A little bit of yuletide football discussion on Christmas Eve as the Eagles prepare for the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl, to be played in just one week against Arizona.
All year, preview articles have focused on offenses and defenses, but it’s about time that the @BC_UNIT gets some attention.
Boston College special teams this year are made up of a number of different players, but right now, the face of the unit is senior kicker and punter Nate Freese. When ex-punter Gerald Levano graduated, instead of making Alex Howell the regular punter, the coaches decided to let Freese quite literally do all the kicking. In 2013, he has place-kicked and punted, with good results.
Freese’s top moment of 2013 so far has been the game-winner as time expired against Maryland. The rest of his games haven’t been half-bad, either: he made all but one of his 40 extra-point attempts, but connected on all 18 of his field goal tries with a season-long of 52 yards. As far as his punting goes, he averaged 42 yards each, only five yards behind the ACC leader. It has been a highly productive season for the Eagle about to play in his final game.
With regards to the rest of the unit, it’s hard to quantify performances sometimes when there are few individual statistics and the only metrics which can be used are often return yards. Since we’re on that topic, let’s go there: the Eagles had very little semblance of a punt return game this season, as the fair-catch wave was the typical signal given. Spiffy Evans was the leading punt returner with just 13 of them for 154 total yards.
The only real highlight for the kick returns was a 98-yard touchdown by Myles Willis against New Mexico State. Even so, Willis came up with 660 total yards of field position, further increasing his value to the team as a roleplayer.
Otherwise, as one might expect, the results were up and down, with great moments like the Willis touchdown and low points like the blocked extra point for a Maryland two-point conversion. The good news is that their opponents, the Arizona Wildcats (featured December 26), have fewer kick return yards combined that Willis does himself and have been plagued by some kicking inaccuracy. Advantage Eagles, perhaps?