Boston College Eagles — 2016 Syracuse Football preview

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Syracuse defeated BC last season

As we countdown to kickoff in September, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each week over the summer. SU will continue its 2016 ACC schedule when it plays Boston College on Oct. 22.

OFFENSIVE OFFENSE: Boston College boasted one of the best defenses in the NCAA last season, finishing 11th in overall defense at 324.2 yards allowed per game. The Eagles also held opponents to just 21.3 points per game (21st) and 5.13 yards per play. That should put in perspective how bad the offense was in a dismal 3-9 season. BC finished 83rd in overall offense with 26.2 points per game, mostly because it struggled to throw the ball (129.3 passing yards per game, 122nd in the NCAA). That led to former Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler taking over for Todd Fitch, BC’s third offensive coordinator in the past four seasons.

» Related: Virginia Tech Hokies — 2016 Syracuse Football preview

WHO TO WATCH FOR: Kentucky graduate transfer Patrick Towels will likely be the starter this season, though Darius Wade and John Fadule both started in 2015. Towels started 22 consecutive games for the Wildcats before being benched in favor of a redshirt freshman. He’s thrown for 5,099 passing yards and 24 touchdowns during his career. Defensive coordinator Don Brown left to take the same position at Michigan, but his replacement, Jim Reid, has plenty of talent in his unit. Keep an eye out for senior linebacker Matt Milano, who is on the preseason watch lists for the Butkus and Chuck Bednarik Awards. Last season, he he led the Eagles with 17.5 tackles TFL and 6.5 sacks. Junior defensive end Harold Landry notched 4.5 sacks and 15.5 TFLs in 2015.

PREDICTION: This game, like many BC/Syracuse games in the past, will likely be a competitive game to the final whistle, matching Orange’s uptempo offense against the Eagles’ stingy defense. It could be the key to bowl games for both teams in 2016. SYRACUSE 21BOSTON COLLEGE 17.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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