston College football program has been to have a top-notch defense. BC finished ninth nationally in total defense in 2016, allowing just 314.2 yards per game.

• The 2016 BC defense ranked on eight top-10 lists nationally, including ninth in total defense (314.2 yards/game), second in sacks (3.62 sacks/game) and 10th in turnovers gained (27).

• In 2015, the Eagles ended the year first in total defense (254.3 yards per game).

• Addazio’s 2014 squad finished the season ranked 11th nationally in total defense as the Eagles yielded just 324.2 yards per contest.

Since You Saw Us Last …

• Boston College earned its first bowl victory since 2007 with a 36-30 victory over Maryland in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit on Dec. 26.

• Boston College is 14-11 all-time in 25 bowl appearances. The last bowl victory prior to the win over Maryland was a 24-21 win over Michigan State on Dec. 28, 2007, in the Champs Sports Bowl. Matt Ryan threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns to cap an 11-win season for the Eagles in 2007.

• The 29-point first half was the most points scored in a half by the Eagles in 2016, surpassing the previous high of 28 against Wagner (Sept. 24). It is the most first-half points BC has scored against a Power Five opponent since recording 24 vs. NC State on Oct. 17, 2009.

• Boston College’s 29 first-half points marked the third-best first half scoring in BC’s bowl history. The 2002 Eagles scored 42 in the first half vs. Toledo in the Motor City Bowl and the Eagles scored 31 in the first half of the 1985 Cotton Bowl against Houston.

• The defensive line was named Most Outstanding Player in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl. Boston College finished with eight sacks and 14 tackles-for-loss.

Hurry Up!

• Heading into the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl, BC shifted its focus to an uptempo, no-huddle offense. The results were immediate as the Eagles scored 29 points in the first half and 36 for the game in a 36-30 victory over Maryland.

Coming of Age

• After starting two sophomores at wide receiver and a sophomore at tight end in 2016, the BC offense will have plenty of veterans to rely on in 2017.

• The team’s top five returning receivers return in 2017, led by juniors Michael Walker and Jeff Smith.

• Walker led the team in receptions (33) and receiving yards (420) in 2016 while Smith was second on the team in receptions (27) and receiving yards (395). Both players showed big-play potential with long touchdown receptions of 49 and 58 yards, respectively.

• Junior tight end Tommy Sweeney contributed 26 receptions for 353 yards in 13 starts a year ago, including game-winning touchdown receptions in road victories at NC State and Wake Forest.

Baker, Moore Named 2017 Captains

• Senior center Jon Baker and senior defensive back Kamrin Moore were voted team captains by their teammates, Boston College head coach Steve Addazio announced on Aug. 25.

• Baker enters 2017 with 26 consecutive starts at center, the longest current streak on the team. The Millis, Mass., native was named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, an award given annually to the nation’s top center. A two-time ACC All-Academic team selection and three-time Athletic Director’s award winner for academic achievement, Baker enters the season as one of the top centers in the ACC. Baker has played in 35 consecutive games.

• Moore enters 2017 after starting all 13 games last season for the Eagles. The District Heights, Md., product recorded 43 tackles a year ago and totaled two interceptions, including the game-winning INT in the road victory at NC State. For his career, Moore has played in 34 games and has made 21 starts over the last 21 games he has played in.

Three Bowls in Four Years

• Head coach Steve Addazio joined Jack Bicknell as the only coaches in Boston College history to lead the Eagles to three bowl games in their first four seasons at The Heights. Under Addazio’s leadership, BC has won seven games in three of his four seasons in Chestnut Hill and led the Eagles to their first bowl win since 2007 with the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl victory over Maryland.

• During Addazio’s tenure, 11 players have been selected in the NFL Draft, including two members of last season’s team (John Johnson, Third round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in the 2017 NFL Draft and Matt Milano, Fifth round pick of the Buffalo Bills).

Brown Added to Assistant Coaching Staff

• Boston College head coach Steve Addazio announced in January that former Boston College standout Ricky Brown joined the coaching staff as one of the nine full-time assistant coaches. Brown serves as BC’s special teams’ coordinator and coaches the outside linebackers.

• Brown spent the 2016 season as Boston College’s Director of Football Initiatives.

• Brown was an outstanding linebacker for the Eagles from 2002-05 and won the 2005 Scanlan Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a BC football player as it recognizes accomplishments on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.

• Following his career at BC, Brown signed as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders and spent seven seasons in the NFL.


• The following coaches are in the press box during the game for Boston College:

Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler

Defensive coordinator Jim Reid

• The following coaches are on the sideline during the game:

Special teams coordinator/SLB coach Ricky Brown

Offensive line coach Justin Frye

Defensive backs coach Anthony Campanile

Wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell

Defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni

Running backs coach Brian White

Depth Chart Notes

• The first depth chart of the 2017 season features nine seniors as starters on offense and defense.

• Five true freshmen have cracked the two-deep:

Alec Lindstrom, second team center

Ben Petrula, second team right tackle

AJ Dillon, second team running back

Travis Levy, second team running back

Isaiah McDuffie, second team Sam linebacker

• The starting offensive line still has a few open position battles, but the first unit features Aaron Monteiro at left tackle (16 career starts), senior Jon Baker at center (26 career starts) and junior Chris Lindstrom is expected to start at either right guard or right tackle (22 career starts). Graduate transfer Marcell Lazard had 12 career starts at West Virginia and could win the job at right tackle, giving BC four starters with double-digit career starts.

• After starting at middle linebacker last season, senior Connor Strachan slides over to the strongside linebacker position vacated by the loss of Matt Milano to the NFL (Buffalo Bills). Sophomore Max Richardson is listed as the starter at middle linebacker for the Eagles.

• The place-kicking duties remain an open competition with three players vying for the starting job – senior Mike Knoll, junior Colten Lichtenberg and senior Max Schulze-Geisthovel. After scoring seven goals last season for BC’s men’s soccer team, Schulze-Geisthovel has been one of the surprise storylines from preseason camp. The German is slated to handle BC’s kickoff duties and is in contention to be the starter on field goals.

Returning Firepower for the Eagles

(Percentage of 2016 statistics returning)

Rushing Yards 64.8%

Passing Yards 0.07%

Receiving Yards 93.6%

Punt Return Yards 0.02%

Kickoff Return Yards 20.5%

Scoring 75.1%

Tackles 66.7%

Sacks 71.3%

Interceptions 66.7%

This is Boston College Football

• 25 bowl appearances (including 15 of the last 18 years)

• 13 Consensus All-Americans

• 10 College Hall of Fame Members

• Three Conference Players of the Year

• Tradition-filled program that has included players who have won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Outland Trophy, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Manning Award, Dick Butkus Award, Rotary Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Award, Doak Walker Award

Heading Into 2017

• Boston College enters 2017 with off-season momentum after the Eagles earned their first bowl win since 2007 with a 36-30 victory over Maryland in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl.

• The Eagles won their final three games of the 2016 season and return 46 letter-winners and 17 starters in 2017. 

• BC returns the majority of its offense in 2017 as nine starters return, including the two running backs on the depth chart along with three starters at wide receiver and the team’s starting tight end. The Eagles lose the services of 2016 starter at quarterback – graduate transfer Patrick Towles – as graduate student Darius Wade and redshirt freshman Anthony Brown headline the competition to replace Towles under center.

• Defensively, seven starters return from the nation’s No. 9 total defense in 2016 as the unit finished second in the nation with 47 sacks. The 47 sacks equaled the school record, set also in 1994 when Jim Reid was the Eagles’ defensive coordinator as well.

Welcome to The Heights

• Martin Jarmond was named the William V. Campbell Director of Athletics on April 24, 2017, becoming the eighth athletic director in Boston College history. At 37, Jarmond became the youngest athletic director of a Power Five conference institution in Division 1 athletics.

• Jarmond, who has more than 15 years of experience in the Big Ten, came from The Ohio State University where he served as the Deputy Director of Athletics and Chief of Staff to Buckeyes’ athletic director Gene Smith. Jarmond spent eight years in Columbus after spending seven at Michigan State.

• A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Jarmond graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. He was a two-time captain of the basketball team, earned All-CAA Academic honors and helped the Seahawks gain their first NCAA tournament appearance in 2000. He earned both an MBA (2002) and a master’s in sports administration (2003) from Ohio University.

• Jarmond and Harold Landry are both graduates of Pine Forest High School in North Carolina.


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