When and where: October 13, 2018, Alumni Stadium – Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 12:30 PM ET
A pair of Week 6 losses should have the Boston College Eagles and Louisville Cardinals fired up and ready to go for their divisional showdown on Saturday. Louisville was blown off their home field by Georgia Tech, 66-31, in a game where they gave up more total yards of offense than they did in the season opener against Alabama. The Eagles, on the other hand, were bested by undefeated North Carolina State, 28-23.
Cardinals’ run struggles boil over
The Cardinals couldn’t stop the run even when they knew it was coming in last Friday’s blowout loss to Georgia Tech.
It was an open-field track meet on the Cardinals defense, as they allowed 542 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall moonlighted as a running back that night behind center, running for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He only attempted two passes the entire game as a traditional quarterback.
That kind of loss isn’t an easy pill for a team to swallow, and it puts the future in doubt that they will ever be able to find some form of defensive efficiency. The battle is a lost cause if a team can’t even win in the trenches. Every team on the schedule, including Boston College, will continue to run the ball down Louisville’s throat until they prove they’re capable of stopping it. Georgia Tech had five different players find the end zone with a rushing touchdown against them.
It was a nightmare game that could continue to haunt the Cardinals if head coach Bobby Petrino fails to tighten things up along the defensive front.
Home is where the heart is for Boston College
After losing a close game to North Carolina State, Boston College will be back in comfort of their home building, where they have yet to lose a game this season. They are also hopeful that staying at home will aid in the recovery of star running back A.J. Dillon, who was inactive for last Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. The sophomore running back has 652 yards and six touchdowns in five appearances so far this season.
“We’re not changing who we are right now. We’re running a lot of the same things and might be tweaking some. We had more shotgun runs on Saturday. These are the things we’re looking at right now.” – Addazio on adjusting to AJ Dillon’s absence vs. NC State
— BC Football (@BCFootball) October 8, 2018
His availability would be a nice lift for a Boston College team facing a defense that hasn’t shown the ability to stop the run.
Wide receiver Ben Glines filled in admirably as a running back against North Carolina State, tallying 90 yards on the ground and one touchdown. The problem for Boston College was their inability to finish drives. They didn’t even score their first touchdown until the third quarter. It was too little, too late by the fourth quarter, when they scored 13 points in a failed attempt at a comeback.
- Eagles are 9-1-1 ATS in last 11 games played within their conference
- Eagles are 5-1 ATS in last 6 games against a team with a losing record
- Eagles are 12-3-1 ATS in last 16 games
- Eagles are 6-0 ATS in last 6 games played in the month of October
- Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games played on the road
- Cardinals are 2-10 ATS in last 12 games played in the month of October
- Cardinals are 8-20-1 ATS in last 29 games
- Cardinals are 3-7 ATS in last 10 games after a loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Louisville is void of a rushing defense, and they are going on the road to face a team averaging 223 yards per game on the ground. That spells all kinds of problems for Petrino in this game, particularly if Dillon returns from his ankle injury. He is reportedly day-to-day and could very well be ready to suit up at home on Saturday. Even if he isn’t able to play for a second consecutive week, Boston College could surely take some cues from North Carolina State in how they attack Louisville’s defense.
Quarterback Anthony Brown isn’t nearly as explosive as Marshall when taking off from the pocket, but he can still cause problems for Louisville if given space to use his legs. However, a traditional ground-and-pound approach would still pay dividends and potentially open up the passing attack.
I doubt we’ll see Boston College strictly run at the defense like Georgia Tech did due to the difference in personnel, but they won’t hesitate in finding other ways to attack Louisville’s glaring weakness.
Prediction: Boston College (-13.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
Louisville will find a way to put points on the board, but Boston College will get more opportunities, while also eating up the clock by dominating with their rushing attack. However, both teams tend to give up plenty of points, and this game won’t be any different. The over is 4-0 in the Cardinals’ last four games played in the month of October and 4-0 in Boston College’s last four games at home.
Prediction: Over (61.5)