The Maryland game in 2011 gave the Eagles their second win last season, and while it didn’t change the overall outcome of the year, it did show that the 1-11 doom season would not happen. Just like last year, Boston College rolls into this game at 1-6. Meanwhile, the Terrapins are at 4-3 thanks in large part to their stout defense. Who takes this matchup at Chestnut Hill?
How Maryland Will Win
Maryland will win if their defense asserts itself the way it has for most of their first seven games of the year, and if Boston College’s defense does its usual as well. It doesn’t matter that they’ll be starting freshman Caleb Rowe, because their offense hasn’t exactly been humming along, anyway. The Terps still take it if they can do adequately on offense against what may be the worst defense they face this season while the Eagles sputter in the face of a solid defense. If Maryland’s defense holds Boston College at bay, then this game falls on the Eagles’ defense to have to match, and the next time they get off the field quickly and blow up plays in the backfield all day will be the first. The Terrapins could throw an option wrinkle at the Eagles to further antagonize them, but with Devin Burns injured, this many not be in the cards anymore.
How Boston College Will Win
The Eagles will win if Chase Rettig’s on-field connection with Alex Amidon is able to overcome Maryland’s pass defense, and BC’s offensive line finds a way to stand up to the Terps’ pass rush. Maryland’s run defense is essentially the opposite of what it was last season, so rushing through their front seven 60-something times is not going to be on the menu. Boston College has to stick with what has worked for them this year, which is throwing the ball with Rettig. The Maryland offense and BC defense are statistically about as bad as one another, so if BC finds a way to get the edge there, that could be enough to deliver a win in a relatively low-scoring game.
Bottom Line: Maryland at Boston College
On paper, Maryland is a better team. Of the four major units taking the field on Saturday, Maryland’s defense will be the best by far. Games, however, are not played on paper. It has been a true struggle for me to pick the Eagles in any game until they show real improvement, given how bad BC’s defense has been. Maryland’s poor offense and continuing injury woes give BC a chance to do something this week. This will probably be a close, low-scoring game. In my best/worst-case scenario previews in August, I had this game going to BC in both. It is for the sake of consistency that I stick with the Eagles here, but I am admittedly not that confident in my selection. Perhaps about 50% confidence.
STG Outlook: Maryland at Boston College
• Score estimate: Boston College 24, Maryland 21 (BC by 3)
• Will most likely be a low-scoring game; doubtful that either team scores 30
• Boston College is 1-6 for the second-consecutive year
• The Eagles won the last meeting between these two teams, 28-17 in 2011
• Maryland won the last meeting at Alumni Stadium, 24-21 in 2010
• The Eagles have lost 4 ACC games in a row