Boston College came out last Saturday and answered many questions surrounding their football team in a decisive 26-6 win over Duke. The defense looked strong forcing five turnovers, while Jeff Hafley made adjustments at halftime that opened up the offense and allowed transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec to throw for 300 yards. This weekend the Eagles are home, for their first game at an empty Alumni Stadium. On the other sideline will be the Texas State Bobcats, a team looking for an upset. It will be up to the new head coach to prevent that, and keep his team sharp.
Three Biggest Questions
1. Can BC stay focused on the game and avoid a letdown? Jeff Hafley has stressed focus all week, and keeping his team razor sharp for this weekend's matchup. This is an important game for Hafley. He needs to make sure his team isn't looking ahead to UNC and takes care of business against the Bobcats.
2. Can the offensive line dominate all game? If there is any strength Boston College has that they can lean on in this game it's the offensive line. This group started slow against a very good Duke defensive line, but dominated by the end of the game. Texas State's defensive line is not as strong as Duke's. This should be a game where BC's front five bullies the Bobcats, but can they do it?
3. Can the defense stop a stronger offense? It's always hard to compare an offense from the ACC to an offense in the Sun Belt. On paper though, Texas State looks like they have a much more explosive offense than Duke. This should be another good barometer of how much BC's defense has improved.
When Boston College Runs The Ball: Edge- Boston College. The Eagles will most likely try and establish the run right off the bat. Texas State's rushing defense is near the bottom in the country right now, averaging 191 yards per game. BC's offensive line should be able to dominate in the trenches and this would be the perfect game for David Bailey to break out.
When Boston College Throws The Ball: Edge- Boston College. Last weekend Phil Jurkovec looked very strong in the second half when he settled in. Texas State's pass rush should not be as strong as Duke's, meaning Jurkovec will have more time to go through his progressions and hit his targets. The Bobcats have allowed almost 300 yards a game through the air. And I don't think Texas State has an answer for Zay Flowers and Hunter Long.
When Texas State Throws The Ball: Edge- Boston College. Last weekend BC's secondary bullied Duke's wide receivers for four quarters. Texas State has some talented wide receivers, such as Jeremiah Haydel and Jah'Marae Sheread, but BC's defense has enough power to shut them down. This matchup is probably as close to even as it gets this weekend.
When Texas State Runs The Ball: Edge- Boston College. Texas State is a stronger passing team, and BC should have the edge in the trenches.
Beer of the Game: Santilli ---Night Shift Brewing Company
Song of the Game
For many who have followed my predictions post, you know I usually pick a rap song. This season I'm changing it up, and showing off my versatility. For a season that is unusual, and frankly, weird, we are going to go with funk and soul all season long.
Fan Excitement: 7/10
Normally fans wouldn't get too excited about a game against a Sun Belt team, but given what happened against Duke the buzz around the program is palpable. The sad part is that the stadium will be empty minus the teams, refs, personnel and cardboard cut outs of BC fans.
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We will have a live game thread for Saturday's game and instant reactions as soon as it's over.
AJ's Prediction: This is the type of matchup that has trap game written all over it. I think Texas State will get some points on this defense, who may come back down to earth after last week's stellar performance. While I don't think the game will be particularly close and the Eagles will cover, it will be closer than many expect. Boston College 42 Texas State 21
Photo courtesy of BCEagles.com