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Boston College Eagles vs. Connecticut Huskies Preview and Prediction

Eagles look to become bowl eligible and remain perfect against Huskies in showdown at Fenway Park

Both the Boston College Eagles and Connecticut Huskies suffered losses last weekend, but have the chance to bounce back in a unique setting for college football in New England.

 

Although the game will be played in Massachusetts, UConn will be the home team as the programs face off Saturday night at Fenway Park. Even when some of the top-flight Atlantic Coast Conference teams come to Alumni Stadium, BC tends to have a tepid home crowd, but this offers a chance for a truly special environment.

 

The Eagles sit at 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the ACC, but have the chance to clinch a bowl berth for the second year in a row with a non-conference win this weekend. Although the Eagles lost this past weekend to NC State, they still have a shot at eight victories, which would be the most under head coach Steve Addazio, who has seen his fair share of days on the hot seat.

 

UConn has struggled to a 3-7 season with a 2-5 mark in the American Athletic Conference, as the return of former head coach Randy Edsall has not yielded great results. Still, the AAC has grown into perhaps the best Group of 5 conference, and this was not going to be an easy rebuild in Storrs.

 

Boston College owns an 11-0-2 lead over the Huskies in the series between the two programs, so even though UConn will not be going to a bowl, a win over the Eagles would be a positive step for Edsall and Co.

 

Boston College vs. Connecticut (Fenway Park)

 

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBSSN

Spread: Boston College -21

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Brown out

After suffering a leg injury against NC State, Boston College starting quarterback Anthony Brown is done for the season. It's a huge loss, as the redshirt freshman was beginning to find his groove in an improving Eagles offense. It brings up bad memories  from the 2015 season, where constant injuries at the position hounded the team in a nightmarish 3-9 season, head coach Steve Addazio's only losing mark with Boston College. The starter this weekend will be Darius Wade, who has performed adequately in spots this year as Brown's backup. It also moves up true freshman E.J. Perry behind Wade, which constitutes a bit of a problem. The Eagles were hoping to redshirt Perry, but he's one snap away from burning it.

 

2. Landry's status

One of the best defensive linemen in the country and a potential high 2018 NFL Draft pick, Harold Landry has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. Right now, the senior is questionable to play this weekend and Addazio listed his condition as day-to-day. Although the Boston College defense has still performed well in his absence, having Landry on the field obviously takes that unit to another level. Not only is he one of the best pass rushers in the nation, but Landry has rounded out his game this season where he has few weaknesses. Defensive end Zach Allen also has thrived this season for the Eagles, but pairing them both together would be ideal for BC.

 

3. Pindell time

It appears that UConn will again go with David Pindell as the team's starting quarterback against Boston College. Like the Eagles, UConn has been hit with the injury bug at the position when starter Bryant Shirreffs suffered a concussion that kept him out of last week's 49-24 loss to undefeated UCF. In that defeat, Pindell completed 18-of-31 passes for 201 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but passing is not his best attribute. Pindell brings a threat with his legs, as he rushed for 96 yards on 21 carries. If Pindell can find similar success running the ball against a stout BC defense, then UConn will have a greater chance of pulling off the upset.

 

Final Analysis

 

Boston College may have lost to NC State, but it was a competitive game against the second-best team in the ACC's Atlantic Division, so it wasn't a huge disappointment. True freshman running back AJ Dillon also had a huge day and eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the season, and while the injury to starting quarterback Anthony Brown hurts, the Eagles should be able to get the ground game going early and often against UConn. Even if BC standout defensive end Harold Landry doesn't play, the Eagles have performed well in his absence. The defense only allowed three points to Florida State and 17 to NC State. Those numbers should tell you that unit is not a one-man show. Fenway Park should offer a fun environment for both teams, but BC will flourish the most playing the shadow of the Green Monster.

 

Prediction: Boston College 33, UConn 10

 

— Written by Adam Kurkjian, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and is a reporter for the Boston Herald. He has covered the World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston Marathon and Little League World Series, among other events from the high school, college and pro ranks. Follow him on Twitter @AdamKurkjian.

Event Sport: 
College Football
Event Date: 
Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 19:00
Event Location: 
Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215

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