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Boston College looking for new faces to step up on both sides of ball in spring game

Patrick Towles passed for 5,099 yards with 24 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in three years at Kentucky. Mark Zerof/USA TODAY Sports

Boston College wraps up its spring Saturday at Alumni Stadium, having broken in plenty of new faces on both sides of the ball -- and on its staff -- in 2016. Here are three things to watch as the public gets to view the new-look Eagles this weekend:

1. Patrick Towles. What will the Kentucky graduate transfer bring to the table? Towles enrolled this winter after throwing for more than 5,000 yards in his career with the Wildcats, and he immediately brought unmatched experience to an offense sorely lacking it. BC went through four quarterbacks last season -- three freshmen and one sophomore -- and is in need for a boost offensively after a tumultuous 2015. New coordinator Scot Loeffler came over from Virginia Tech, and Saturday will provide an opportunity for a big audience to see the fruits of the duo's labor in 14 previous practices this spring. Also worth keeping an eye on: Darius Wade -- last year's starter who went down with a broken ankle in Week 3 -- and early enrollee Anthony Brown.

2. Defensive turnover. Gone are four seniors from what was the nation's top defense in 2015. Perhaps as important, gone is the brain behind that unit, as coordinator Don Brown left for Michigan. In steps Jim Reid, a former linebackers coach from Iowa, and Reid is tasked with ensuring that the D doesn't miss a beat. Fortunately for BC, several familiar (and talented) faces remain. Among them: lineman Harold Landry, linebackers Matt Milano and Connor Strachan, and DBs Isaac Yiadom and Will Harris. Reid isn't alone as a newcomer this year, either, as BC has two new defensive assistants this spring in D-line coach Paul Pasqualoni and DBs coach Anthony Campanile.

3. Running backs. Jon Hilliman, Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse -- three of BC's top-four running backs from 2015 -- are all back for another year. More specifically for Hilliman and Willis, both are back from injury. Hilliman saw his 2015 end in Week 4 because of a broken foot. Willis missed three games because of a shoulder injury. Rouse, meanwhile, led BC running backs last year with 426 yards and seven touchdowns. But it's Hilliman who should provide a major jolt to an offense that lost its backbone when the rusher went down last season, as he had tallied 860 yards and 13 TDs in 2014 as a freshman, keying the ACC's No. 2 rushing attack.