BC Football: All of a sudden, BC isn’t just AJ Dillon
Wake Forest had the right football game-plan: stack the box and force Anthony Brown to beat the Demon Deacons. The redshirt sophomore QB was more than up to the task.
After a rocky start that included multiple short completions on third-and-long situations, Brown took off. He finished 16/25 for 304 yards and five touchdowns.
Brown didn’t just focus on one wideout, however; He connected with Jeff Smith, Tommy Sweeney, Ben Glines, and Kobay White on touchdown plays and also completed passes to Michael Walker and CJ Lewis.
— BC Football (@BCFootball) September 14, 2018
This is an offense wholly unlike fans have seen from a Steve Addazio-led Eagles team. Just think back to recent Boston College-Wake Forest games for context.
2017’s matchup saw a rookie-Anthony Brown throw three interceptions en route to a 34-10 stomping by the Demon Deacons. Rewind a few more seasons to 2015 for the memorable 3-0 Wake Forest victory. Jeff Smith, current jet sweep extraordinaire, started at QB and went 4/12 for 56 yards.
The Eagles have had star running back in the past (see Andre Williams in 2013), but what they haven’t had is a capable team surrounding a Heisman candidate.
In 2013, BC’s second-leading receiver accumulated just 207 yards. Through just three games, albeit against easier competition, BC’s WR2 Kobay White has 147 receiving yards.
The best part of the 2018 offense is its versatility. Smith can run the jet sweep unlike any receiver in the nation. White has developed into a sure-handed deep threat, averaging 29.4 yards-per-reception. Tommy Sweeney, a top-three tight end in the nation, plays a throwback game, as one who can catch, block and run routes. Junior Ben Glines and return-man Michael Walker have both seen increased usage at wideout, and both have rewarded Addazio for the decision.
At running back, outside of Dillon, the Eagles possess a diverse group. Shifty back Travis Levy is BC’s best pass-catching option out of the backfield. Converted will linebacker Davon Jones is a power back who could see goal-line touches in scenarios where the Eagles opt to give Dillon a break. Freshman David Bailey boasts a solid average of 6.5 yards per attempt over his first 16 collegiate carries.
BC’s fully-healthy offensive line is also among the best in the nation. A perfect example of the unit’s skill is AJ Dillon’s 45-yard touchdown run to kick off the Wake Forest game. Chris Lindstrom slides across to the weak side to open up a huge hole, and Dillon does the rest.
Michael Walker set up the BC drive with a 44-yard return and Dillon took it the rest of the way.
— BC Football (@BCFootball) September 13, 2018
On the flip side, BC’s defense possesses NFL-caliber talent at all three levels to complement the offense. Steve Addazio’s teams have always been known for hustling, hard-hitting defenses, but this corps combines heart with talent.
Wyatt Ray and Zach Allen cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks. Ray recorded four sacks on Sam Hartman and Allen hurried Hartman four times.
Connor Strachan was laid out early in the first quarter by a Wake Forest’s Scotty Washington and got taunted by Hartman after the true freshman zipped a TD pass to Sage Surratt. But the senior linebacker, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, paced the BC defense with 13 solo tackles during the Thursday-evening contest.
Hamp Cheevers and Taj-Amir Torres have held their own for BC after the Eagles lost both of their starting cornerbacks, Isaac Yiadom and Kamrin Moore, to the NFL. Cheevers, especially, has excelled, forcing three huge turnovers for the BC defense early in the season.
At safety, converted cornerback Lukas Denis figures to be one of the first safeties off the board next April; his counterpart Will Harris isn’t too far behind.
Make no mistake, this team lives and dies by AJ Dillon, but it’s nice to know that opposing coaches have to game-plan for a team, not just a player.
BC deserves to be ranked come the game against Purdue. The hype is real. It’s time to buy in.