Football

Previewing 2018 Football: Holy Cross

After starting off the season strong with a 34-point blowout win over Massachusetts, Boston College (1-0) is looking for another win against in-state rival Holy Cross (0-1) this Saturday afternoon at home. After a nearly flawless performance from his starters, head coach Steve Addazio has BC fans excited and has optimistic about the road ahead. The season-opening win against UMass—albeit a weak opponent—showed that BC is very capable of being a standout team on both sides of the ball this year.

The Eagles have a tough schedule ahead of them, but they should continue to play strong while they have the opportunity to. Their rivalry with Holy Cross is storied to say the least and should make for an exciting college football environment, even if the product on the field may leave something to be desired.

Who is BC playing?

Holy Cross

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Sep. 8, 1 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra and livestreamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles started out the first half on fire last Saturday, sprinting to a 48-7 halftime lead. BC totaled 455 yards of offense on 55 plays in the opening two quarters, scoring six touchdowns in the first 30 minutes of the game. When all was said and done, the Eagles had racked up 622 yards—the most in Addazio’s six-year tenure.

2) Quarterback Anthony Brown set a new career high with 279 yards and four touchdowns in just the first half of play, finishing an impressive 15-for-21. The redshirt sophomore dialed up a range of passes and even got the ball to a number of tight ends last week, including Ray Marten, Korab Idrizi, Jake Burt, and Hunter Long, all of whom had their hands on the ball at one point.

3) Defensively against UMass, the Eagles piled up six sacks and eight tackles for a loss, all while breaking up six passes. They performed well, obviously, but have to watch out for little mistakes like their slip up with Minutemen wide receiver Andy Isabella, who easily slid past the BC defense, running up the right sideline on a play that eventually led to the lone first-half touchdown.

Holy Cross:

1) Holy Cross had a total of 282 yards of offense against Colgate last Saturday, including 169 yards on the ground. It also picked up 17 first downs.

2) Last Saturday against Colgate, quarterback Emmett Clifford completed 14-of-23 passes for 113 yards. Offensively, Domenic Cozier and Miles Alexander pose the real threat to the Eagles’ defense—Cozier had a total of 108 yards from scrimmage while Alexander rushed the ball 17 times for a career-high 95 yards.

3) On defense, Holy Cross only allowed Colgate 75 yards of total offense and no points in the second half of the game. Senior linebacker Ryan Brady, an anchor for the defense, had a game-high 14 tackles with three for loss. Senior defensive back Corey Stefanik had five tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery on a punt return in the third quarter that gave the Crusaders the best field position of the game.

Last Meeting:

This old-school rivalry is being played for the first in 32 years, but was scheduled back in 2014. The teams have met 82 times overall, with BC leading the all-time series, 48-31-3. The Eagles have won 17 of the last 20 meetings, including their last three home games against the Crusaders.

Outlook:

This game shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the Eagles, especially since they are highly favored, but that doesn’t mean they can write the matchup off. BC can’t afford to get sloppy and make silly mistakes, a week removed from a multi-touchdown blowout. Most of all, the Eagles can’t forget that they have several formidable opponents ahead and therefore need to keep up the same game mentality and live up to their expectations to execute and deliver on the field. They’ll have to maintain possession of the ball, thereby eliminating turnovers—they didn’t commit a single one against the Minutemen.

Additionally, BC will look to utilize the strengths of their key players, particularly on offense with Brown and Dillon. On defense, the Eagles will likely try to pressure Clifford, right from the get-go. If the Eagles play fast and smart on both sides of the ball during the first half, they’ll probably be able to come out with their second easy win of the season. That said, the Eagles still have a lot to improve on within the next couple weeks and can’t take any contest for granted.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor

September 8, 2018
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