Q&A with the Boston Globe’s BC beat writer Julian Benbow

first_imgSyracuse (8-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) and Boston College (7-4, 2-3) enter Saturday’s matchup following losses. The Eagles most recently lost at Florida State, 22-21, while the Orange were dismantled by No. 3 Notre Dame, 36-3 at Yankee Stadium. Before kickoff at noon on Saturday, The Boston Globe’s Boston College beat writer Julian Benbow answered a few questions for The Daily Orange. The Daily Orange: What kind happened in the FSU game? What led to the loss? Julian Benbow: Oh man BC is still asking themselves that a week later and so is the fan base. I think you can point to a lot of breakdowns in the first half, first-and-goal from the two, a couple penalties, missed kick, throw an interception right outside the red zone so they cost themselves a couple opportunities there. But you can really point to in theory it was 2:45 left in the fourth quarter, you know, they have to make a decision with the fourth and one whether the go for it or punt which, you know it’s  situation Addazio been in a few times most notably in Dublin against Georgia Tech a couple years ago. It’s a coach’s nightmare really if it goes wrong either way, you look terrible. So you just open to either and it’s sort of a referendum on what type of coach whether you’re going to be an aggressive coach or whether you’re going to kind of like play by the numbers. Addazio played by the numbers and punted it away. He said hey kick the ball to them and they’ll get on the 13 and we’ll trust that defense which is logical because they have a very good defense and that’s very long way to go on the football field. Three plays later everything goes wrong. They were in quarters I guess they were pressed and Francois was looking for that route all game finally got it 74-yard touchdown. It wasn’t the greatest look for BC and none of them took it very easy that’s probably the most sour I’ve seen those guys after a game this year. The D.O.: What have you seen from AJ Dillon in his second season and what does he bring to the offense? AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJ.B: At full strength he brings an ability that few  running backs in the country have. Since about the fourth week of the season, or whenever the Temple game was he hasn’t been at full strength. He’s been battling the ankle situation, he’s still been able to be productive. I think he’s the first BC running back to have a thousand yards in his first two seasons. But they’ll be moments like last week where you see him limp off the field. Or they’ll be moments when they just have  to kind of navigate cautiously around how much the ankle injury is affecting him and limiting him. He’s been kind of practicing sparingly since it happened. But he’s still been able to be productive and he’s been more productive as a weeks have gone on. But I think they’re most just trying to get the end of the season get him some rest before the bowl game, get him close to full strength. And then it will take something like an entire offseason to kind of not have to worry about the ankle.  But yeah he had big ambitions this year and I think that on some level he still proved that he was one of the elite really running backs in the country, but the ankle kind of put a snag into that. The D.O.: What’s stood out on the defensive side of the ball?J.B: I think obviously standout players. Like Zach Allen is going to be a problem. He’s a playmaker. He’s quick off the edge. He can rush. He can get his hands up, knock some passes down. `Like I think that’s probably yhe most versatile playmaker on that defense. I think the secondary is kind of what everybody looks at as well just because I mean obviously the number of interceptions and turnovers they’ve forced but  just across the board they’re kind of havoc makers or whatever. Some of them can kind of chase big plays, chase home run plays but they’re all pretty unselfish. They’re all pretty unselfish they don’t like anything more than a tip drill. If one guy makes a play the other guy can’t wait…They have not given up a ton of chunk plays. And they’ve gotten the offense out of some sticky spots. Not that Anthony Brown has been throwing a ton of interceptions I think he’s thrown about seven on the season. But in those situations that he has they’ve kind of been able to make sure that those turnovers haven’t led to a ton of points which is impressive. The D.O.: Is there a role player on BC Syracuse fans might not know before the game but will know his name during and after the game? J.B: I think guys know Tommy Sweeney. Those tight ends, all of them, are kind of the glue on that offense. They’re kind of the oil to the machine. They use them in so many different ways, in the passing game and blocking game. Especially in that tempo like you’ll see like two guys out there and they’ll be on the field for an entire 12-play seven minute drive, no breaks or whatever because they like to stay in the same formation. Like playing Madden a little bit you know like stay the same formation for 12 straight plays and hope you can’t figure out what we’re doing. So that unit for sure and they’ll be games this year where Brown’s completed passes to like 11 different targets six of them tight ends. So I think if you see those numbers that’s when you know the offense is kind of clicking. Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 24, 2018 at 8:01 amcenter_img Commentslast_img

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