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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Boston College's defense used to air attacks this season

By Steve Yanda

Opposing offenses like to pass the ball against Boston College. A lot. As in, only two Division 1-A teams in the nation that have played 10 games* this season have faced more pass attempts than the Boston College defense. The Eagles are allowing 231.5 passing yards per game, which ranks No. 10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

*Two teams have faced as many (Auburn) or more (Baylor) pass attempts this season, but those squads have played 11 games. Assuming Virginia passes the ball more than twice Saturday -- a pretty safe bet -- it's not really fair to say opposing teams have attacked Auburn and Baylor through the air quite as aggressively as they have Texas Tech (398 pass attempts against), Boston College (400), Texas A&M (426) and Oklahoma State (426).

This is relevant for a Virginia offense that has been pretty effective pass the ball this season. Fifth-year senior quarterback Marc Verica has thrown for more than 200 yards in seven games this season. Virginia's passing offense (266.9 ypg) ranks No. 25 in the nation and No. 2 in the ACC. On Saturday, Kris Burd (686) and Dontrelle Inman (654) could become the first wide receivers in program history to each record more than 700 receiving yards in the same season.

But -- you knew there would be one, right? -- despite being under heavy attack through the air, Boston College's defense is tied for first in the nation with 17 interceptions. Junior cornerback Donnie Fletcher leads the Eagles with five interceptions, while sophomore strong safety Jim Noel has collected four picks of his own.

Only Duke quarterback Sean Renfree has thrown more interceptions than Verica (12) among ACC signal callers this season. Renfree did not throw an interception in 49 pass attempts Saturday during a 21-16 loss to Boston College.

By Steve Yanda  | November 18, 2010; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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BC has the nation's number 1 rushing defense. So what other option is there but to toss it up?

Posted by: blist | November 20, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

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