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The Picasso of the QB pressure: Harold Landry is a sack artist

 

Boston College won its first ACC football game since the 2014 season when it upset NC State in Raleigh last month. Despite that victory, though, 2016 has been a trying year for the Eagles.

The offense has mustered just 18.2 points per game, and Steve Addazio’s record at the school has plummeted to 21-27 as rumors regarding his job security have swirled. He has just nine ACC wins in four seasons.

There has been one bright spot amid the fog, however: defensive end Harold Landry.

The junior pass-rusher who hails from North Carolina has sacked quarterbacks 11 times in just 10 games this season — tied for the most in the ACC. That total also ranks third nationally. His 15 tackles for loss have pushed opposing offenses back a total of negative-100 yards this season; he’s the only player in the conference to have caused an entire football field of lost yardage.

This didn’t all come out of nowhere, either. Landry was solid as a sophomore — 60 tackles, 3.5 sacks — for a Boston College defense that ranked No. 1 nationally in 2015 in terms of yards given up per game (254.3).

This year has been more challenging for the Eagles on that side of the ball, though. Boston College is giving up 77.6 more yards per game in 2016. After allowing just 15.3 points per game in 2015, BC’s opponents have scored 28.1 points per game this fall — two touchdowns more than last season (15.3).

However, this isn’t because of Landry or the defensive line. According to Football Study Hall, Boston College ranks second nationally in defensive line havoc rate; the Eagles are recording a tackle for loss, forcing a fumble or defending a pass on 9.6 percent of their plays. The national average is five percent. This is a major credit to Landry.

The ACC is stacked at the defensive end position, but Landry has made as good of a case as any for why he deserves first-team All-ACC status, even if he plays for a team with a losing record. Landry is a junior, which means he could depart to the NFL following this season.