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BC Preview

Record: 2-0, defeated Northeastern and Kent State handily.
Head Coach: Frank Spaziani, longtime DC at Boston College and a former assistant under George Welsh at UVA.

AthlonSports Preview

Offense-Jagz and OC Steve Logan are gone, as is much of their pass-happy West Coast flavor. They are attempting to transition back to a balanced offense with former NFL coordinator Gary Tranquill (also a coach for UVA under Welsh, and OC at UNC in the early '00s) and the offense had a difficult time adjusting to the new scheme in spring ball.

They return their 2008 receptions leader Rich Gunnell and their top RB Montel Harris (900 yards in '08) and Josh Haden (479yds), but their other WRs are very tall guys. All but one OL is back, and its a mammoth OL. This is the only thing that worries me about BC: their OL has always given us fits.

For the most part, they are a pro-style 1-2 back offense, with some no-huddle. There are similarities with their offense and Clemson's in that respect. Its not a mystery, as Kevin Steele says he has faced Tranquill before and its pretty conventional. Steele says both backs are small and tend to hide behind the big OL, and yet are able to break tackles well in film.

How would you describe a Gary Tranquill offense?

"NFL, traditional. He's going power running game, he's going to formation you to death. Every game there's going to be a wrinkle or two in there formation-wise, something out of unbalanced or motioning or shifting or something that's going to get you discombobulated. You've got to refocus and get it corrected quick. There will be something."

I watched about half of their game against Kent State, and was surprised at their OL play, they were having fits. Steele was asked about that:

What did you make of Kent State's defensive line against Boston College? It looked like they gave B.C. a little trouble.

"There's more in their portfolio than Gary has shown. They were pretty basic in the first two games. I think they were trying to establish themselves physically and take care of the ball. Gary, the guy has coached a bunch of snaps. You've got two freshman quarterbacks. Maybe he held it back because he didn't need it. And being early in the season with two young quarterbacks, you probably don't need to put that much on their plate. I'm sure that's part of it. I mean, those guys are brand new - brand new.

-BC has really lost a great deal of what made them so good against us the last few years. They lost more of their front-7 talent than anyone in the conference. BJ Raji was a 1st rd pick at DT, and Ron Brace was a 2nd rounder. At MIKE, last year’s ACC defensive player of the year Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and will miss the season. Mike McLaughlin, who finished 2nd in tackles last year with 89 (and 10.5 TFL), ruptured his Achilles tendon during spring conditioning. The 3rd LB graduated. They lose only the starting safety from last season's squad that was tied with Florida for INTs at #1.

Schemewise, its pretty traditional like Georgia Tech. A base 4-3 that zone blitzes mostly on early downs and plays a safe 3-5-3 on definite passing situations. They dont trick you, but they do generally tackle well and play good coverage without having the best recruits in the country.

Clemson finally got the BC monkey off our back last year (27-20) in what was likely Dabo's most pivotal win as HC, and recall it was a game Bowden would've lost. Then they turned around and won their last 3 games and the Atlantic Division. Its hard to think that they will have success against our defense with a RS Fr. QB running the show. They will be able to run the ball, but if we stack the box that wont continue. Similarly, with them losing two NFL DTs and LB Mark Herzlich (ACC Def. POY), I dont see their defense posing a terrible amount of trouble for us. Clemson should be able to pound the ball inside and use that to open up the passing game.