Just like Christmas, the Quick Lane Bowl is rapidly approaching, and we here at Testudo Times are scrambling to prepare. The Terps play Boston College at 2:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The game is in Detroit, but we can all watch from somewhere warm.
To get to know the Eagles a little better, we brought in A.J. Black from our SB Nation friends at BC Interruption. Thanks to A.J. for taking the time. You can check out our corresponding Q&A here.
Testudo Times: BC turned 3-9 into 6-6 just like Maryland. What went right for the Eagles this season?
BC Interruption: This sounds kind of Negative Nancy here but I'm going to say the reason BC won 6 games is because of the schedule they created. Putting together an out of conference schedule of Buffalo, UMass, UConn and Wagner is not exactly a murderer's row and even the weakest P5 teams can win those games. That being said the defense did a nice job against NC State and Wake Forest, and Patrick Towles and the offense did just enough to win those games.
TT: The stats show that BC's defense is one of the nation's best, while the offense is one of the worst. What does the team do best on the defensive side and wrong when it has the ball?
BCI: I am one of those who believe the defensive stats are a bit misleading. As I said before those six games BC won, the defense played really well, but against the elite ACC teams they got steamrolled averaging almost 50 points a game allowed. I think they are a good defense, just not elite. Harold Landry, BC's All-ACC defensive end, is a beast, and probably will be on an NFL team in the next year or two. They have some talent as well in the linebacking corps, as Matt Milano, Connor Strachan and Ty Schwab make up a good [trio], specifically against the run. Secondary isn't bad, they made some big plays this year (sealing wins against both NC State/Wake Forest with game ending INTs), but they are prone to mistakes both in terms of penalties and allowing big plays.
TT: The Eagles seem to have a deep backfield, with plenty of players getting carries but no stars. Who's the one guy Terps fans should watch out for?
BCI: If you asked me this question at the beginning of the year I would have said 4-star running back, red shirt sophomore Jon Hilliman. But he just doesn't seem right this year, and may still be recovering from a devastating year end injury that derailed his 2015 campaign. Now I would say to watch out for red shirt freshman Davon Jones. He seems to be the running back Steve Addazio trusts the most, and is the most consistent of the group. He has a decent burst, and can shed tackles, but when BC relies to heavily on the run defenses tee off on him.
TT: Similarly, who's going to be the key player on defense?
BCI: As mentioned before I would say Harold Landry. He led the ACC with 15 sacks this year, and made plays against good teams and poor teams. If Maryland wants to move the ball, containing Landry is going to have to be the priority.
TT: What would it mean for this program to end the year with a win and a 7-6 record?
BCI: For the team itself it would be huge, as Addazio had said that he wanted to make this team bowl eligible and win that bowl. The Eagles haven't won a bowl game in 9 years, so it would mean a lot to the team not only in the locker room but on the recruiting trail as well. Recruits are noticing that BC has turned themselves around, and coupling that with a new indoor practice facility that will be built soon, and Addazio should have some momentum heading into the offseason. For fans, this doesn't mean all that much, we watched the team play painfully inconsistent all season, and need to see Addazio and Co. put together a full season with a functional offense before we buy in again.
TT: Complete this sentence: _____ will win because ______.
BCI: Boston College will win because their defense will hold Maryland in check and BC's offense will do just enough to win an ugly ugly game.