2014 Pinstripe Bowl: Boston College Defense Greatly Improved

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Sep 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Maine quarterback Drew Belcher (14) is swarmed by Boston College linebacker Josh Keyes (25), defensive lineman Brian Mihalik (99), defensive end Kevin Kavalec (93) and defensive lineman Noa Merritt (94) during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College defense is capable of going toe to toe with Penn State and helping lead the Eagles to victory at the Pinstripe Bowl.

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While the epiphanies of Tyler Murphy and the stable of underclassman running backs has been appropriated a great deal of credit for the team’s return to a bowl game this season, the success of the defense is more prominent and more understated.

In the first year under defensive coordinator Don Brown in 2013, lament was the prevalent emotion of the Boston College football fanbase. Succinctly, lament over why the defense did not perform that well under a coordinator claimed to be highly-touted.

The problem was, as the ancient proverb goes, that it is not easy to make chicken salad out of chicken (solid waste). The Boston College defense suffered in 2013, but not in 2014, as it is much better than it had been, and is much closer to the level of success that we came to expect from great Eagles teams in the past.

Almost regardless of category, Boston College has made strides defensively. In a moment, we examine just what those areas are.

On December 27, this unit will match up against a very bad Penn State offense. While they do have some vulnerabilities, is it reasonable to expect that the BC defense will dominate when they are on the field? Furthermore, can Boston College ride its defense all the way to victory in this season’s final game?

Boston College Defense: Statistical Analysis

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