The USC Trojans appear to be experiencing jet lag after flying across the country to face the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass. USC trails Boston College 20-17 at halftime.
Boston College played to its strengths, while a weakness within the Trojans’ defense has been exposed.
The Eagles are a run-first program. The entire identity of the team is built around being physical at the line of scrimmage and running down hill. It was able to do so against the Trojans. Boston College accumulated an impressive 197 rushing yards through two quarters of play.
USC held Stanford to 3.4 yards per carry. Boston College averaging 8.2 at halftime, leads 20-17.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 14, 2014
And the Eagles haven’t simply relied on a single workhorse to gain all of the yards as they did a year ago with Andre Williams in the backfield. Sophomore Myles White serves as the traditional tailback, and he leads the team with 65 yards on five carries.
Boston College has also been able to exploit a lack of discipline on the edges of USC’s defense. Diminutive wide receiver Sherman Alston has carried the ball twice for 59 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown on a reverse with 1:27 remaining in the first half.
The Eagles also have one of the top running quarterbacks in college football with senior Tyler Murphy. Murphy can exploit a defense if he’s not asked to be a consistent passer. The signal caller added 36 rushing yards.
USC has been able to move the ball through the air with 170 passing yards, but the Trojans’ inability to stop the run and ineffectiveness running the football makes it difficult to play against a hard-nosed Boston College team. If the Trojans want to maintain their national ranking and status, they’ll have to tighten up on defense while trying to establish something on the ground in the second half.