The Northern Illinois Huskies will take on the nation's toughest defense this week when they play the Boston College Eagles. We reached out to our friends at BC Interruption to help break down the upcoming game.
First I'd like to thank A.J. Black for participating. You can find him on twitter @BCHysteria and his contributions can be found throughout BC Interruption.
Hustlebelt: BC's offense has mostly relied on it's run game this season but you just lost your starting quarterback. Will that have any impact on your play? And who do you think will/should start, Troy Flutie or Jeff Smith?
BC Interruption: I think the loss of starting quarterback Darius Wade will definitely have an impact on BC's offense. Wade had the most experience at the position, however I think Jeff Smith and Flutie will be acceptable options. Flutie (nephew of Doug) has a strong arm, but according to reports has been pretty hot/cold at practice. There really isn't a lot out on Smith right now, he is very fast and apparently has a great arm, but he's a true freshmen. I imagine both QB's will play on Saturday, Addazio said as much in his weekly press conference.
HB: The Huskies defense has played pretty well against the run but has been known to give up big plays against the pass. Do you see Boston College continuing to run the ball or trying to exploit the Huskies secondary?
BCI: I really doubt BC is going to pass the ball much on Saturday. They haven't done it much this year, and with two new QB's in the mix I expect that Steve Addazio will probably keep it conservative. Look for running backs Marcus Outlow, Myles Wilis and Jon Hilliman to be the feature backs in this offense.
HB: The Eagles defense has barely given up any yards, or points, this season. Is there a weakness to this team? And what defensive players do NIU fans need to keep an eye out for?
The defense has played out of their minds so far this season. Mind you, two of those games were against Howard and Maine. However they still looked very strong against FSU last weekend, only allowing seven points. If there was a weakness, I would have to say it would be the young secondary, who has been very good so far, but is for the most part untested. Look for big defensive tackles Connor Wujciak and Truman "War Daddy" Gutapfel to cause havoc up the middle, and sophomore defensive end Harold Landry who leads the nation in tackles for loss.
HB: Both NIU and Boston College are coming off of close games against top-10 teams. What's the atmosphere like in BC locker room after such a game and heading into the NIU game?
BC players were pretty upset after the game, because it seemed like they knew they let an opportunity slip away. But I have to say Addazio has the guys prepared for NIU, a team he clearly doesn't take lightly. They are going to want a win, badly.
HB: Huskies fans fully believe this is a game they can win. How do BC fans see this game going?
Depends on which BC fans you ask. For some reason last weekend's loss to FSU brought out a lot of doom and gloom from a sizable portion of the fanbase. Many think that the offense is permanently broken, and that this season is lost. I personally don't get this mindset, but most of the fans think that BC's defense is going to keep them in every game this season.
HB: Finally, what does BC have to do to avoid the home loss to NIU?
They can't turn over the ball, and most importantly they have to string together some effective drives. Last Friday against FSU, BC went three and out far too often. They have to move the sticks and put points on the board. Seems like a simplistic way of looking at it, but BC struggled mightily with it last week.