The Virginia Cavaliers haven't had the most success historically against the Boston College Eagles on the gridiron. Virginia is 0-6 all-time against the Eagles as the Cavaliers will play their home finale in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Last weekend, Virginia's game against Florida State was postponed and later canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Now the Cavaliers will look to extend their three-game winning streak against the Eagles. At 4-4 (3-4 ACC), UVA can't make it back to the conference title game, but it does have a chance to move back to .500 in the ACC.
Boston College defeated Louisville 34-27 in its last game. Saturday will be the Eagles' final game of the 2020 regular season. First-year head coach Jeff Hafley's debut has been an unmitigated success after a 6-4 start, and one final regular-season win would give the program its best winning percentage since 2008.
Since joining the ACC in 2006, Boston College has a 4-0 record against Virginia. This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2017.
Boston College at Virginia
Kickoff: Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3:30 p.m.
Spread: Virginia -4
When Boston College Has the Ball
While Boston College defeated Louisville last weekend, the win came at a price. The Eagles lost starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec and starting running back David Bailey to injuries.
However, it appears both players will be available against Virginia this weekend. In 10 games, Jurkovec has thrown for 2,558 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. Bailey has rushed for 503 yards and seven touchdowns for the Eagles. Also keep an eye on tight end Hunter Long and wide receiver Zay Flowers, who rank tied for fifth and seventh, respectively, in the conference in receptions.
Boston College will be facing a Virginia team that has also faced several injuries. Not only are the Cavaliers without linebacker Charles Snowden for the rest of the season, but Virginia has been without its two safeties, Joey Blount and Brenton Nelson.
When Virginia Has the Ball
One of the biggest keys to Virginia's turnaround during its three-game winning streak is the play of quarterback Brennan Armstrong. Against Abilene Christian, Armstrong completed 16 of 23 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 52 yards.
"He's essential," Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "As I think any quarterback is for any team. And consistency at that position usually leads to chemistry and production. And our team is no different. I would say that even though he missed those two games. After we had played Clemson, it was just a slight step back in Miami, but not much."
Virginia will be facing a Boston College team that has gotten into the opposing team's backfield a lot this season. The Eagles rank 22nd in the nation in sacks at 2.3 per game. However, they’re slightly stronger against the run (162.3 ypg, 64th nationally) than they are against the pass (241.3 ypg, 75th nationally).
Quietly, the Cavaliers are on a roll. After beginning the season 1-4, Virginia has wins against North Carolina and Louisville in its last three games.
On the other hand, Boston College has alternated wins and losses all season, so they've been consistently inconsistent. The Cavaliers do have many injuries defensively, but they still should have enough to cause problems in the Boston College backfield. The Eagles also have injuries to two of the most critical positions on the offense, which could spell some trouble.
Look for Virginia to carry its winning streak into next week's game against Virginia Tech.
Prediction: Virginia 31, Boston College 28
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— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.