The ACC’s most unlikely upstart, Boston College, will look to return to its winning ways and clinch bowl eligibility in a Week 12 matchup with Connecticut.
The Eagles (5-5) started the season 2-4 but then reeled off three straight wins against ACC opponents, in which they averaged just over 40 points per game. However, the winning streak came to an end last week against N.C. State.
The matchup will take place in a special venue: the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park. It will be the 77th game Boston College has played in the historic stadium.
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Boston College-UConn score, live updates
Boston College-UConn game information, picks
Date: Saturday, November 18
Time: 7 p.m.
TV Channel: CBS Sports Network
Online Stream: CBSSports.com
Pick: Boston College 37.3-17.2 (from the OddsShark computer)
Odds: Boston College -21.5
Boston College-UConn preview
Midway through the season, the idea that Boston College could reach bowl eligibility for the second consecutive season would have seemed laughable.
The Eagles were 2-4 through six games, with their only wins coming against two MAC teams: Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. Not only that, but the Boston College offense couldn’t put points on the board, averaging 16.3 points per game during that six-game stretch.
So, when the Eagles erupted for three wins against Louisville, Virginia and Florida State, in which they averaged just over 40 points per contest, the conference took note. Now, Boston College has a golden opportunity to seize its sixth win against a struggling UConn team.
To do so, the Eagles will have to overcome one major hurdle: the loss of quarterback Anthony Brown.
The school announced Monday that Brown will miss the remainder of the season due to a right leg injury suffered in last week’s loss to N.C. State.
The good news for the Eagles is that their offense relies almost entirely on its two tailbacks: junior Jon Hilliman and freshman A.J. Dillon. Dillon in particular has emerged as a force in recent weeks. He has averaged 176.5 yards per game and scored 6 touchdowns in the team’s last four games.
As a whole, the Boston College offense is averaging over 200 yards rushing per game and just shy of 270 yards on the ground in the past four games.
The Eagles were held to just 14 points in last week’s loss to N.C. State, but it should get back on track against UConn’s atrocious defense.
The Huskies rank second-to-last in the FBS in total defense, allowing over 550 total yards per game. They rank dead last in passing, giving up 375 yards per game through the air, and 79th in rushing. UConn’s opponents have averaged nearly 40 points per game, which ranks 125th out of 130 FBS teams.
Given those numbers, Boston College may not have to stop the UConn offense often to cinch bowl eligibility. As it turns out, though, UConn’s offensive strengths align with the Eagles’ defensive strong points.
Boston College’s major weakness all season has been its ability to stop the run. The Eagles rank 113th nationally, allowing over 207 yards per game on the ground. However, UConn has not run the ball effectively this year. The Huskies rank 92nd nationally, averaging 140.5 rushing yards per game.
UConn has been better throwing the ball, averaging 271.6 yards per game through the air, but Boston College has been much more stout against the pass this year. The Eagles rank 25th nationally, allowing 187.5 passing yards per game.
As long as Boston College’s offense, minus Brown, can still take advantage of the porous UConn defense, the Eagles should complete their unlikely season turnaround and secure bowl eligibility.