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Boston College’s Tackling Tandem

By BJ Bennett
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Max Richardson and Isaiah McDuffie are college football's top tackling tandem.

Linebacker play is a tried and true tradition at Boston College, especially in recent years. Names like Luke Kuechly, Mark Herzlich and Kevin Pierre-Louis have starred over the last decade-plus, helping to set a high standard the Eagles have worked hard to maintain. First year head coach Jeff Hafley, formerly the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State, has added to that mindset. Five games into his tenure, Boston College ranks in the top five in the ACC in scoring defense.

Linebacker play is a big reason why. Remarkably, veterans Max Richardson and Isaiah McDuffie currently rank first and second nationally in total tackles, with 53 and 52, respectively. Richardson tops college football in total stops, while McDuffie is tied for first in solo tackles.

With 270 career tackles, Richardson is moving up Boston College's statistical charts. He recorded 108 total tackles last year and actually led the ACC with 72 solo stops. Richardson has been most active in the Eagles' biggest games of the season. Contests against nationally-ranked North Carolina and Virginia Tech saw Richardson compile a combined 28 total tackles. In a one point win over Pittsburgh, he registered three tackles for loss, now giving him a macro total of 29. 

McDuffie has now reached double digits in tackles in four consecutive games, a fitting continuation for a player who had 85 stops in 2018 before an injury forced him to miss most of this past year. He recently tallied three tackles for loss against Texas State, two of which were sacks, another sack and two quarterback hurries against North Carolina and an interception against Duke.

Richardson and McDuffie are college football's top tackling tandem. Both are vying to become the first ACC defender to lead the nation in stops since Kuechly in 2011 and 2010.

Boston College usually has one of the nation's most productive linebackers. This season, the Eagles have two.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is'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: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports