Syracuse Football: A 5 question sit down with the enemy

Nov 28, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Jeff Smith (5) breaks away for a long run with Syracuse Orange safety Antwan Cordy (8) in pursuit during the third quarter of a game at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse football team has to quickly come back down to Earth after their magical win over the Hokies. To set us up we have a special guest to help break it all down.

Every week we try to find someone from the opposition who is playing the Syracuse football team. Well this week was no different as we found an intelligent and willing volunteer.

A.J Black is the lead football reporter for BC Interruption, SBNation’s Boston College blog. He regularly contributes about the Eagles news, analysis and recruiting info. You can follow him on Twitter @BCHysteria.

This game is so important for both teams and for very different reasons. While Syracuse is coming off one of their biggest wins in recent program history, they need to follow that up with a win.

While for Boston College, they need a win in the worst of ways. It’s been a year and a half since they’ve won an ACC game and pressure is mounting. So without further adieu lets get right into the interrogation.

Sep 24, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Wagner Seahawks wide receiver Keith Foster (9) gets tackled by Boston College Eagles defensive back Isaac Yiadom (20) during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Paul A. Esden Jr: Boston College is known for its defense and ranks No. 4 in the country nationally, giving up only 253 yards per game. Are they equipped to slow down this high-octane Orange offense?

AJ Black:

“I really worry about Boston College’s defense against an offense like Syracuse. What we have seen so far from BC is their struggles against teams that like to push the tempo (Clemson and VT). When teams are quicker to the line of scrimmage, defensive coordinator Jim Reid struggles to get his personnel in, and instead of attacking with their blitzes, BC goes into a soft zone, which good offenses have picked apart. BC had a bye week, so hopefully Addazio and Co. have figured out a way to address this, but given his inability to adjust in the past, I think Syracuse will move the ball with no problem.”

Sep 10, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Boston College head coach Steve Addazio looks on during the second half of Boston College

Paul A. Esden Jr: This seems like a very pivotal game for both teams for a variety of reasons, but specifically for head coach Steve Addazio. He hasn’t won a game in the ACC in a year and a half and with a loss here, could see their season spiral out of control. Can you speak to the importance of this contest?

AJ Black:

“This game is huge for Addazio. Early this week I wrote about this very topic for BC Interruption and the implications.”

Syracuse Week: This Game Means Everything

“While if Addazio loses this game, his job could very well be in jeopardy, as Syracuse could be the last winnable ACC game on the schedule for the Eagles. And honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Addazio is canned on Sunday, especially if BC isn’t competitive. This isn’t based on anything I’ve heard, but just a gut feeling I have about the program. If BC loses on Sunday, I would expect them to finish off in a tailspin, going either 4-8 or 3-9, and major changes occurring on the Heights.”

Oct 1, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Myles Willis (23) runs the ball while Buffalo Bulls linebacker Jarrett Franklin (36) pursues during the second half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Paul A. Esden Jr: Who’s the x-factor in this game for the Eagles on offense and defense? Who should Syracuse keep an eye on that could cause some issues?

AJ Black:

“There are a few X-factors that could make some big plays for the Eagles. The first is wide receiver Jeff Smith. While Orange fans may remember him as the starting QB in the season finale last year, well he changed positions this off-season and the WR role has been a pretty good fit for him. He’s very fast, and makes plays in open space, but suffers from a case of the drops. However, he may be a guy that rips a big play for the Eagles. The other guy to watch out for is RB Davon Jones. A redshirt freshman, Jones has proven to be the most reliable back in a backfield that has struggled all season.”
“On defense, watch out for Harold Landry, defensive end. The junior is definitely NFL ready, and makes plays against elite ACC talent. A talented pass rusher, he is 4th in the country in sacks and I could see him having a big game against a pass happy Syracuse team.”

Oct 15, 2016; Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Paul A. Esden Jr: While I’m sure you’ve seen the viral post-game locker room speech from Dino Babers, what’d you make of it? Also we have a seven game sample size of Babers and his offense, are you impressed? And how’d you originally feel about the hire for the Orange and has that opinion at all changed?

AJ Black:

“I watched that whole game on Saturday to do a little scouting, and I have to say that I am very impressed with what Babers has been able to do. While I am a big fan of tempo offenses in college, I really hate the style BC plays (it really doesn’t work unless you have top end OL talent which they don’t), and Babers has been able to turn lemons into lemonade.”

“Plus the way he talked to his team after the game was pretty darn inspirational, but I don’t buy too much into that, I remember some of the post games in 2013/14 with Addazio and I felt the same way then too, that’s what winning does. I’m not going to completely buy in on Babers just yet, it’s been too small of a sample size, and while the VT game certainly showed where this team can go, I have to remember they also got absolutely pasted by a bad Notre Dame team. While I’m leaning towards it’s a good/great hire, just need to see a few more games.”

Nov 28, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; : Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Paul A. Esden Jr: The loser of this game could very well end up in the cellar of the ACC so a lot on the line here. So quite simply who wins and why on Saturday?

AJ Black:

“Not buying BC at all in this one. I think the offense is too inconsistent to put up the points needed and the defense will again be exposed. While I think Syracuse routs the Eagles 34-10, and the Eagles go into a complete tailspin.”

While a huge shout-out is in order to AJ for stepping into the Loud House to share his thoughts on the upcoming game. Make sure for all the latest you follow him on Twitter (@BCHysteria) and for the latest on BC follow (BC Interruption).

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