Penn State vs. Boston College: 5 Pinstripe Bowl Questions With Joe Micik of Soaring to Glory

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Sep 13, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Jon Hilliman (32) scores a touchdown after avoiding a tackle by Southern California Trojans guard Damien Mama (51) during the second quarter at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports


Penn State vs. Boston College: Question #4

VBR: Is it accurate to say that the Boston College offense is fairly one-dimensional? Clearly, the running game is the key to the offense. If the Eagles were to fall behind early by a large margin, do you think they have a passing game that’s effective enough to put up points if the run game has to be abandoned?

JM: That’s accurate.  It just so happens that Boston College is good at that one dimension.

When the Eagles lost Andre Williams in the offseason, many in the media piled on us, not knowing how the program could possibly recover from lacking a Heisman Trophy finalist.  What we knew is that the stable of running backs who would be on the team this season were very good.  Jon Hilliman, Marcus Outlow, and Sherm Alston being added to Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse have combined to have very good years, but a key component of all of this is the strong play of the offensive line.  Much was made of the Eagles having five fifth-year seniors up front; one became injured, but this is still a very veteran unit that is strong in run blocking.

Boston College and offensive coordinator Ryan Day have tried to open up the passing game lately.  It has been met with mixed results.  At times, Tyler Murphy has shown some nice touch on his passes, but when there are problems, it is typically one of two things: 1) his receivers drop passes that hit them in both hands, or 2) he tries to do too much and forces a pass somewhere it does not belong, resulting in a brutal interception.  One or both of these things will happen at least once in the Pinstripe Bowl.

If it came down to BC having to win the game through the air, it probably would not turn out well, but even at that, do not expect Boston College to abandon the run at any point, even if the game is getting away from them.  It would at best be a mixture of passes and runs.  They do their best offensive work running the football and that probably is not going to change now.  There is a better chance of the Eagles breaking off a 25-yard run than hitting on a 25-yard pass play.  I say this in full knowledge of the fact that the Nittany Lions have a very good run defense — I still trust the run more in this game, as in every other game.

Next: Question #3