FACTS & STATS: Site: Byrd Stadium (51,802) -- College Park, Maryland. Television: Regional Sports Networks. Home Record: BC 5-1, Maryland 3-2. Away Record: BC 1-3, Maryland 2-2. Neutral Record: BC 0-0, Maryland 1-0. Conference Record: BC 3-3, Maryland 2-4. Series Record: Boston College leads, 7-3.
GAME NOTES: A pair of ACC teams searching for a seventh win on the season get together in College Park this weekend, as the Maryland Terrapins host the Boston College Eagles.
The Eagles have run off three straight victories, having taken down Virginia Tech (34-27), New Mexico State (48-34) and most recently, NC State last weekend in a 38-21 final. With six wins, Boston College is again bowl eligible, with a matchup against Syracuse set to close out the regular season early next month.
As for the Terrapins, head coach Randy Edsall has been under a tremendous amount of scrutiny of late and was rumored to be on the host seat, but last weekend's stunning overtime win against Virginia Tech, 27-24, may have just saved his job. Not only did the victory snap a three-game slide for Maryland, it was also the first for the program in Blacksburg since 1949.
Boston College leads the all-time series with Maryland by a count of 7-3. The Terps last picked up a victory over the Eagles back in 2010 with a 24-21 triumph in Chestnut Hill. The last Maryland win at home was three years earlier, 42-35.
After running for a school-record 295 yards against New Mexico State a week earlier, running back Andre Williams had set the bar rather high for himself when he and the Eagles took on NC State. But, Williams and the offensive line was up to the task as he carried the ball a school-record 42 times for a staggering 339 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles overall had 420 yards and four scores on the ground.
Quarterback Chase Rettig accounted for 53 yards on eight completions, but not one of those connections went for more than 10 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles held the Wolfpack to a mere 35 net rushing yards and sacked quarterback Pete Thomas four times. Kevin Pierre- Louis tied for the team high with eight tackles and logged a pair of sacks, while Kasim Edebali responded with a pair of TFL and a fumble return for 22 yards.
Clearly the difference-maker for the Eagles this season has been Williams, who now has 1,810 yards and scored 14 touchdowns for the team on the ground. He has run for more than 600 yards in the last two games alone, and has gone over 200 yards in a game four times. Because of Williams, easily the top rusher in the nation with 181.0 ypg, BC is slightly more respectable on offense with 369.0 ypg, but still that has the team listed as 91st in the country.
The huge issue with the Eagles is a lack of a passing attack, one that could at least keep opponents guessing. After 10 games, the team is averaging a mere 151.8 ypg through the air to rank 113th in the country.
While it isn't something that is usually a key stat to look at, the Eagles have proven to be a very disciplined group with only 3.5 penalties per game, averaging out to 28.9 ypg, both of which have the program in the top-five in the nation this week.
Usually it is the Virginia Tech defense that grabs headlines, but last weekend it was the Maryland unit that was turning the tables on the Hokies by limiting the hosts to a mere 264 yards of total offense, an average of just 3.8 yards per snap. Andre Monroe was an absolute monster for the Terps as he registered three sacks, while Quinton Jefferson added two more and the team totaled seven in a dominant performance.
On offense, C.J. Brown was efficient enough as a passer as he converted 12- of-25 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, while tossing one interception and shaking off three sacks. On the ground it was a much brighter picture for Brown as he ran for a game-high 122 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries for the visitors.
Brown is currently second on the team in rushing with 378 yards, and he has scored eight touchdowns on 94 carries over the course of eight appearances. His 59.4 percent accuracy as a quarterback is solid enough, but he has almost as many INTs (six) as TDs (eight), and that's one of the reasons why the Terps had hit a rough patch leading up to the VaTech meeting.
Where the team is really hurting is on third down where it is ranked 109th in the country with only 32.9 percent success. The prospects of keeping possession on fourth down are even more desperate with a mere 15.4 percent success. It also doesn't help that Maryland's turnover margin is a minus-0.7 per game (104th nationally).
The defense has been giving the group a fighting chance more often than not however, permitting just 366.7 ypg to rank 32nd in the country. Monroe has made a total of just 19 tackles to this point, but 11.5 have been TFL and he is second on the unit with 6.5 sacks as well. Marcus Whitfield leads the way on both of the aforementioned categories with 13.0 TFL and eight sacks.
After such a huge victory on the road last week, there's a good chance the Terps may experience a letdown, even with the hometown crowd cheering them on. What the meeting will really come down to is how well Maryland can keep tabs on Williams coming out of the BC backfield. If the running back is able to come anywhere close to his recent efforts it could be a long afternoon for the hosts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 28, Maryland 24
Saturday, November 23, 3:30 p.m. (et).