Almost forgot it was Homecoming.
They're not always this bad. Usually they're a competent, well coached football team who notch out more wins than their limited talent pool and halfhearted fan base would merit. But this year they're just embarrassing themselves. As for the particular reason why they're shitting the bed so magnificently this season I couldn't begin to formulate a guess. Of course when Montel Harris went down early on I knew the Eagles were going to struggle on offense, and when they announced a short time ago that he was done for the season then I knew the wheels had fallen off completely. But I am shocked to see this BC team struggle so badly on defense.
Boston College has built their name and (limited) reputation on the strength of their defensive front seven and especially their linebackers. They play hard and they play tough and they play well above their pay grade as recruits when the defensive coaching staff in Chestnut Hill coaches them up. Except for this year. This year the secret to beating BC's defense is simple: run away from Luke Kuechly. The All-Western Hemisphere linebacker leads the team (and the nation) with 99 tackles on the year, which gives him a full 43 more tackles than the Eagles' second leading tackler Kevin Pierre-Louis. Putting this into perspective, our two leading tacklers - Bruce Taylor and Antone Exum - combined have eleven fewer tackles on the year than Luke Kuechly. So LT's primary read on every play should be, "Where's Kuechly?" We should then throw or run in the other direction.
By the numbers Boston College just pretty much sucks at life this year. In every major statistical category the Eagles rank in the top half of the Bowl Subdivision in only two: punting and scoring defense. Of course they're good at punting with as much experience as they have at it this year. But the scoring defense (which is just barely in the top half of the country at 58th) ranks a full 37 places higher than their total defense. That means BC clamps down against scoring plays. So like against Wake Forest, VT is probably going to need some big plays to open the flood gates.
As for what our defense should be able to do to their offense... Let's put it this way: rest anyone who shows even a hint of an injury this week.
UPDATE: James Gayle will start versus BC. Personally I'd like to see him get in about a half of work just to shake the rust, then ice down his ankle and give it another week before trying to go a full game against Duke. Jayron Hosley will not dress for the game this week. And let's be honest, after watching what a nagging hamstring issue did to RMFW last season, I think we can all agree it would be just fine if Jayron doesn't play a down until the Georgia Tech game.
On paper, this game should have a homicide detective assigned to it. This is the part where I feel obligated to say that BC always plays us tough, blah blah blah, but the last time BC visited Lane the Hokies dismantled them 48-14, outgaining them by 441 yards to 163. This BC team is significantly worse than that one. If we somehow screw the pooch badly enough to lose to these guys it would seriously be on the level of a Temple '98 or a JMU '10 meltdown.
But don't feel sorry for the Eagles, because as far as BC's clusterf**k of a season goes, I look at it as their chickens coming home to roost. No offense to Frank Spaziani, who I think is an absolute hell of a defensive coordinator, but Boston College inflicted this wound upon themselves when they showed Jeff Jagodzinksi the door. Personal feelings about the man aside, Jags did what no one should be able to do in Chestnut Hill: have the Eagles contend for ACC championships. Gene DeFillipo said Boston College was going to be a destination job under his watch, but rather than ponying up the resources to make coaches want to stay there his answer was to fire anyone who entertained any notion of going elsewhere, even the NFL. The Boston College athletics department is like that batshit crazy girl you used to date who never wanted to give it up but also wouldn't talk to you for two days if the cashier at Kroger smiled at you. In the end it's no wonder that girl winds up living alone in a one bedroom apartment with thirty cats.