Finally, we are approaching the matchup that the entire college football world has been waiting for--the duel between former Florida Gators quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Tyler Murphy. Both have had significant impacts on their new teams, in drastically different ways. While Brissett has made NC State's passing game dangerous, Murphy's mobility has made Boston College's running game more dynamic.
The Eagles took a mostly straightforward approach in 2013, content to smash the life out of opponents with Andre Williams. This season they've introduced a little sleight of hand in taking advantage of Murphy's wheels, and the results are every bit as good.
Through five games, Murphy leads his team with 579 yards on the ground, which is an average of nearly 116 yards per contest. He's third in the ACC in rushing yardage behind only James Conner and Duke Johnson, and to put his success in perspective, he has 109 more rushing yards than Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas.
This ain't your grampa Chase Rettig's offense any longer.
|BC Offense||Pass Attempts/G||Rush Attempts/G||Pass%||Rush%||Yds/Pass Att.||Yds/Rush||Pass Yds/G
(Pass%/Rush% -- percentage of total snaps that were pass plays or running plays)
Despite a more stagnant passing game overall--Murphy has been significantly less efficient than Rettig was last year--the Eagles' ground game is more productive, and the team ranks sixth nationally in rushing offense. They are calling running plays seven out of every 10 snaps, and why the heck not? Can't argue with the results.
It's interesting how much Murphy's role has changed in Chestnut Hill, and for that the BC staff deserves a lot of credit. He ran the ball only 61 times in nine games with Florida in 2013, managing exactly one yard per carry. The SEC was not what one would call stout on the defensive side in 2013--only two of UF's eight opponents ranked in the top 35 in defensive S&P+. So it wasn't necessarily that the Gators were shying away from runs out of fear; Florida just didn't have any imagination.
He already has 71 carries in 2014, more than doubling his attempts per game over 2013. What the Eagles have shown rather embarrassingly to Florida is that the Gators glossed over a component of Murphy's game that could have made their offense somewhat more palatable. Instead it was one of the nation's greatest jeer production devices.
Murphy probably isn't missing that situation much.