BC Offense vs. USC Defense: Gameplan and Matchups
Boston College under Steve Addazio and Ryan Day has given this offense an identity as being a smashmouth, power football team that runs the rock and runs it some more. To this point, it has worked.
It probably will not against USC.
Granted, the Trojans weren’t exactly facing Bo Jackson in Weeks 1 and 2, but they held the two opponents to 30 total yards (including yardage lost from 11 sacks) on 53 carries. Even if you take out the plays that resulted in sacks, it’s still ugly for Hawaii and Washington State.
Given how their defense has looked in general, Boston College can’t give the ball to Andre Williams 35 times and expect to win. Phil Steele picked USC as having the second-best defensive line in FBS and they are living up to that billing so far. Our offensive line has been alright at times, but this isn’t Villanova or Wake Forest they’re facing. It will be hard for them to open up gaps, and when they do, it won’t be hard for USC’s talent to shoot through them. A run-heavy gameplan looks like it will be messy.
This week, we are going to get to see how adaptable the offensive coaches are. Steve Addazio said in yesterday’s press conference that he is aware of how good USC’s run defense is and that running against them like they were playing Wake Forest would be futile. He stressed the need for offensive creativity, so now, we get the chance to see what they mean.
A balanced attack might work, especially if BC goes back to the play action. The Eagles have to run the ball steadily to keep the Trojans honest and ensure a slower tempo, if they can get first downs doing it, but as for the bigger gains, it will be on Rettig to get them.
I’m reminded of how Boston College played Florida State in 2011. They were going against one of the nation’s top run defenses, and what did the Eagles do? They ran at almost a 3:1 ratio and averaged less than two and a half yards per carry. Again, luckily, Steve Addazio stated in his press conference that he recognized this cannot be the case, so we may have dodged this difficulty.
BC Offense vs. USC Defense: Evaluation
This is a tough draw for Boston College. USC’s defense is the better of their two primary units and it’s not even close. It is one of the better defenses in the country to start 2013, and on paper, it should be. Boston College’s offense is trying to rebound from four years of hideous decline and they’re still learning.
Boston College’s offense is going to have to play a clean, disciplined game to win. This means not turning it over, not taking bad penalties, and not dropping catchable balls, amongst other things. Short of that, it looks like it could be a frustrating afternoon for the maroon and gold. USC favored.