Boston College four down preview: Louisville Cardinals (2-2) @ Boston College Eagles (1-3)

Photo – ESPN

Kickoff: It can’t get much worse, right? After an embarrassing loss to Florida State on the road last week, the Eagles come home as anywhere between 15-17 point underdogs to the Cardinals. It’s a fair statement as to where BC is at right now and how little home field advantage matters at Alumni.

First down: If the Eagles are going to have any chance whatsoever, they’ve got to slow down Louisville’s play making QB Malik Cunningham. Cunningham is a dual threat QB – better than Jordan Travis was last week for FSU – and can beat BC multiple ways. Ideally, if you need to pick one, you make him beat you with his arm, so not over pursuing and open field tackling when he gets loose will be imperative.

Second down: On the other side, BC desperately needs to run the ball (I know, I know, we say it every week) if they have any chance. The offensive line is what it is and Phil Jurkovec is going to get pressured no matter what. If the running game can finally get going and help keep Malik off the field, there’s a chance here.

Third down: BC absolutely cannot let things continue to snowball like they have been. While morale is high around the program still, the effort against Florida State was putrid. Once one thing went wrong, everything went wrong and that simply can’t be the case this week. The home fan base is a fickle one as it is, and if there’s a similar snowball factor like last weekend, that place will be empty by halftime.

Fourth down: You’d like to think that this offense will figure it out eventually, but it can’t just be one or two guys. BC needs to rely on playmakers like Zay Flowers, Jaelen Gill, Jaden Williams, Joe Griffin and others to go up and get the ball against Louisvlle’s defense. These guys are talented enough to go up and rip the ball away from defenders or out run guys, so the more they have the ball in their hands the better. It’s just a matter of giving Phil enough time to get the ball out to the dangerous weapons the Eagles still have.

Extra point: Louisville is turnover prone more than any other team BC plays this season. Ball hawking and stripping while tackling to the ground could be a way to get momentum going for BC, especially if this is a close game. The Cardinals have plenty of fumble issues, so turnovers could (and should) play a huge roll if BC is going to pull this one out.

Final drive: Don’t quit on this team yet BC fans. As bleak as it looks right now, there’s still way too much talent on this team for BC to just roll over and die. This team is also in no position to look ahead to Clemson and the red bandana game next weekend, so that won’t be a factor. Alumni doesn’t provide the best home field advantage, but the Eagles can absolutely use any support they get this weekend. 2-3 heading into the game against the Tigers looks and sounds a whole hell of a lot better than 1-4.