Opponent preview: What to know about Boston College

first_img Published on November 23, 2018 at 11:34 am Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 No. 20 Syracuse (8-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) and Boston College (7-4, 4-3) both plummeted down the College Football Rankings on Tuesday night following Week 12 losses. Syracuse was dominated by No. 3 Notre Dame 36-3 in Yankee Stadium while the Eagles lost 22-21 at Florida State behind a 74-yard game-sealing touchdown pass from the Seminoles. Here’s what to know about the Syracuse-Boston College matchup. All-time series: Syracuse leads, 31-20Last time they played: In the last week of the 2017 season, Boston College dismantled Syracuse, 42-14. Then-freshman running back AJ Dillon took his first carry for a 22-yard touchdown. That was the theme of the day, as Dillon ran the ball 23 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns. Syracuse, playing without its starting quarterback as it might this weekend, struggled offensively. Rex Culpepper subbed in for Eric Dungey and completed 24-of-34 passes for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Trailing 28-14 at halftime, Syracuse’s run defense crumbled in the second half as Boston College scored twice more and ran the clock out in the Orange’s final loss of 2017. The Boston College report: Boston College likes to run the football. Through 11 games, BC has run the ball 226 more times than it’s thrown it. Now-sophomore running back Dillon has rushed for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games. As a team, the Eagles average 4.1 yards per carry, and their 196.7 rushing yards per game ranks 46th in the country. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOperating out of a multiple set offense, BC utilizes standard running formations with multiple tight ends and a full back. But where the Eagles diverge from the standard run-heavy mold is when they go no-huddle and move fluidly from two-back sets to empty formations in the shotgun. In the passing game, Anthony Brown has completed 56.9 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards and 17 touchdowns. Defensively, Boston College ranks 48th nationally allowing 24.2 points per game. The Eagles run defense ranks more than 20 spots higher than its passing defense, which bodes well for the pass first Orange offense. How Syracuse beats Boston College: Syracuse wins Saturday’s matchup by turning it into a shootout. The Orange have scored more than 40 points in all eight of their wins this season. The Eagle have scored 40 or more just once in ACC play (against Wake Forest on Sept. 13). The Eagles want a slower, run-heavy game. With Dungey’s status for Saturday still unknown, expect to see redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito, at least in spurts. DeVito runs less than Dungey but has a more prolific arm and could help take the top off a shaky Boston College passing defense. Like most games, Syracuse wins if it plays the game to its own advantages. The Orange run defense, which has struggled throughout the season, will have its hands full with Dillon and the running attack. SU will need a few third down stops to prevent long drives from the Eagles paired with quick scoring drives of their own. Player to watch: Wyatt Ray, No. 11 defensive endTied with Syracuse’s Alton Robinson for 13th in the nation in sacks (9), Wyatt heads Boston College’s pass rush. As a team, the Eagles are tied for 20th in the country in sacks. Wyatt and fellow defensive end Zach Allen will both be key for BC if they are to pull off the upset. A week ago, SU allowed six sacks to Notre Dame and looked stagnant on offense as the Irish forced DeVito to throw several balls away. If BC is to win on Saturday, it will likely be on the backs of a solid performance from its pass rushers. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img