Boston College at Maryland: Maryland Offense vs. BC Defense

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NCAA Football: Florida State at Boston College

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland’s wide receiving corps could be called by some the “walking wounded,” but a lot of them aren’t even walking right now due to unfortunate injuries. Wideouts Stefon Diggs and Deon Long are done for the season, both with broken legs. Tyrek Cheeseboro and Levern Jacobs missed last Saturday’s game against the Virginia Tech Hokies due to concussions, and DeAndre Lane also did not play due to a hamstring injury. Maryland dressed four wide receivers in total, which you already knew is pretty bad.

The loss of Diggs earlier in the year was a monstrous blow. Despite his season ending on October 19 against Wake Forest, he is still Maryland’s leading receiver this year (and was far and away their top receiver last year). As a matter of fact, the Terps’ three top receivers – Diggs, Long, and Jacobs – have all missed playing time. Of those three, Maryland desperately needs Jacobs to return, but at this stage there is no indication as to whether or not he will play against Boston College.

Maryland’s passing game has steeply declined in recent times, though not entirely as a result of injuries. Since the Florida State game on October 5, Terrapins quarterback CJ Brown has not had a passer rating at or above 100, going 54-for-103 (52.4%) in the four games he has played and throwing just one touchdown pass between October and November. Backup Caleb Rowe started for Maryland against Virginia and Clemson.

Brown has run in most of the team’s touchdowns himself, while Brandon Ross leads the team with 585 yards on the ground.

A major flaw in the Terrapins’ offense is their volume of turnovers, which places them near the bottom of the nation. Boston College has been becoming somewhat more opportunistic in that department as of late, though in last week’s game against NC State, the Eagles defense dropped several sure interceptions. Boston College has intercepted eight balls and forced eight fumbles, and in the middle of it all has been Kasim Edebali. The senior defensive end has forced three fumbles, recovered one of them, and also topped his season off with 8.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss. Edebali has more sacks now than the entire Eagles team did last season (6) through twelve games.

Boston College has gotten fine defensive contributions elsewhere on the field, though the statistics themselves might tell somewhat of a different story. The Eagles are last in the ACC in several categories, though that might not be all-revealing. Players such as Kevin Pierre-Louis and Manny Asprilla have stepped up in big moments for this team as they have typically gone in full “bend but don’t break” mode all year. A large part of the reason they bend (and don’t break) is because they blitz often, which has exposed them in certain parts of the field but they have managed to hold strong in the red zone and generate a competent pass rush.

Final Evaluation
Were the Terps at full strength, this would be a more difficult battle. Even so, Maryland’s offense has not been humming along at top speed for quite some time now, averaging only 15.5 points over their last six games. Boston College’s defense has recently made some lousy offenses look relatively good (see: Virginia Tech and New Mexico State) but even at that, it has not usually been enough for the opposing team. The Eagles’ momentum and Maryland’s offensive depletion should give the visitors a slight advantage. Boston College slightly favored

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