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Grading the Boston College Defense vs. Texas State

Looking at Boston College's defense and handing out grades
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Boston College completed a fourth quarter comeback on Saturday evening, defeating a pesky Texas State team 24-21. The Eagles scored ten points in just over a minute in the final moments of the game, capped by a 36 yard field goal by kicker Aaron Boumerhi. We’ve broken the game down in many ways, and now it’s time to hand out grades, beginning with the defense.

(Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed. We did the best we could to evaluate what was visible. Also for grading: A: Great Game, B:Good Game, C: Average Game D: Below Average F: Poor Game)

Coaching: B-.  The defense again was in place to make plays the whole game. Head coach Jeff Hafley talked about how impressed he was with Tem Lukabu's play calling, and I have to agree. Probably could have dialed up pressure a little more often, but in the end it was his play calling that got the offense in the position to win the game. Given how long some of those drives went on for, thought it was a victory they only allowed 21 points. 

Marcus Valdez: B-. Quieter game for Valdez, hard to see on the broadcast but have to imagine he was being focused on in pass protection. Had one tackle for loss, but no sacks in the game. 

Chibueze Onwuka: C. Thought the middle of the line had a few more lapses this game than they did against Duke. Runs up the middle mixed in with RPO kept them guessing. The transfer wasn't as impactful as he was against Duke.

Luc Bequette: C+. Much more involved in the game today, handful of tackles. Had an offsides penalty late in the game. 

Shittah Sillah: B+. Last week we mentioned that the young defensive end needs to have a bigger game, and that is exactly what he did, landing his first sack of the year. 

Max Roberts: A. He is getting a strong grade for a few reasons. One, I had just assumed that a transfer from Maine wouldn't make that big of a difference, and he played VERY well. Secondly, the speed and explosiveness of this defensive end was something to watch. BC needs a pass rusher to line up opposite Valdez, it looks like they found one. 

Isaiah McDuffie: B. The linebacker came alive in the fourth quarter with some big plays, including a big tackle of 3rd and 1. However his grade was lowered because he definitely plays better coming downhill. When he was in space he got burned a few times, the good definitely outweighed the bad, but he still had moments of uneven play.

Max Richardson: B+. Richardson does what he does, and it was just another game where he was near the top of the stat sheets for the Eagles.

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Kam Arnold: A. You throw a true freshman in due to injury, and he makes the stop of the game? Gets a strong grade from me. He is impressive, a long player who looks like he could have a long future in the BC secondary

Josh DeBerry: B. Quickly growing into one of the most talented defensive backs on the team. Tipped the pass that led to Mike Palmer's 70 yard interception return. However, he dropped an interception throw right at his number. If he catches that pass, the complexion of this game changes drastically.

Elijah Jones: B. Overall I thought the secondary played a solid game. On the outside they stuck with their wide receiver and gave very tight windows for Brady McBride to get passes in. Jones had a big pass break up late in the game. 

Jason Maitre: B. Got called for a pass interference call late in the game, and I believe it was Maitre that was in coverage on the catch that Hafley was furious there was no OPI called. 

Mike Palmer: B+. Interception he grabbed was a gift from Josh DeBerry. At this point we know what we get with Palmer, and he hasn't seemed so out of place like he did last year. 

Brandon Sebastian: C. Got juked out of his shoes on one of the touchdown catches. It was a tough open field tackle, and he didn't make it.  Quieter game out of the junior.

Brandon Barlow: A- Recorded his first sack of the season. 

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