Chestnut Hill, Mass. – The Boston College defense recorded 10 tackles for a loss, including three sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries in the team’s second scrimmage of preseason camp, held in Alumni Stadium on Saturday morning.
After giving up two touchdowns on back-to- back drives to start the morning, including an 80-yard score on the first play from sophomore running back Jon Hilliman, the defense found its groove and didn’t look back as it continued to bring the pressure shown over the first two weeks of preseason camp.
[callout2]“As a defense, we pride ourselves in trying to turn the ball over. That’s one of our keys to victory, to win the turnover battle,” said senior defensive lineman Connor Wujciak. “As a defense, we’re trying to do that and create more opportunities for our offense to get the ball and get down the field and score.”[/callout2]
On the defensive side of the ball, 10 tackles for a loss were logged, including two from Wujciak and fellow lineman freshman Ray Smith. Junior defensive back John Johnson, freshman defensive end Wyatt Ray tallied sacks, while sophomore linebacker Ty Schwab and junior defensive lineman Truman Gutapfel combined for one.
In addition to interior play of the defense, the Eagles secondary turned in noteworthy performances as freshman linebacker Tanner Karafa and sophomore defensive backs Gabriel McClary and Kamrin Moore notched interceptions. McClary returned his pick 24 yards.
Although the defense continued to be the strong point for Boston College, it stressed there was a lot of work to still be done before the regular season begins.
Wujciak, speaking on behalf of the defense, stated, “Everything looks good for now, but we’re not where we need to be. Preseason is not over. We’ve got about two weeks until Maine and we have to keep on going.”
Head coach Steve Addazio said the defense helped prepare the offense for what the Eagles will see once games are live.
“I want to put pressure on the young offense to learn how to deal with it. It’s probably overwhelming for them now to have that many different styles of blitzes going on for them. It’ll help us down the road.
Regardless of that pressure, Addazio stated the offense must continue to improve.
“Our quarterback play has to get better and has to be more consistent,” Addazio said. “Darius [Wade] has to be more comfortable being under center.”
In addition to Hilliman’s run to start the game, the offensive play was highlighted by sophomore wide receiver Sherman Alston’s 39-yard touchdown on a jet sweep and a 49-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Jeff Smith to classmate wide receiver Chase Pankey. In the final quarter, sophomore quarterback Darius Wade found the end zone on an 18-yard quarterback keeper, cutting to the outside of the line and getting a few key blocks in the process.
The Eagles are scheduled to have one more scrimmage in the final two weeks of preseason camp before they take the field in the season opener against Maine on Sept. 5.