As we’re only days away from the merciful end of the 2012 Boston College Eagles football season, we’ll only get to see this defense in action one more time. That’s a good thing, the way things are going.
A final statistical analysis will follow in the week after Thanksgiving (when this site isn’t gloating over a likely coaching change, that is), but it shall suffice to say that the Eagles defense is nowhere near what it used to be. At this point, there are no small sample sizes or outliers, only a season that is 11/12ths over. With almost all of the precincts reporting, the results are not good for this team.
Boston College is 106th out of 124 teams in total defense, allowing 463.73 yards per game. They are 81st in scoring defense, allowing just a shade under 30 points per game. What is perhaps most damning is their run defense, ranked 114th at 221.64 yards per game. It is so because they were #1 in said category just two years ago. Part of the mess BC is in now is due to the defense: the offense has been terrible for years, but when the defense caught up to them, there was no way the Eagles would win more than a couple games.
Meanwhile, NC State has a mediocre offense that has had some individual bright spots. They total an average of 425 yards per game and score about 28.5, both of which are near the middle of the national rankings these days. The Wolfpack doesn’t have much of a run game, which will be music to BC’s ears, but they do have a somewhat efficient passing game under Mike Glennon. That’s how NC State does most of its damage, though Glennon also has one of the highest interceptions total in the country at 14.
The secondary has struggled at times this season for the Eagles, which may pose an issue if Glennon gets hot, but where the Eagles have truly failed is in their defensive line play. The line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball has been BC’s undoing this year, but the defensive line has perhaps been the bigger culprit. Boston College is dead last in the country in sacks and is second to last behind Central Michigan in tackles for a loss. They have had extreme difficulty stopping the run and they don’t get to the quarterback. There is no quick fix for this, either.
Glennon can probably expect to stand upright for most of the game on Saturday, and if NC State wants to start pounding the rock, this would be the week to try it. If it matters at this point, NC State likely has an advantage here because BC’s defense, despite having some individual talent, is very bad as a unit this year.