Boston College Eagles

Boston College’s Ryan Day joins Philadelphia Eagles staff

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Boston College head  coach Steve Addazio must find a new offensive coordinator as National Signing Day approaches.

After three stints in Chestnut Hill, the Philadelphia Eagles announced former Boston College offensive coordinator Ryan Day will serve as their new quarterbacks coach.

Day served as Boston College’s offensive coordinator during the last two seasons, its wide receivers coach from 2007-11 and a graduate assistant for the 2003-04 seasons.

During his time between those stops, Day squeezed in two stops at Temple, a short stay at Florida under Urban Meyer and even began his coaching career as tight ends coach for Chip Kelly at New Hampshire in 2002.

Day’s experience with Kelly goes beyond a single season as an assistant coach, though. The current coach used to be a record-setting quarterback under Kelly at New Hampshire. He’ll now replace Bill Musgrave as  Kelly’s quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia.

Last season, Boston College finished as the nation’s 14th-best rushing attack. In 2013, Eagles running back Andre Williams was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Whoever steps into Day’s shoes will likely have a strong pedigree in running the football.

Wide receivers coach Todd Fitch previously served as the team’s passing game coordinator alongside Day. He was as an offensive coordinator during previous stops at South Florida and East Carolina. If Addazio decides to promote from within, Fitch is the most likely candidate to replace Day.

(Photo courtesy of Boston College’s athletic department)

Zoned out: Boston College tramples No. 9 USC

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The USC Trojans equipment manager is going to have a hard time getting the cleat marks out of the team’s uniforms after the Boston College Eagles ran all over them.

Boston College ran for an eye-popping 453 yards during its 37-31 victory at Alumni Stadium.

The two teams were a complete reversal from the ones seen during the previous week. Boston College lost to Pitt, and the Eagles were gouged for 303 rushing yards.  USC, meanwhile, toppled Stanford and held the Cardinal to a respectable 128 yards on the ground.

Those previous games helped define Saturday’s contest.

Boston College appeared much more confident on offense and far more sound on defending the run, while USC looked worn down and simply couldn’t hold up against another physical run-first offense.

One of the biggest differences in these contests for USC, particularly in the second half, was an inability to effectively contain the zone read. Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy absolutely gashed the Trojans by making the right read at the mesh point. More often than not, the USC defender being optioned had no clue how to properly defend the play. Murphy had 36 rushing yards through two quarters of play. The senior quarterback finished the game with 191 yards on the ground.

Murphy’s slight of hand in the second half was mesmerizing.

To place into context how dominating Boston College’s performance was, USC totaled 20 rushing yards.

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio also discovered he has a freshman running back in Jon Hilliman who can become the focal point of the team’s rushing attack for the rest of the season. Hilliman had a game high of 19 carries and finished with 89 yards.

The one positive for the Trojans was the play of quarterback Cody Kessler. The junior signal caller was 31-of-41 passing for 317 yards and four touchdowns. Kessler brought USC within six points with 1:18 remaining, but the Trojans defense once again couldn’t stop Boston College’s running game when the game was one the line.

USC will fly cross country and return home battered and bruised. It’s not hard to figure out what USC head coach Steven Sarkisian will be thinking about during the flight, “How can we defend the zone read?”

Boston College runs over No. 9 USC Trojans in first half

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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.

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.

Pitt becomes ACC Coastal contenders with victory over Boston College

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A weird thing happened as the Pitt Panthers dominated the Boston College Eagles Friday night at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers looked capable of winning the ACC Coastal Division during their 30-20 victory.

Three areas of the Panthers’ squad stood out during the impressive performance

First, the team established an identity on offense and his name is James Conner. The sophomore is also establishing himself as one of the top running backs in the nation. Conner ran for 214 yards on 36 carries Friday night. He now has 367 yards through two games. The identity is a reflection of head coach Paul Chryst‘s preference to be a hard-nosed, run-first football program. It’s taken the coach three seasons to mold the roster to his liking, but he now has a 250-pound freight train at running back and a talented offensive line to dominate at the point of attack.

Second, everything may start with the Panthers’ ground game, but they’re not limited to simply running the football. Tyler Boyd is one of college football’s most talented wide receivers. Boyd caught five passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns. The wide receiver also ran the ball twice for 23 yards. Boyd’s presence on the outside helps Pitt stretch the field and provide more space underneath to run the football. When a crucial third-down conversion is required, quarterback Chad Voytik can rely on his top target to make a play.

Finally, the Panthers are talented on special teams. It’s an often overlooked aspect of the game, but the team has complete confidence in sophomore kicker Chris Blewitt, who was 3-for-3 on his field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards against the Eagles. Redshirt freshman Ryan Winslow punted five times during the contest. The Eagles didn’t return a single punt.

The Panthers are also fortunate to have a favorable schedule. Pitt could easily be 5-0 before they reenter ACC play Oct. 4 against the Virginia Cavaliers.

There is a flipside to the Panthers’ success. For the team to live up to raised expectations, it must overcome three areas of concern.

First, Voytik must continue to mature as a passer. Second, the offensive line must remain healthy, which it didn’t do against Boston College. Starting center Artie Rowell injured his leg during the game and was seen wearing a massive knee brace during the second half. And the defense must continue to play at a high level against better competition. The unit has given up 333 yards through two games.

CFT chose Pitt to finish fourth in the ACC’s Coastal Division. We may have underestimated the talent on the Panthers’ roster this season.

Pitt’s James Conner punishes Boston College during first half

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When the Pitt Panthers meet the Boston College Eagles, the two teams aren’t expected to throw the ball often. This year’s meeting is going exactly as planned.

The Panthers lead the Eagles 20-7 through two quarters of play, and the teams combined to throw the ball 24 times for 99 yards. But both teams gained chunks of yardage courtesy of their ground attacks.

It starts with James Conner‘s performance. The Pitt running back already has 130 rushing yards on 15 carries. It’s his sixth 100-yard performance of his career and third-straight effort.

The 250-pound tailback set the tone early with his physical running style and unwillingness to be tackled by the first defender. Conner was aided by stellar play by Pitt’s offensive line, which stymied an aggressive Boston College defensive front. Although, Pitt’s junior center, Artie Rowell, had to leave the game in the second quarter due to an undisclosed injury.

Pitt ran for an impressive 207 yards in the first half.

Boston College countered with 92 rushing yards, but the bulk of their yardage came courtesy of a 51-yard scamper from quarterback Tyler Murphy.

Ironically, both of Pitt’s touchdowns came through the air.

Tyler Boyd already proved he was one of the nation’s premier wide receivers as a freshman. He continues to shine when his team needs him the most. Boyd capped a nine-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown catch to give the Panthers a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. Boyd soared above Boston College’s cornerback to snag the jump ball.

With 18 seconds remaining before the half, Pitt quarterback Chad Voytik found Boyd crossing the middle of the endzone for their second touchdown connection of the night.

In the second half, Pitt has to maintain its strong running attack and solid defensive performance to win. Boston College needs to establish enough of a passing threat to loosen up Pitt’s defense and give Murphy more room to operate.