Northwestern at Boston College: Bottom line and pick


After an offseason full of previews, and a week’s worth of game notes, it’s time to make the pick. I know you’re all looking forward to BC’s season kicking off tomorrow, and I would, except that my brother’s bachelor party is tomorrow in another state, so I’ll be sitting this one out. (It’s a surprise, but he won’t find out, because I know he doesn’t read this site.)

Anyway, before I make the pick, there are things that must be evaluated one last time:

Is Dan Persa going to play? He’s listed as doubtful or questionable, depending on who you’ve asked and on what day.  This would seem to be the question on everyone’s mind, and I don’t think we’ll know until tomorrow.

Is Andre Williams ready to go? Looks like it.

Is the revamped offensive line ready to go? (Shake Magic 8 ball) Ask again later.

How about the secondary? Ready as they’ll ever be, whatever that means.

BC’s record in home openers in recent years? The Eagles are 6-1 in their last seven Alumni Stadium openers, the most recent two losses being in 2003 and 2008.

I think without Persa, it’s just going to be harder for the Wildcats to win. He’s a lot of what makes their team go, and as I figured yesterday, they probably are not going to risk him for a season opener against a non-conference opponent. Sure, it’s a game they and the Big Ten would like to have, but it’s not worth putting Persa’s season/playing career in jeopardy if he’s not fully ready.

With him, assuming he is at 100% (and I am not making that assumption at this time), it’ll be hard for BC to win, given Persa’s success and the Eagles’ slightly depleted roster.

Speaking of this roster depletion, amongst other things, we’ll be looking to see if the Eagles’ offensive line holds up. If they do, that will help Andre Williams to adequately compensate for the lack of Montel Harris, which should also open things up for an improved Chase Rettig and the passing game.

Persa or no Persa, I expect a close game, but I do think Boston College will prevail. Put me down for something on the order of 24-21 Eagles.