It was all smiles at Alumni Stadium on Saturday as the Boston College Eagles football team overcame a rough start and eventually coasted to a 34-3 victory. The bad news for BC is that the time for easy lay-ups on the schedule is over: the Eagles will head to Illinois to face the Northwestern Wildcats in their first road game of the 2012 season.
Boston College of the ACC has opened their year at 1-1 with a home win and loss, while the Big Ten’s Northwestern is 2-0, with both wins over BCS-conference opponents. By the numbers:
|Boston College Eagles (1-1)|
|9/1: vs. Miami||(L) 41-32||Rettig: 32/51, 441yd, 2 TD, 1 INT — 537yd offense|
|9/8: vs. Maine||(W) 34-3||Rettig: 16/32, 219yd, 3 TD — 385yd offense|
|Northwestern Wildcats (2-0)|
|9/1: at Syracuse||(W) 42-41||Colter: 14/21, 135yd, 2 TD (+1 rushing) — allowed 596yd|
|9/8: vs. Vanderbilt||(W) 23-13||Siemian/Colter: 17/31, 133yd, 0 TD — Colter rush TD|
With the Wildcats owning home-field advantage for this contest, and their respectable start to the season, they have been installed as 4-point favorites over the Eagles. This isn’t unfair to BC, as Northwestern deserves to be favored at home as the team with the better record so far this year.
As far as the Eagles’ hopes for a potential bowl game, however, this is still a very important swing game on their schedule. Last Saturday, the Eagles held serve against Maine and secured one of their likeliest victories of the year, but this game in Evanston could have much to say about how BC spends the Christmas/holiday season.
The Northwestern line does have BC as a slight underdog, though this game remains essentially a toss-up. The Eagles remember this team from last season, as the Wildcats went to Boston and won despite a heavy dose of offensive yardage by BC. On that day, Kain Colter helped make big plays when needed to give his team just enough of an edge.
More than any game BC has played yet, this one will tell us a great deal about where this team is going. It will be a good test for the Eagles, and not only is it a game that BC could have, but it is one BC could need.