Boston College football is about defense. The Eagles have had some sensational offensive players come through, like Doug Flutie and Matt Ryan, but a trademark of recent Eagles seasons has been a stout defense. In 2011, stout is not the word I would use to describe it, but it was not bad. Hit-or-miss with late improvement is probably correct.
By the numbers
I don’t think there’s much debating that the guys on defense played with heart and determination all year. I also don’t think there’s any question that the defense played better towards the end. With the numbers in front of us, however, the Boston College defense got worse in every major statistical category between last year and this one.
The total defense stands out in particular, as the Eagles went from 13th in FBS in 2010 to 73rd in 2011. Much of it has to do with the run defense, which fell from 1st in the nation and about 83 yards per game to over 150 yards per game, putting them towards the middle of the pack.