Know Your Foe: Boston College

Boston College running back AJ Dillon (2) rushes against the defense of North Carolina State safety Dexter Wright (14) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

In 2011, the ACC was looking to expand. The SEC had recently inflated to 14 teams and the Big 10 had encroached on the ACC’s footprint on the East Coast, adding Maryland and Rutgers. The ACC also wanted to expand their footprint in the Northeast, but they mainly wanted to increase their basketball success.

UConn and Syracuse were the ACC’s top two choices for expansion. They were traditional basketball powers with five championships and 11 Final Four appearances between them. But when it came down to extending invitations, the ACC chose Syracuse and Pitt instead of UConn. Why? You can blame Boston College for that, as they politicked with the ACC to exclude the Huskies.

The BC/UConn football rivalry might be hard-fought off the field, but it’s hard to have a real on-field rivalry if the games have been so inconsistent and one-sided. The two teams have played five times since the turn of the century and UConn has come out on the losing end every time.

BC has had a bunch of wild swings in 2017. They started out their season 2-5 with an abomination of an offense, averaging only 322 yards per game. Their rushing attack wasn’t particularly efficient, averaging 3.7 yards per carry, and their passing game wasn’t much better, averaging just over five yards per attempt.

Then in week eight, BC decided it was time to have a wildly explosive offense. They had 364 yards rushing against Louisville in a shootout win, 275 yards passing against Virginia in a blowout win, 241 yards rushing against an elite Florida State defense in a blowout win. For a few weeks there, they had one of the best offenses in college football.

Last week, BC’s offense was stymied against an admittedly tough NC State defense and their starting quarterback Anthony Brown, who had 1300 yards passing and 11 touchdowns on the year, went down. The offense looked downright anemic with backup Darius Wade in the game. Who knows which BC offense will show up on Saturday.

Freshman running back A.J. Dillon has led the Eagles’ rushing unit with 1039 yards and eight touchdowns on the year.

BC’s defense hasn’t been quite as dominant this year as in years past, ranking in the mid-30s in both yards per play and points per play. That’s partly due to star-edge rusher Harold Landry sitting out the last three games with an ankle injury. Landry is questionable for this Saturday against UConn.


Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at luke.swanson@uconn.edu.