The Boston College Eagles football team enters their first of two 2013 bye weeks coming off of a lopsided loss and two other just-okay performances, following four seasons of unshackled offensive decline.
Please, don’t digest all that good news all at once.
The fact is that the Boston College offense is a work in progress, even with seniors like Chase Rettig, Alex Amidon, and Andre Williams as three key players. Though it may seem hard to believe, the 2013 season for which we waited patiently is already one-quarter over. The data we have is working on a small sample size, but better a small sample size than no sample at all.
First, here’s what the numbers say about the Eagles offense so far:
Those stats are not good. They got worse following the USC game, and if we’re going to be completely honest with ourselves, they’re going to go down again on September 28 when Boston College hosts a Florida State team that has given up 14 points to the Eagles in their last two meetings.
Pay no attention to the last one — red zone conversions — because other 100% teams have many more red zone trips than the Eagles. Putting that aside, the Eagles’ only real standout is in turnovers, where Boston College actually has the best turnover margin in the ACC so far at +5. Boston College has forked it over twice in three games and that’s it, including no times against a stingy USC Trojans defense. They’ve been passable in sacks allowed per game and decent in passer efficiency.
There’s also what our eyes and ears say about the Eagles offense.
This is a team that’s going to run the ground and pound. Andre Williams has been alright and at times the run blocking has been alright, but there have been times when the run game simply has not worked. The yardage compiled is more a function of a high volume of carries than big gains.
In keeping with the offensive line, it has been one of those areas of concern. We are not “O-Line U” anymore and the days of us consistently running linemen into the NFL seem to have passed for the time being. To their credit, they have not gotten Chase Rettig sacked very often, but there have been some issues with blocking in general, which were not surprisingly exposed against USC’s strong defensive line. This group is probably going to struggle throughout the balance of ACC play.
As for receivers, we know what we have in Amidon, but this team is just not going to pass as much as it has in the past. What is perhaps distressing is that the distribution of catches is heavily shaded towards Amidon, adding predictability to an already limited offense. The senior leads the team with 20 catches, and the man in second place with seven, Bobby Wolford, used to be a linebacker. The Eagles’ presumptive #2 receiver, Spiffy Evans, only has two catches while the tight ends combine for three. Boston College is going to be even thinner here when Amidon graduates.
Generally speaking, there is not much firepower here and these results are not greatly surprising given how the offense performed over the last several years. It is going to take both time and a concerted effort to get this unit to improve.