(Sports Network) - Boston College will storm into the Sunshine State this weekend for a non-conference matchup with UCF, in the second-ever meeting between the two schools.
Boston College fell 24-17 to Northwestern in its opener, as the Eagles uncharacteristically gave up over 200 yards rushing and couldn't capitalize on a number of scoring opportunities. There were questions heading into the opener concerning the level of offensive production Boston College would achieve without star running back Montel Harris, but plenty of playmakers emerged for head coach Frank Spaziani's attack, which will face a young and talented defense this weekend at UCF.
UCF is 0-10 all-time as a host to BCS Conference schools, and has its first opportunity at a win Saturday night against the Eagles. The Knights rolled 62-0 in their opener against FCS-level Charleston Southern, which was the third largest margin of victory in school history. UCF has now won five straight games dating back to the 2011 season, as well as 10 of its last 11.
Boston College leads the series 1-0, with the only win over UCF coming in the form of 34-7 victory in 2008.
Boston College played without Harris in the opener, but Andre Williams filled in nicely with 114 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Trailing 24-17 with four seconds left and the ball on the Northwestern 24, Boston College had one final chance for a tying touchdown at the end of the game, but quarterback Chase Rettig was sacked. Boston College had to settle for a field goal on its first possession of the game after Williams ripped off a 69 yard run on the first play of scrimmage. The Eagles kicker Nate Freese missed two field goals, which would come back to haunt Boston College in a tight game. The sophomore Rettig threw for a career high 375 yards, and was the first time a Boston College quarterback had thrown for 300 yards or more in three seasons. Wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah had eight catches for 157 yards.
Northwestern starting quarterback Dan Persa was scheduled to start at quarterback at Boston College, but wasn't in the lineup, replaced by backup Kain Colter. It didn't matter. Northwestern had its way up front, running for 227 yards. Boston College hadn't allowed 200 yards rushing since 2009, and it made all the difference. Colter threw for 199 yards and added 71 more on the ground, as Northwestern scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second, third and fourth quarters and held off a late Boston College rally. Boston College did get 19 tackles from linebacker Luke Kuechly, who has 23 consecutive double-digit tackle games, the longest active streak in the country. Boston College showed some promise on the defensive side of the ball, forcing Northwestern to go 6-of-15 on third down and coming up with a fourth down stop with 1:37 remaining, which gave the offense the opportunity to tie.
UCF executed terrifically against Charleston Southern, scoring eight touchdowns in 10 of its possessions. Before being pulled because of the blowout, sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey engineered six scoring drives. Running back Ronnie Weaver led the offense with 107 yards on eight carries and a touchdown, and receiver Kerlon Williams caught two touchdowns in his first collegiate game. Although Godfrey was just 6-of-10 passing for 100 yards, he had three rushing touchdowns as UCF amassed 560 yards of total offense and recorded 25 first downs. The offense finished with 316 yards rushing, which is currently ranked fourth in the nation.
The defense also played near perfection, holding Charleston Southern to 119 yards of total offense and just six first downs, posting its 19th shutout in school history. There were all kinds of playmakers for the Knights in the opener, young and old. Junior corner Josh Robinson gave UCF its eighth consecutive game with an interception after picking off a pass and returning it 32 yards for a touchdown against Charleston Southern, and six freshman linebackers posted at least one tackle in the rotation for the Knights.
UCF is favored against the Eagles, but seeing is believing in Orlando. The fact that this program has never beat a BCS school at home makes this game even more relevant for the Knights. Boston College's defense has something to prove as well against UCF, after last weeks second half struggles against Northwestern. Kain was able to hurt the Eagles with both his arm and feet a week ago, which isn't necessarily a good sign of things to come when you're facing Jeff Godfrey. UCF pulls it out in a tight game.
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 10th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bright House Networks Stadium (45, 323) Orlando, Florida. Television: CBSCS N. Home Record: Boston College 0-1, UCF 1-0. Away Record: Boston College 0-0, UCF 0-0. Neutral Record: Boston College 0-0, UCF 0-0. Conference Record: Boston College 0-0, UCF 0-0. Series Record: Boston College leads, 1-0.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 27, Boston College 24.