Boston College’s four guys up front have seen some great talent come through over the years. Perhaps not as much as the Eagles have recently had at linebacker, but the defensive line has produced in recent memory. Coming in 2012, they will get a manpower boost.
Boston College Defensive Line, 2012
Boston College’s defensive line helped lead a full defense that was alright against the run last season, but nowhere near their marks of years past in which they were one of the elite teams in the nation at shutting down opposing rushers. The 2011 Eagles were 6th-best in the ACC in run defense, allowing 151.1 yards per game. That number is good for 59th in FBS, which is almost exactly in the middle of the 120-team list. Some teams had more success against BC than others, but when you’ve got the best rushing defense in the country, the only way to go is down, and the Eagles were merely adequate in that department last year.
Bringing Kaleb Ramsey back will help a little. He’s a solid, physical player who can jam up running lanes in the middle and win some battles down in the trenches. Having a rising star like Dominic Appiah behind him at this position gives BC a good insurance policy.
A clear deficiency of this unit, and this is nothing new, is the inability to pressure the quarterback. Boston College was dreadful last year in terms of sacks, totaling 11 for just 66 yards lost. The former figure is tied for last in the ACC, and the latter is last by far. Nationally, the Eagles were 114th of 120 in sacking the quarterback. What is particularly infuriating is that there are guys on this defensive line who were known for their sacking ability before coming here, and yet, the pass rush still isn’t coming together. BC’s defense was sub-par against the pass last season, and part of the cause was the lack of a formidable pass rush.
There is talent here; some of it has lived up to expectations and some of it hasn’t, but overall they’re probably a bit better than how they played last season. If Boston College is to have any chance of making it back to a bowl game, the run defense has to come back strong — middle-of-the-pack isn’t going to cut it. Stopping the run has been a hallmark of recent BC defenses, and will be much-needed as tackle machine Luke Kuechly is gone, the secondary recently got a little thinner, and we still don’t know if this offense will score a lot of points.