Through the half-way point of Boston College football’s season, those who have observed this team both this year and for the past several can point to a few improvements the offense has made. Regardless of that, the Eagles are still 1-5 and heading for a rocky crash landing, save for across-the-board improvements. This week, the Eagles face a Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defense that has had its share of problems over the course of the year.
At this point in 2011, the Eagles were near the FBS basement in just about every offensive category of note. This year, they are closer to average over the first six games of the season, though the numbers themselves are not that pretty. After the Miami game, Boston College looked to have found something on that side of the football, but ever since the start of the year, the offensive stats have been in a general backslide.
Boston College is now just 79th (out of 124) in FBS in total offense with 384.67 yards per game; the Florida State debacle produced 225. The Eagles are also only 86th in scoring offense at 24.67 points per game, which is about 5.5 points better than last season. As a team, BC is also near the bottom in third-down conversions (114th) and red zone conversions (T-106th).
Chase Rettig’s passer rating has also begun sliding down since the junior quarterback had an impressive start to the 2012 season. He is personally ranked 70th in the nation now with a 128.33 rating, with Florida State’s fierce pass rush knocking his in-game numbers well off of his typical performances.
Meanwhile, BC’s rushing offense remains very bad, despite having had its expected breakthrough against Army. The Eagles are now 113th out of 124 in terms of rush yards per game with just a little over 100. Rolandan Finch and Tahj Kimble have been hermetically sealed in Frank Spaziani’s doghouse, along with WR Colin Larmond, Jr., while Andre Williams now gets the bulk of the carries.
Georgia Tech’s defense will line up across from the Eagles, and if one can say anything about their season so far, it’s that it has been eventful. They, like BC, can hold an FCS team to a field goal, but then also get killed by non-AQ schools. The Jackets have given up no fewer than 42 points in each of their last three games, losing to Miami, Middle Tennessee State, and Clemson. That loss to MTSU was their most embarrassing of the year, as GT got blown out at home by the Blue Raiders.
The Yellow Jackets are 91st in total defense at 431 yards per game and 85th in scoring defense at 30.17 points allowed per game. They’re alright on defense in the red zone, T-51st, but awful on third downs at 107th. Finally, Georgia Tech has gained one more turnover than they’ve lost, so not terrible there.
Georgia Tech runs a base 3-4 defense with 2 seniors starting on their defensive line, but no senior starters of their four linebackers. Their secondary is relatively experienced with all upperclassmen, but experience does not necessarily mean good performances.
This matchup looks like it’s about a wash. These units are in similar places relative to other offenses or defenses in FBS, and both have had their successes and failures. The Eagles will no doubt be able to score a fair number of points, but as with most games this year, the more pressing issue is how many they will allow.