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Dillon, Brown Leading BC

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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They will lead an offense, for the Eagles, fit with high expectations ahead of this fall.

Known for dominant players at the line of scrimmage, Boston College enters the 2019 season with a different distinction: one of the best offensive backfields in the country. Returning as experienced upperclassmen, the combination of running back A.J. Dillon and quarterback Anthony Brown stands as an premier tandem nationally. They will lead an offense, for the Eagles, fit with high expectations ahead of this fall.

Boston College, in the aforementioned, is one of just four Power Five programs, joining Clemson, Georgia and Oregon, returning a quarterback with at least 20 passing touchdowns and a running back with at least ten.

With 2,697 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns in two years, Dillon is putting together a career for the record books. Just now a junior, the All-American candidate is college football's active rushing leader. Should current trends continue for two more seasons, Dillon will very much challenge Ted Brown's all-time ACC rushing record of 4,602 yards. Among other performances, a 272-yard, four-touchdown showcase at Louisville in 2017, a contest where Dillon went highlight-for-highlight with Lamar Jackson, is on Dillon's resume. He already has a dozen 115-yard games.

Since mid-October of his freshman year, Dillon has been largely unstoppable. In his last 17 outings, not counting two contests missed due to injury, Dillon has run 438 times for 2,364 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry and 139.1 yards per game. He has 22 touchdowns in that span as well. A major focal point and workhorse for Boston College, the Eagles are 9-2 when Dillon runs for a minimum of 120 yards, the two losses coming by one score each.

The continued emergence of Brown brought balance to the Boston College attack. Really bursting onto the national scene with 304 yards and five touchdowns on 16-of-25 completions in a win at Wake Forest, Brown found his stride against league competition through the middle of last season. He finished with the most passing touchdowns in a year for the Eagles, with 20, since Matt Ryan. Stabilizing the quarterback position, Brown, who threw for 548 yards in the Eagles' final two games, brings a downfield element to Boston College's offensive philosophy.

Brown's full-scale production was quite well-rounded last fall as he tossed 20 touchdown passes, ran for a score against Miami and even caught a touchdown versus Temple. He was one of just three quarterbacks in the nation with such versatility, a distinction held by, among others, Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Josh Allen in 2016.  

Though without some of the national attention of some other quarterback-running back pairings, Brown and Dillon give Boston College a notable mix of experience and production in the offensive backfield. Even after four players were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, and three in the top 81 picks, that foundation is a strong one for the Eagles to build on entering this season.

Fresh off 21 wins in three years, Boston College is ready for more success. The offensive backfield is where it all starts.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports