Watercooler discussion points as Boston College comes home with victory #1.
With a 30-7 victory over UMass behind them, Boston College now heads to an abbreviated week of practice before hosting the Pittsburgh Panthers:
-Both BC and Pittsburgh will be dealing with injury woes this week. The Eagles lost their first player to medical woes when starting right guard Harris Williams sustained an apparent ankle injury. Williams was helped to the sideline by the Boston College training staff, was carted to the locker room, and did not return. Head coach Steve Addazio noted Williams is looking at an extended absence.
-This would be a big blow to the Boston College offensive line and to Williams. After establishing himself as a huge presence on the BC line last year, starting every game, he's now been injured for the second time in three years. He only played in two games as a sophomore after appearing in nine games as a redshirt freshman (he broke a foot in preseason training). If he does miss the rest of the season, it's possible he would be eligible for a medical redshirt having met the criteria (injury in first four games of season, season-ending, before second half of season, having not competed in 30% of season or three contests).
-Despite this, BC at least has depth at the offensive line position, even though only two guys now on the line played significant time last year. The Eagles turned to Aaron Kramer, a player who appeared in nine games last season after playing in three in each of the two seasons before that. Kramer will be serviceable in the BC scheme, but any time a player goes down, the depth gets stretched thin. I felt a whole lot better knowing there was a grad student who played last year behind Williams than I do today. As AJ mentioned, count on more freshmen being added to the two-deep. One or two more injuries and BC could be in trouble.
-During the Panthers' 62-0 liquefaction of Delaware, Pittsburgh lost wide receiver Tyler Boyd to a dislocated finger. A true sophomore, Boyd's already established himself as a premier player in the ACC. He returned a punt 35 yards to set up the first Pitt touchdown, then added another receiving as the floodgates opened. Boyd was injured while returning a punt later in the game and didn't return.
-It's unlikely Boyd will miss Friday's game even with the injury. It wasn't a severe dislocation, and he likely came out of the game for good because Panthers were taking the Blue Hens out back and bludgeoning them. But it's noteworthy because it could limit the All-American candidate's ability to come down with the football
-If Boyd is limited, that will help the Boston College defense. We never want to see a player go down injured, especially one with as bright a future as this one. But we can't help but think that Manny Asprilla will see one-on-one coverage against a guy who is ridiculously dynamic. If he's limited in any way, shape or form, that helps BC.
-Even if Boyd is limited, though, don't count out a bunch of guys who had good performances. The running game for Pitt completely eviscerated Delaware to the tune of 409 yards. They only had 92 yards passing, but for what it's worth, the Panthers also had a 42-0 halftime lead. I highly doubt they were going to air out up by that many points.
-One way BC can limit the Pitt offense on Saturday will be to hold the ball and run the clock. They held the ball for nearly three full quarters worth of game clock (42:11) and only punted once. That punt came late in the fourth quarter after the issue was no longer in doubt. BC finished with 338 rushing yards and 511 total yards on 88 plays.
-Tyler Murphy will draw accolades left and right for this one, and he rightfully should. The transfer graduate student became the first Eagle signal caller of the 21st century with 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. It was the first 100-yard rushing game of his career, including his time spent at Florida.
-Total yards on Saturday: Tyler Murphy 291. UMass 202 (77 of which came on one play).
-Total rushing yards on Saturday: Tyler Murphy 118. Tyler Rouse 87. Myles Willis 57. UMass 55. Jon Hilliman 43.
-Josh Bordner will get the love for his long touchdown reception, but Dan Crimmins had as almost as many receptions (seven) as UMass had completed passes (nine). Seven catches for 52 yards gives BC a possession receiver to go along with the big body of the converted QB.
-Subtracting the one touchdown pass to him, Tajae Sharpe finished with one catch for 23 yards. Only one receiver besides Sharpe had more than one catch - Jamal Wilson, who had two catches for 14 yards.
-BC's next two opponents scored a combined 114 points in their opening games. Pittsburgh dropped 62 on Delaware, while USC scored