Maryland vs. Boston College Preview


Nov 16, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Andre Williams (44) carries the ball for a touchdown against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the fourth quarter at Alumni Stadium. Boston College Eagles won 38-21. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Teams: Boston College (6-4, 3-3) vs. Maryland (6-4, 2-4)

The Site: Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium

The Time: 3:30 PM

TV, Radio, Internet: CSN, ESPN980, ESPN3

The Coaches: Steve Addazio (19-11, 3-3) and Randy Edsall (86-92, 5-17)

Meeting the Opposition:

You can’t talk about Boston College without discussing running back Andre Williams. The NCAA rushing leader, Andre Williams has amassed 1,810 yards this season. His bruising, large frame averages 6.3 yards-per-carry. It’s evident that he is the key to the Eagles’ offense. Questioning his Heisman candidacy, Edsall knows “there’s no secret to what [the defense has] got to do this coming week.” Behind a healthy, big offensive line, Williams will make defenses pay for not wrapping up. Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart has a big task at hand to say the least.

Quarterback Chase Rettig, who ranks fifth in the ACC in quarterback efficiency, is a fifth-year senior leading the Eagles attack. A quarterback that can get the job done, he has had some inconsistency in his years as a starter. However, he has the accuracy to make defenders regret staking the box. Although Boston College relies heavily on the run, expect a lot of play-action.

Senior defensive end Kasim Edebali is currently third in the ACC in sacks and leads Boston College defense that has not met expectations this year. The defense ranks 114th in the nation in passing yards allowed (276.6 yards/game) but 49th in rushing yards allowed (152.4 yards/game). Boston College may have difficulty stopping the Maryland read option, but the defense has a big test coming up.

Key Questions and Storylines

Can Maryland stop Andre Williams?

This is the biggest question of them all. Maryland ranks 30th in the country in rushing yards allowed, giving up just 139.8 yards a game. Andre Williams averages 181 yards a game. Something has got to give. With the Terps’ leading tackler Cole Farrand out for the game, the Terps will need sophomore Abner Logan to step in and make his presence felt. The defensive line is going up against an offensive line resembling Syracuse, which caused a problem for the defense. If Maryland can keep Williams under 150 yards, the Terps will force Boston College to throw more. That will be the key to this game.

Can C.J. Brown repeat his ground game VT success this week?

On the ground, C.J. Brown had his most efficient game this year, running for 122 yards at two touchdowns on 22 carries against Virginia Tech last week. In the air, Brown had a mediocre game. But it’s the threat that makes defenses play honest. Boston College is the worst pass defense the Terps have faced thus far. I expect Brown to utilize his weapons more and provide a more pass-heavy offense.

Can the offensive line hold up?

Against arguably the best defensive line in college football, the offensive line allowed just three sacks. With freshman offensive tackle Moise LaRose ruled out for the game, the offensive line was able to shuffle once more, but this time did a much better job protecting Brown. Take away the level of competition, the offensive line will make-or-break the offensive cohesion.

The Terrapins will win if

  • Andre Williams can be contained…to an extent
  • C.J. Brown can get the receivers involved

The Terrapins will lose if

  • Andre Williams goes off, rushing for over 200 yards
  • The offensive line breaks down, forcing Brown to make mistakes and take sacks