Over the summer, while the Boston College Eagles were still licking their wounds from four years of the program being decimated, those examining the 2013 schedule might have penciled in an “L” against the USC Trojans. After all, the Eagles had been 2-10, the Trojans were ranked, and it would be a difficult environment on the road.
Today, the playing field is a lot closer to level than it was even a week ago. The Eagles, led by their defense, are flying high at 2-0 while USC is coming off of two lackluster efforts which could ultimately help doom the coach.
Boston College has not gotten a season started at 3-0 since 2007. Will Saturday give us a reason to update that figure?
Boston College at USC: How Boston College Will Win
It seems that while Boston College’s defense (combined with a shaky-looking USC offense) can keep the Eagles in the game, the Eagles are going to need a big break. Maybe it’ll be a blocked punt, maybe it’ll be a pick-six, maybe it’ll be a USC turnover at their own 20. Whatever the case may be, the Eagles win this game if they get that break, cash in on it, and otherwise play a very smart, disciplined game. That includes not giving the Trojans a big break of their own.
Boston College at USC: How USC Will Win
The Trojans can win a few different ways here. One might be if the Eagles defense unexpectedly crumbles in the Los Angeles heat and/or the hostile environment of the LA Coliseum. Another could be if naming Cody Kessler the solo starting quarterback rejuvenates the Trojans offense and the Eagles never get that big break. Finally, another could be if the USC defense plays exceptionally well, because as we know, it is hard to win football games where you don’t score.
Boston College at USC: Bottom Line
Either USC is a better team than they’re showing or they were overrated to start the season. Regardless, there is still talent on that side. Boston College has done admirably so far and if they can even come away with a close result here, they will be able to go home to Chestnut Hill with their dignity very much in tact, especially if one considers that last year’s team would have lost this game by a substantial margin for reasons we all know. The reality is – and this is quite a departure from where we were one year ago – Boston College has a realistic chance and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The Eagles so far are being well-coached and have mountains more confidence than they did in the past.
At the end of the day, there are still a lot of unknowns for Boston College in terms of how they will do in this environment and if they can step up against more elite programs. We also don’t know what Trojans team is going to come out of the tunnel. Are they going to be fired up to teach the Eagles a lesson after the Washington State game, or are they a fragmented mess that will roll over, causing Lane Kiffin to be seeking employment on Sunday?
Given that these are some crucial variables, the prudent thing would be to err in favor of the home team. Furthermore, the best unit on the field at any point might be the USC defense, and it might be a little too hard for the Eagles to put points on the board. Right now, this looks like a close, low-scoring game. Your faithful editor would be thankful to be incorrect about the ultimate result.
Boston College at USC: Pick
• Score Estimate: USC 20, Boston College 13
• Boston College +14
• Under (o/u 43) is likely