It’s a non-conference tilt between the ACC and the AAC on the gridiron in the shadows of the Green Monster. The Boston College Eagles stay within the city limits as they face the Connecticut Huskies at Fenway Park Saturday night. Boston College had its three game win streak snapped with a 17-14 home loss to NC State last Saturday. Connecticut lost its third in a row as they were crushed 49-24 by #12 UCF on the road last Saturday. The Eagles have won all five previous meetings, including a 30-0 whitewash at home in the last meeting on November 19, 2016.
Boston College Eagles Look to Get Back on Track
Boston College had won three in a row but their loss to NC State at home dropped them back to the .500 mark on the year. The Eagles fell to 3-4 in the ACC with the defeat. Boston College was down 10-7 after one quarter and at the half before taking the lead with 11 seconds to play in the third quarter. On a day where defenses ruled the game, the Eagles couldn’t hang on, giving up a game winning 50 yard TD run with 8:22 to go. The Eagles were outgained 367-347 despite a 20-17 edge in first downs. Both teams turned the ball over twice and NC State held a 30:28 to 29:32 advantage in time of possession.
The Eagles are 114th in the FBS in passing offense with 165.1 yards per contest and 34th in rushing offense with 202.7 yards per game. Boston College is 109th in the nation in scoring offense with 23.3 points per game while ranking tied for 43rd in scoring defense as they allow 24 points per contest. Anthony Brown is 134 of 258 passing for 1,367 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Darius Wade has completed 23 of 40 passes for 225 yards plus an interception. Jon Hillman is the team’s second leading ground gainer with 134 carries for 441 yards plus three scores while AJ Dillon has 221 carries for a team leading 1,039 yards and eight scores. Kobay White has a team leading 28 receptions for 368 yards plus two scores while Michael Walker (17 grabs, 139 yards, TD), Charlie Callinan (10 catches, 101 yards, two TD) and Jeff Smith (21 catches, 257 yards) are solid options in the passing game. Colton Lichtenberg has hit all 29 extra points and 10 of 16 field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards.
Connecticut Huskies Hope to Turn Things Around
Connecticut has struggled of late with three straight losses after they had won back to back contests. The Huskies dropped to 2-5 in AAC play as they were no match for an unbeaten UCF team that leads the nation in scoring offense. Connecticut hung around for three quarters as they trailed 28-17 entering the fourth but gave up three touchdowns in a seven minute span to put the game well out of reach. The Huskies were outgained 519-413 in the game despite holding a 23-22 edge in first downs and controlling time of possession by a 32:15 to 27:45 margin.
The Huskies come into this game ranked 34th in the FBS with 271.6 yards per contest through the air and 92nd in rushing offense with 140.5 yards per game. Connecticut is tied for 93rd in scoring offense as they put up 24.8 points a game and are 125th in scoring defense by allowing 39.4 points per contest. Bryant Shirreffs is 171 of 260 for 2,287 yards with 14 touchdowns against five interceptions while adding 200 rushing yards. David Pindel is 43 of 75 for 423 yards with two touchdowns and two picks plus 147 yards and two scores on the ground. Kevin Mensah leads the Huskies on the ground with 94 carries for 422 yards plus three scores. Nate Hopkins (81 carries, 301 yards, 7 TD) and Arkeel Newsome (63 attempts, 249 yards, 3 TD) are in the mix as well. Hergy Mayala (34 grabs, team high 519 yards, five TD) and Quayvon Skanes (34 receptions, 301 yards, TD) are tied for the team lead in receptions. Newsome (23 catches, 467 yards, two TD) is a valuable safety valve who can make some big plays out of the backfield. Michael Tarbutt is 26 of 27 on extra points and eight of 13 on field goals with a long of 42.
- Eagles are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- Eagles are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game
- Eagles are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game
- Huskies are 5-22-2 ATS in their last 29 non-conference games
- Huskies are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. ACC
The Eagles will miss Brown, who had started all 10 games this season under center as a freshman. That will put pressure on Wade to produce through the air to move the sticks and help keep a little pressure off Dillon as Connecticut can’t overload the box if Boston College is moving the ball through the air. The Huskies have struggled this season against teams that are capable. The Eagles are pretty good defensively and they can force turnovers to give the offense a short field. Boston College won three straight and even though they lost to NC State, it was a gritty showing. Look for the Eagles to get back in the win column here.