Boston College at Northwestern: 5 Big Questions

5 of 5

1. How will Northwestern test this BC defense?

This is the part that worries me. Northwestern isn’t exactly Stanford circa last year on that side of the football, but they do move it. BC has only played one game against a team worth a damn (and Miami doesn’t look too good, anyway), and the defense faltered. Last week, they gave up only three points which were gift-wrapped for them, but it was a semi-flat effort in which BC didn’t even have to try that hard to do better.

Northwestern runs the ball effectively, and BC has had issues stopping it. With no disrespect intended, the defensive line has not played well as a group and the front seven in general is missing something (and they’re never getting back that thing they’re missing — it starts with an “L” and ends with an “uke Kuechly”). BC has to make do with what it’s got, but the run defense looks like it’s pointing downward early this year. Northwestern, a team that has rushed 86 times and passed 63 this year, will probably have a gameplan that emphasizes grinding BC down at the line of scrimmage and nickel-and-diming this team to death. And, of course, Kain Colter can scramble for gains if necessary.

The Wildcats don’t pass the ball a ton, but when they do, they’re somewhat effective. Their two quarterbacks combined have numbers that pale in comparison to Chase Rettig, but the completion percentage is good enough and they don’t turn the ball over. Our secondary has to be sharp.