Rich Lapham. Thomas Claiborne. Emmett Cleary. Anthony Castonzo.
These four returning lineman anchor the Boston College offense and are the foundation to the team's success. With the help of new starting center Nathan Richman, they will be needed more than ever if BC hopes to take down the ACC Atlantic.
Whether it be giving Shinskie that extra second to make a decision or creating an opening for Montel Harris to explode through, the O-line is integral to the team's success. That's what makes the Kent State game so baffling. Against a much smaller defensive line, these five behemoths struggled. Even potential first round pick Anthony Castonzo looked overwhelmed.
In 13 games last season, Dave Shinskie was sacked a mere 14 times. A previously unheard of running back exploded for almost 1500 yards. This is a massive offensive line that is on average a little over 6'6 and 305 pounds. They compare very favorably to many NFL lines, and should be able to steamroll their opposition. Their ability to control the line of scrimmage is crucial. If they are able to do their jobs, everything can start falling into place. The running game will thrive. Receivers will have more time to get open. Opposing schools will be forced to send pressure from other places and the Eagles coaching staff will be able to exploit the openings created.
Despite being over a week away, the Virginia Tech game will be a terrific barometer for this offensive line. Even with an unexplainable loss to James Madison, Tech is scary as they start a large and athletic front four. If the Eagles line can contain them, they can contain almost anybody in the ACC.