GAME NOTES: The reeling Boston College Eagles will try to snap out of their rut this weekend, when they entertain the Maryland Terrapins in ACC action at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill.
The Terps come into the weekend seeking a rebound after dropping a 31-7 decision at Clemson last Saturday. The defeat snapped a two-game win streak for Maryland, which has already doubled its win total from last season with a 4-2 record.
On the other side, the Eagles are headed on a downward spiral following a 24-19 loss at nationally-ranked Florida State last weekend. It was a valiant effort by BC, but the team still came up short and has now dropped four consecutive games, including all three of its ACC bouts.
BC leads the all-time series with Maryland, 5-2, and that includes a 19-17 victory in last season's clash.
Danny O'Brien threw for a career-high 302 yards, but he was picked three times, as Maryland managed just one TD in a loss to Clemson over the weekend. O'Brien completed only 24-of-45 tosses, though he did catch a TD passes from TB Da'Rel Scott. It was obviously not the best passing performance by O'Brien, who had thrown six TDs with no picks heading into the matchup. Torrey Smith, the team's leading receiver with 460 yards and five TDs, wasn't much of a factor in the loss, making only four grabs for 55 yards. The ground attack was non-existent as well, gaining only 44 yards on 21 carries. Davin Meggett and Scott have combined for 631 rushing yards this season, but neither has gotten enough carries to really make a major impact each week.
Clemson scored on a kickoff return and INT last weekend, so the Maryland defense wasn't as bad as the 31-7 score would indicate. As a matter of fact, the Terps were rather stout on defense, holding Clemson to only 213 total and just 13 first downs. The pass defense was especially tough, as Clemson managed to complete only 8-of-21 throws for a mere 119 yards. It was a nice showing from a unit that is still giving up 353.8 total ypg, including 202.3 ypg through the air, on the season. The Terps, though, had only one sack and no takeaways, so the defense was lacking a big play. Alex Wujciak had nine stops in the loss and his 66 tackles for the season top the roster.
The offense for the Eagles continued to sputter this past weekend, as the unit failed to score a TD and gained only 266 total yards in a loss at FSU. The offensive struggles stem from inconsistent play at QB and freshman Chase Rettig was simply dismal in his second career start. Rettig, under heavy pressure from the FSU defense, completed only 9-of-24 pass attempts for a mere 95 yards in the defeat. The Eagles have used three QBs this season and none have been successful, combining for just eight TDs against 10 INTs. The lone weapon this offense seems to possess is Montel Harris, who has rushed for 578 yards in six games. Harris did his part last weekend, as he rushed for 191 yards, including a 72-yard burst, on 26 carries.
Defensively, the Eagles did plenty to give the team a chance to pull off the upset of FSU. BC created four turnovers and even came with a score on a 43- yard Jim Noel INT return. Noel had two of BC's three picks, giving him three INTs for the season. As a team, the Eagles have come up with 11 INTs to go with seven fumble recoveries, so obviously the defense has been able to make big plays. The unit has also excelled versus the run, permitting just 90.3 ypg on the ground. FSU did manage 141 rushing yards last weekend, but 42 of those yards came on a reverse. Luke Kuechly continues to shine for BC's defense and he had 11 tackles last weekend, giving him 82 for the season. His total is twice as many as the next closest player on the roster.
Neither team has much of an offense, so expect a low-scoring affair this weekend. BC has the better defense and that, along with another good game from Harris on the ground, should help the Eagles come out on top in the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 20, Maryland 13
Saturday, October 23rd, 1:00 p.m. (et)