Eagles Can Finish on a High Note
By Chris Letourneau
BOSTON -- Boston College travels deep in the heart of Texas to face No. 23 Boise State in the First Responder Bowl on Wednesday.
The teams haven’t met since 2005 when then-sophomore Matt Ryan helped the Eagles snap the Broncos’ 31-game home winning streak on the blue turf with a 27-21 victory in the MPC Computers Bowl. That game means almost nothing in assessing what a completely different group of players will do 13 years later at the Cotton Bowl, but hey, it’s all a crapshoot anyway, so let’s take a deeper look.
That BC team had bigger goals dashed late in the season by losses to a powerhouse (Virginia Tech) and a weaker team on the road (North Carolina). This team lost late to Clemson, which is in the College Football Playoff, and Florida State on the road. Throw in a home loss to Syracuse, and the 7-5 Eagles find themselves as two-point underdogs to Boise State.
Like the 2005 team, the defense is stout. Zach Allen is a terrific disruptor, and now that he’s had time to get his ankle healthy, he’ll be a nightmare for the Broncos offense. In ’05, Boise State didn’t score until the third quarter. That’s a little extreme, but this is the best defense the Broncos have seen all season.
Boise State was the co-WAC champ in 2005, but three weeks ago, the Broncos were stunned by Fresno State at home in the Mountain West final. While neither team has momentum here, that loss stung. Quarterback Brett Rypien will make some plays, but the BC defense will make more, and Eagles tailback AJ Dillon will help grind the clock in the fourth quarter and secure a win.
Take BC and the points.