The Duke Blue Devils host the Boston College Eagles in an ACC battle Saturday afternoon from Wallace Wade Stadium. The new-look Eagles will be chomping at the bit to return to action with a new head coach and quarterback. The Blue Devils also have a new quarterback and already played their first contest. They covered the 21.5 points spread in a 27-13 road loss to #7 Notre Dame last week. This marks the first meeting between Boston College and Duke since 2015 in a game Duke won 9-7.
Eagles Enter Season with New Coach, QB
The Boston College Eagles will be fielding a different look this season. Boston College has a new head coach in Jeff Hafley who was the former offensive coordinator at Ohio State. They also have a new quarterback after AJ Brown transferred to Oregon. Phil Jurkvoec is the new #1 quarterback. The sophomore came over in a transfer from Notre Dame. He has limited FBS experience, completing 12 of 15 passes for 220 yards with the Fighting Irish last season, however, he is a dual-threat and should make an impact.
Boston College will be relying on David Bailey after 2019 rushing leader A.J. Dillon departed to the NFL. Bailey is a big threat and collected over 800 rushing yards on an average of 5.7 yards per attempt last season. Zay Flowers is a talented receiver looking to build on a terrific freshman season that landed him 341 receiving yards.
The Eagles defense should be improved after a terrible 2019. They return a good portion of their starters after having trouble containing opponents in most games. They were one of the worst teams in the FBS against the pass in 2019.
Overall, the Eagles will be competitive but can’t be expected to post a winning record in ACC play. They were selected to finish 13th in the ACC in the preseason media poll. Boston College averaged 29 points last season, ranking them 67th overall. They allowed an average of 32.2 points, placing them 101st in the FBS.
Duke Competitive in Loss to #7 Notre Dame
The Duke Blue Devils are a team that has relied on defense for the past few seasons. The offense struggled in 2019 which led to a 5-7 season and only three wins in the ACC. That could change if QB Chase Brice can thrive with his new team. The junior quarterback spent the last two seasons as the backup in Clemson and was solid in his Duke debut last Saturday, collecting 259 passing yards against a good Notre Dame defense.
The Blue Devils' running game should produce this season. They did not generate many yards last week, however, look for a better output against an easier defense. Deon Jackson is in his senior year after recording nearly 1500 yards in 2018 to 2019. Jalon Calhoun had a very promising freshman season with 420 yards and was sharp against Notre Dame last week, bringing in 62 yards on five catches.
The Blue Devils defense was on the field frequently last season due to a poor offense and posted decent numbers, all things considered. They should have a good pass rush led by Victor Dimukeje who tallied 8.5 sacks in 2019.
Duke was voted to finish down at 12th in the 15 team ACC in the preseason media poll. The Blue Devils scored an average of only 25.2 points last year, placing them 94th overall. They conceded an average of 29.2 points, positioning them 77th in the FBS.
The Boston College Eagles are:
The Duke Blue Devils are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 September games.