2014 Pinstripe Bowl: Boston College Offense Grinding and Pounding

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Nov 1, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Marcus Outlow (7) reacts with wide receiver Charlie Callinan (83) and Boston College Eagles center Andy Gallik (59) after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College Offense: Stat Analysis

On the first page, there was enough upbeat text about the Boston College offense, and then we looked at the stats. Let’s be honest: the Eagles on this side of the football are great at certain individual things, but mediocre overall.

That one thing in particular at which we know the Eagles excel is the run game. At one point, they were in the top five nationally in yards per game with well over 300, but that has dropped back to about 250 and 15th overall. It’s still very good, though not unstoppable as it seemed earlier in the year.

A big part of this has been that committee of five or six rushers, which includes Tyler Murphy and the new dynamic he has added to the Boston College offense. Yet, as always, give credit to the offensive line, which is a veteran group that held up well in run blocking for the most part. Andy Gallik and Bobby Vardaro have been at the forefront of that effort.

Meanwhile, the passing game has been a non-factor for most of the season, though not without a few standout moments. For example, Murphy finding Shakim Phillips for a 49-yard touchdown bomb in the second quarter at Florida State to tie the game. Alston has also done some nice things out of the backfield, and Josh Bordner has occasionally made the big catch.

Boston College Offense: Injury Report

One name we have not seen all season has been Bobby Swigert, the wide receiver who came to Boston College many years ago and has been trying to come back from a knee injury. It is now the last game of the season, and it does not look like we will see Swigert on the field again. It is a shame for a player who, in his first few seasons, was the team’s top receiver.

Another wide receiver, Drew Barksdale, had hamstring surgery earlier in the season and will return in 2015.

The luck was bad for wide receivers, as Harrison Jackson tore his ACL at the end of the spring season and has not appeared for the team in 2014.

Finally, guard Harris Williams was injured in Week 1 against UMass and has been out for the season ever since.

Boston College Offense: Pinstripe Bowl Forecast

The Eagles will have their hands full with the Penn State defense, which as you will see tomorrow has been one of the best in the nation in stopping the run. It’s strength against strength and that is part of the allure of this game.

Expect to see Boston College continuing to mix in the pass and being aggressive in their playcalling. There have been games this year where they have not been, but in most of the quote-unquote big games, they have. This qualifies.