The Boston College Defense: A Look At The Statistics

A.J. Black

Before the season started there was concern about Boston College's defense. They had graduated seven seniors, which left the Eagles with a new lineup filled with inexperienced underclassmen to fill the slots left behind by major contributors like Zach Allen and Will Harris. Now that the Eagles are halfway through the season it is clear that those worries have bloomed into full fledged problems for Steve Addazio's squad. Clearly the loss of Allen and Wyatt Ray have resulted in a decline in play on the defensive line, and the secondary continues to struggle in coverage, but how bad is it? Let's look at the statistics after the first half of the season:

Rushing Yards Allowed: 104th in the country, in 2018 Boston College was 53rd. This season the Eagles have allowed 191 yards per game up 40 yards since last season. 

Notes: The Eagles have allowed 200 yards in rushing in three out of six games, with Wake Forest just missing out at 197. 

Passing Yards Allowed: 115th in the country, last season the Eagles were 93rd. This season the Eagles have allowed 284 yards per game up 37 yards per game. If you take out the Richmond game, a team that mostly ran the ball, BC has allowed 311 yards per game in 2019. 

Notes: The Eagles have allowed 300+ yard games three out of six games. 

Total Yards Allowed: 118th in the country, last season Boston College was 70th. This season the Eagles have allowed 476 yards per game, up 74 yards from last year. 

Sacks:  120th in the country, with five total sacks. At this point last season BC had 18 sacks. 

Interceptions: 8 interceptions, at this point last season Boston College had 10. 

Third Down: 119th in the country allowing 48.5% of conversions, up 70 spots after last season when the Eagles allowed 37.37% 

Final Analysis: The defense has become a major liability this season as the statistics and our eyes have shown. While much of this could be attributed to graduation and players heading to to the NFL, some of this has to be on the coaching as well. The Eagles struggles on third down have a lot to do with personnel and schemes put together by the coaching.  This year they lack the play makers of years past, and miss players like Wyatt Ray and Zach Allen who could be disruptive throughout a game. The injury to Isaiah McDuffie also has been an issue, as he could be a veteran leader and playmaker, but his return might not move the needle that much in terms of production. 

Boston College has faced what should have been the easier part of their schedule, and the difficulty will only increase over the final six games as they have more efficient and productive offenses coming up. If the Eagles can't figure out how to get more pressure on the quarterback and get off the field on third down, they are going to continue to struggle and the road back to a bowl will become very difficult.