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Film Preview: Boston College Offense

Buffalo v Boston College Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston College runs a very interesting offense. Head Coach Steve Addazio’s past as a national championship caliber offensive line coach shows in how diverse the run game is. The Eagles run everything from under center 22 personnel to four wide receiver shotgun spread. Out of every set they’re looking to run the ball with a mix of power, counter, inside/outside zone and bucksweep. QB runs, motion and option reads feature heavily. There’s even a Wildcat package. In 2016, I know!

All images via hokietapes (

Unfortunately for BC they are plagued by a lack of offensive speed, which makes getting to the edge difficult. Addazio’s resume as an offensive line coach hasn’t been enough for them to be able to establish a consistent running game inside either.

The Eagles guards, who are pretty good at blocking on the move, struggle to create drive against most defensive tackles; the Virginia Tech front is talented, but Clemson’s front is even more so. The BC tackles are not the quickest and can be beaten by speed rushes. The tight ends block well though, both on the line and in space.

BC often pulls a tight end when running counter trey
The same tight end pull from a wildcat set

QB Patrick Towles is enough that the threat of a QB keeper is used to set up the running game.

Which is fortunate, because BC has not been able to take advantage of his speed on roll out passes.

Which is a problem for the Eagles. Their offensive line is not very good at pass protection. The Hokies were able to reliably get pressure by rushing four. Clemson should be able to do the same reliably. The successful component of the Boston College passing game turned into a handful of slants, out routes and passes to the running back behind the line of scrimmage. Towles was occasionally able to make something happen with his feet, but was just as often sacked behind the line of scrimmage.

The lack of speed shown in how many outside runs are tackled behind the line of scrimmage above plagues the passing game as well. Boston College isn’t in the business of doing itself any favors either.

From midway through the 3rd

The reality of life for Boston College on offense right now is they’re an offense that only has efficiency, yet they aren’t efficient enough to win games. Third and long is a death sentence when your QB can’t reliably push the ball more than ten yards upfield. The only threat of a downfield passing game BC showed was throwing fade routes.


This is quite possibly the worst major conference offense in the country right now, Clemson fans should be angry if they score 20 points.