Duke at Boston College: Bottom line and pick


It’s not often that you talk about a football game against Duke as being must-win, but Boston College has to have this one. Will they get it?

Let me begin by saying I’ve looked at the depth chart for this game. I am not particularly impressed. This offensive line is pretty inexperienced and probably won’t make things easy on themselves. The defensive line will be put to the test again, especially without Kaleb Ramsey. The secondary will have to do its best not to get toasted.

We all know what Duke brings to this game: not much. With all due respect to the Blue Devils, they’re just not that good and were never expected to be this year. They have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball since last year, and it’s possible that this will continue throughout the BC game. There’s just no way to say that for certain, however, given the Eagles’ inability to shut down opposing teams in the first two games.

As I laid out in an earlier article this week, there are three choices for picking this game:

Choice A: BC wins big. This would be a defeat worthy of a team like Duke; winning comfortably would give a glimmer of hope that perhaps the Eagles are better than they played in the first two weeks after all.

Choice B: BC wins a close game. The Eagles tread water by winning a narrow victory over a crappy team, but don’t look very good doing it (see: BC at Duke, 2010). No, winning close over Duke at home isn’t anything to celebrate, aside from winning the game.

Choice C: BC loses. Boston College football becomes eligible for FEMA disaster relief. 0-3 start with three no-shows in a row dooms the season.

I am going with Choice B. I don’t expect BC to restore order in a big way, nor do I expect them to lose. I get the distinct feeling that it will be one of those “meh” games that they win in part because their opponent is worse than they are and will feature its fair share of nice plays and grand mistakes. I figure a score in the area of 20-14; my expectation is that Duke covers (+7), but BC wins.

This is one of those games where a depleted and ill-prepared Eagles team will struggle to put away an even more ill-prepared team, but will crawl over the finish line.