NC State (4-2) will kickoff against Boston College (3-3) in a couple of hours at Noon, but before they do, here’s a preview of the Golden Eagles.
NC State might lead the ACC in Run Defense, but they haven’t faced Junior Running Back A.J. Dillon yet. Dillon (6’0″/245) is a force of nature. He’s rushed for 745 yards through 6 games (6 touchdowns), and has rushed for 100+ yards in 4 consecutive games. He’s the ACC rushing leader, and ranks 5th nationally.
The Wolfpack was lucky in 2018, and didn’t have to deal with Dillon due to injury, but did face him during his Freshman campaign in 2017. NC State found a way to beat BC, despite allowing Dillon to rush for 196 yards on his home turf.
Dillon isn’t invincible. He has been contained before, but those times have been few and far between. Syracuse, Clemson and Purdue were the only schools to keep Dillon under 66.7 yards (NC State’s Run Defense Average) in 2018. No one has done so through 6 games this year.
Dillon isn’t the only Running Threat
Unfortunately for the Pack, Dillon isn’t all that the Golden Eagles running game has to offer. While he averages 124.2 yards rushing per game, the team averages an insane 253.2.
Sophomore David Bailey has 329 yards rushing, which is only 25 yards less than NC State’s leading rusher, Zonovan Knight.
Freshman Wide Receiver Zay Flowers is versatile, and has rushed the ball 16 times for 168 yards, for an average of 10.1 yards per carry.
QB Anthony Brown is OUT…Dennis Grosel is IN…
Boston College averages more yards rushing than passing, but they have been far from inefficient through the air. Redshirt Junior Anthony Brown’s Passing Efficiency Rating of 154.5 ranks 4th in the ACC.
Unfortunately for Brown and BC, but fortunately for NC State, Brown won’t be playing today after suffering a season ending knee injury in the 2nd quarter of their game against Louisville.
Instead, the Wolfpack will face Redshirt Sophomore Dennis Grosel has only completed 38.7% of his passes (12/31).
Don’t Sleep on BC’s Receivers
While BC averages more rushing yards (253.2) than receiving yards (235), the Golden Eagles have more touchdown receptions than rushing touchdowns (14/12). Senior Tight End Korab Idrizi has 4 of the 14.
The yards they tend to get through the air can be explosive, with five 50+ yard pass plays in their belt, ranking 8th nationally. Freshman Zay Flowers has been a difference maker from the get-go, averaging 19.4 yards per reception. Redshirt Sophomore Hunter Long leads the team in receptions (15) and receiving yards (277), but more impressively he is averaging 18.5 yards per catch as a Tight End.
Boston College’s offense is explosive. They rank 2nd in the ACC in Total Offense (488.2), and they tend to get it in chunks. The Golden Eagles have the 2nd most “explosive” plays in the ACC, with 19 plays of 30+ yards, which also ranks 13th nationally. They are averaging 14.8 yards per completion, which ranks 2nd in the ACC and 12th nationally.
This will be the best offense NC State has played this year, but one has to think they won’t be as effective or explosive without starting Quarterback Anthony Brown.
BC has been known for their quality offensive linemen over the years, and 2019 is no different. Despite having 3 new starters on the line, the Golden Eagles rank 1st in the nation in sacks allowed per game (0.5), and their rushing offense ranks 9th.
NC State has racked up 8 sacks in each of the past two games, but they haven’t faced a line like BC’s all season long.
How is Boston College 3-3 with such an explosive offense?
Opposing offenses tend to be explosive against the Golden Eagle Defense.
Boston College boasts the worst defense in the ACC, giving up an average of 476.2 yards per game. Giving up close to 500 yards of offense per game is insanity. They are pretty much equally bad at stopping both the run game and the passing game.
Opponents are averaging 191.8 yards on the ground (13th in ACC), and 284.3 through the air (13th in ACC).
On paper, NC State’s Freshmen duo of Zonovan Knight and Jordan Houston should have a field day. On paper, today should be a confidence builder for Wolfpack Quarterback Bailey Hockman, and maybe Devin Leary.