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The Eagles are coming into 2021 with optimism coming off a 6-5 season where they were very competitive against North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Clemson losing those 3 games by a combined 24 points. They have Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec back at QB for a 2nd year and he threw for 2,558 yards with 17 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. The defense needs to make improvements and only 6 starters return and that will be the key to a good season.
Offense: It is always a plus when you can build an offense around an experienced QB and BC has that luxury with returning starter Phil Jurkovec. He is coming off an outstanding 2020 and should only get better in year two at Chestnut Hill. He has All-ACC receiver Zay Flowers to get the ball to after catching 56 passes for 892 yards and 9 TD’s last season. The Eagles need to find a running back but all 5 starters return on the offensive line including All-ACC center Alec Lindstrom. The pieces are there for a very good offense.
Defense: Defensively, Boston College showed forward progress in 2020, but strides need to be made if they are going to be in the hunt for another winning season. The strength on this side of the ball appears to be the secondary which features 2 lockdown corners and solid players at the safety positions. 2 starters return upfront and new players need to emerge at the other positions. And then there is the linebacking core which looks like BC’s biggest question mark. There is very little experience and converted safety Kam Arnold and Temple transfer Isaiah Graham-Mobley as well as others have got to step up.
Non Conference Schedule:
9/11 at UMass
9/18 at Temple
These 4 games are all winnable and if the Eagles can sweep them they will be 4-0 heading to Clemson in week 5 full of momentum. Colgate and UMass are must-wins and the trip to Temple is a game they really need to get. The Missouri game at Chestnut Hill is one of those 50/50 games that can make or break a season. In short, this schedule is a big key for success.
10/2 at Clemson
10/16 NC State
10/23 at Louisville
10/30 at Syracuse
11/5 Va Tech
11/13 at Georgia Tech
11/20 Florida State
11/27 Wake Forest
The conference schedule is friendly for the Eagles as they dodge both Miami and North Carolina from the other division. They have weaker teams In Louisville, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech on the road and they are all winnable. Key home games include Va Tech, Florida State, and Wake Forest. They go to Clemson and they aren’t going to beat them anyway and they have a key home game with NC State in October that could decide 2nd place in the Atlantic Division.
Summary: There are a lot of things to like about this team. The offense looks solid and the schedule is about as good as it can get to make a run at 2nd in the Atlantic. The defense has a lot of question marks and can they be answered? Time will tell. I really want to pick them higher but I just am not sure they can win all the games that they are capable of. Still, this could be a sleeper team in the ACC.
Predicted Finish: 4th place in the Atlantic Division
Overall Record: 7-5
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