Boston College Football Concerns: Legitimate, But Not Panic Time


There were legitimate Boston College football concerns arising from Friday night’s defeat to the Pittsburgh Panthers, but don’t jump off Gasson yet.

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The Eagles’ defeat was eye-opening, and not in any sort of good way. Most reasonable fans could have accepted a loss in this contest — in fact, we penciled it in as a loss preseason but changed our minds at the last minute, for all the good it did us. Yet, there is a substantial difference between a well-played defeat (see: Florida State, 2013) and what happened on Friday. The final score was not indicative of Boston College’s true performance.

Boston College played their worst home game of the Addazio era to date, and there has to be some accountability. First, it is necessary to take stock of the deficiencies which were on full display at Alumni Stadium.

Boston College Football Concerns, #1: Passing Game

Tyler Murphy was not mediocre throwing the football: he was bad. He owned up to it and that is respectable, but there is no excuse for missing that many open receivers. Furthermore, he had a little bit of that Dave Shinskie quality to him as he passed, in that nobody, even he, knew where the ball was going to go.

It is also clear that Murphy’s receiving corps is thin. Shakim Phillips showed some ability but the Eagles are starting from scratch here.

Prior to the season, with the run game being the key focus, our hope was that Boston College passing game could be serviceable, or at a bare minimum irrelevant and hidden by a successful rushing game. Friday night showed that it can in fact be a huge liability for this team.

Boston College Football Concerns, #2: No Tackles

James Conner is a big guy and he has talent; nobody can take those things away from him. Boston College also let him and his teammates get the extra yardage all night.

The Eagles defense missed tackles left, right, and center against Pitt, and it is not like this is news to Eagles fans. This is a basic football principle but Boston College’s defense could not figure out their problems.

It is of concern because most of the Eagles’ competition will be closer to Pitt’s level, not UMass like Week 1, and Pitt did not let Boston College get away with it. What could have been two or three-yard gains routinely became seven or eight, which means longer defensive drives and points allowed.

Boston College Football Concerns, #3: One-Dimensionality

Everybody knows Boston College’s offense is one-dimensional, but with Andre Williams in the backfield, it did not matter. With a few notable exceptions, the Eagles were able to keep it moving on the ground last year.

Here, with the full knowledge that Boston College has no viable passing offense, what do the Eagles do if they can’t run the football? Pitt kept them frustrated and won battles at the line of scrimmage against the Eagles’ veteran offensive line. It is now more evident than ever that if the opponent shuts down the Eagles’ run, they’ve shut down the Eagles.

In spite of these Boston College football concerns, there are still ten games to play in the season. USC will go predictably but the Eagles will beat Maine to even up at 2-2. With all of these issues now out in the open, Boston College will have some extra impetus to work on solving them, if they can.