BC hosts struggling Louisville possibly without Dillon again
BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Steve Addazio made a minor change on the depth chart last season.
It’s had a major impact on the Eagles’ offense with star running back AJ Dillon’s playing time halted after a left ankle injury two weeks ago.
Dillon went down early in the third quarter of a victory over Temple on Sept. 29. So Addazio went with redshirt junior receiver-turned-running back Ben Glines, who carried the ball for 120 yards on 23 carries. In last week’s loss at then-No. 23 North Carolina State, he ran for 90 yards.
Glines may be needed to lead the ground game again this week when the Eagles (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) host Louisville (2-4, 0-3) on Saturday. Addazio said Dillon is still a “game-time” decision. The ACC preseason player of the year didn’t travel with the team last weekend.
“Coach Addazio initially pulled me into his office at the end of last season, going into the spring, and had a conversation with me about still playing receiver, but taking some reps at running back,” Glines said. “I was more than happy to do that. I’ve been playing running back since I first started playing football when I was in the second grade. It’s kind of a natural feeling when I’m back there and I feel confident.”
And Glines may get a lot of chances, too.
The Cardinals are coming in off an embarrassing 66-31 loss at home to Georgia Tech, where they allowed 542 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns.
“Obviously, our challenge is to be able to defend their running game and play-action game that they do real well,” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said.
Here’s what else to look for when the teams meet at Alumni Stadium:
GLAD HE’S GONE
BC will be facing a different looking Louisville offense after 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson left for the NFL following his junior season.
“Obviously, everyone in the league is happy Lamar is not there anymore,” Eagles senior linebacker Conor Strachan said.
Two years ago, in the Cardinals’ last visit to The Heights, Jackson threw for four TDs and ran for three in the Cardinals’ 52-7 rout.
BC will be wearing throwback uniforms from its days of 1984 Heisman winner Doug Flutie for its Homecoming game. The ‘Flutie Era’ is best remembered for his ‘Hail Mary’ pass that beat Miami on the road and the school’s 1985 victory over Houston in the Cotton Bowl.
THEY’LL MISS HIM
If Dillon doesn’t play for the second straight week, BC’s offense will likely need more than just Glines’ production. In his last 12 games, Dillon is averaging 159 yards per game, including a career-best 272 and four TDs in a 45-42 upset at Louisville last season.
“We’re planning with and without him,” Addazio said.
In their last game, the Cardinals’ defense gave up a score all eight times Georgia Tech’s offense was on the field, leading to the second-most yards allowed on the ground in school history.
“We played tentative,” Petrino said. “We didn’t have the guys running to the ball from the backside like you need to, to get people to the ball. For some reason, our mindset was not like it needs to be.”
Louisville has lost three straight.
BC looks to go 4-0 at home for the first time since winning its first six in 2009.
AP Sports Writer Gary B. Graves in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.