BTP: Boston College has had a bit of an awakening late in the season, with three straight wins against Louisville, Virginia and FSU. What in your mind is the reasoning behind this three game winning streak?
AJB: There are a few things that have helped Boston College improve over this streak. One, the offensive game calling has drastically improved. Before this streak BC was what we at BCI call heavy on the #RRPP (run, run, pass, punt), but offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler has come alive with some creative play calls. We have seen half back passes, jet sweeps and other big chunk plays that BC hadn't had when they were losing. But some of this also has to do with the incredible turn around by the offensive line. Chris Lindstrom, Ben Petrula, John Phillips and Aaron Monteiro are all suddenly playing like a unit, and opening holes. Getting points and sustaining drives has helped BC's defense get off the field, and BC has been scoring points.
BTP: NC State is coming off two difficult games against Notre Dame and Clemson, and Boston College is coming off of a bye week on top of their three game win streak. In addition, Chestnut Hill has been a bit of a house of horrors for all NC State athletics lately. What do you think makes Chestnut Hill a tough place to play?
AJB: I don't know what has got in NC State's head about Alumni Stadium but it really hasn't been a difficult place for other ACC teams. In fact before BC beat FSU two weeks ago, the Eagles hadn't won an ACC home game since 2014. When it gets rocking though, Alumni can get loud due to it's set up. I've heard from opposing players and teams that the sound stays low and makes it hard for opposing teams.
BTP: Who is one player on the Wolfpack offense that gives you the most concern? How about on the defense?
AJB: Jaylen Samuels definitely concerns me. A speed back with good hands could give BC problems especially if Ryan Finley can hit him with some short passes up the middle. Finley doesn't concern me as much because BC has done a nice job handling pro style QB's and Kelvin Harmon should be bracketed by some talented BC defensive backs. Samuels though, I'm not sure BC has an answer for him. On defense, obviously I am going to say Bradley Chubb. In an early question I said BC's offensive line has improved, Chubb is going to be the biggest test they have faced all year. A talented edge rusher, he definitely scares me.
BTP: Is there a player on BC that may be doesn't receive as much press as they should, but is equally important to a victory? If so, who is that player and why?
AJB: 4* RB A.J. Dillon is getting a lot of the press for his Andre Williams-esque running style, but I think in terms of under the radar the big name to watch out for is tight end Tommy Sweeney. He has really blossomed as a physical running tight end with good hands and has been Anthony Brown's most reliable target. Plus his play has opened the run because opposing defenses can't just stack the box and key in on the run. His play certainly has been a major reason BC has turned around.
BTP: What's the general feeling around the fan base about Steve Addazio these days?
AJB: BC fans are happy right now after the last three wins but still remain skeptical about Addazio. While it has been amazing to see the team transform from a plodding offensively inept disaster to a well-oiled machine, many still are waiting for what they feel is an inevitable return to earth. The next three game for Boston College are enormous, if they can finish 8-4 and make a solid tier 1 ACC bowl, I think fans will finally get back on board with Addazio.
BTP: Any major injuries to report?
AJB: There is a big one worth watching, All American defensive end Harold Landry. He missed the Florida State game with what I believe is a foot issue. Addazio has held him out of practice this week, and has said that his status for Saturday is unknown. If I were a betting man, I bet he plays but will be on a snap count.
BTP: Let's get a prediction - who wins Saturday?
AJB: During this entire run of huge wins I have picked against BC every week, so to keep the juju running I'll pick NC State to win 24-17.
Many thanks again to AJ for taking the time to answer our questions. You can see my answers to his questions over on BC Interruption!