BC Defense vs. USC Offense: Gameplan and Matchups
USC now has the good fortune of being able to gameplan around one quarterback rather than flinging the proverbial excrement at indoor partitions and seeing what sticks. We won’t know what that means until we actually see it, given that Kiffin typically operates with his lips tightly sealed. If it looks anything like what the Trojans did last week, however, they’re in trouble.
One criticism leveled at Cody Kessler is that he does not have a big arm, at least compared to Wittek, though it is considered a more accurate one. Maybe the Trojans will surprise all of us by going down field with the home-run ball, but that seems less suited to Kessler’s game. If any football cliche can be used to describe his game, it might be “dink-and-dunk.”
Boston College knows this, as stated by Addazio in his press conference on Monday afternoon, saying of USC’s offense that “they are what they are” and the basics of their gameplan will probably not change. The essentials of Boston College’s defensive gameplan are unlikely to change significantly, either. To date, they have been about as aggressive as any Eagles fan could have wanted. Once again, they’re covering receivers and going after the football, all while mixing in different packages and not simply sticking with the base defense.
If anything, Boston College will seek to be more opportunistic. Addazio has been emphatic in stating the Eagles will not play it safe on Saturday, a feeling which was probably intensified on Saturday night when it dawned on them that they might have a realistic path to victory.
Not much has worked for USC so far, but they do have two very talented players in RB Tre Madden and WR Marqise Lee. Boston College can focus on them all day, but the problem is that despite the overall body of work, USC does have quite a lot of talent on its roster and there are other good players who can hurt the Eagles instead. Still, reducing Madden and Lee’s effectiveness must be a priority. The improving defensive line will be critical in stopping Madden, and defensive backs like Sean Sylvia and Manny Asprilla will be relied upon heavily to stop whatever vertical passing game the Trojans develop.
In essence, Boston College will need to keep USC out of their comfort zone (where they have not been yet this season) and keep things disrupted.
BC Defense vs. USC Offense: Evaluation
The bottom line seems to favor Boston College in this matchup. Still, it might be better to evaluate things somewhat more conservatively. The Eagles have done well on defense so far but this is their first road game in a hostile environment. Further, we do not know what changes the Trojans are adopting after having committed full-time to one quarterback. While it is still very possible that the Eagles defense can do its job and keep Boston College in the game, there are a few too many unknowns about either side relative to this game by itself. Toss-up.