Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Boston College

first_imgSyracuse (4-7, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) returns to the Carrier Dome to host Boston College (6-5, 3-4) to close out its 2017 season. SU hasn’t won a game in November since the 2015 finale against BC and will send off the first senior class since 2009 to never appear in a bowl game. Here’s everything you need to know about BC:All-time series: Syracuse leads, 31-19Last time they played: Syracuse traveled to Chestnut Hill to top the Eagles, 28-20, in the Orange’s final win of the 2016 campaign. Eric Dungey threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns. BC ran for 223 yards on SU but completed just seven passes, and earned one of its two touchdowns on a kickoff return.The Boston College report: Head coach Steve Addazio’s Eagles have had an up and down season that’s most notably defined by a three-week stretch in which BC squeaked out a win at Louisville and then destroyed both Virginia on the road and Florida State at home. Pair those highs with ugly losses against the likes of Clemson and Notre Dame, and you have the mixed results of this 6-5 squad.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOffensively, the Eagles had to transform a few weeks ago after redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown was ruled out for the remainder of the season because of a right leg injury. He had started all ten games to that point and thrown for a modest 1,367 yards and 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions.Freshman running back A.J. Dillon (more on him below) has led the rushing charge to pick up the lost production. The Eagles ran for 330 yards against Connecticut last week at Fenway Park. On the other side of the ball, BC does much better against the pass than the run. Among ACC teams, only North Carolina allows more than the Eagles’ 204 rush yards per game, but BC’s 194 pass yards allowed per game ranks fifth in the conference. Junior defensive back Lukas Denis is the greatest contributor on the latter front, with six interceptions and nine passes broken up so far. A week after Steve Ishmael had his worst game of an otherwise strong season, the matchup between Ishmael and Denis should be a key factor.How Syracuse beats Boston College: Syracuse’s pass defense has been a stronghold in 2017. But SU has struggled recently to stop the run, an area in which the Eagles excel. Syracuse will have to contain Dillon because it is nearly certain that Dungey will not play for the third straight game, due to injury. Whether Zack Mahoney or Rex Culpepper starts, the onus is on both the backup QB and the run defense to win the game. Stat to know: 96-15The Orange has been outscored 96-15 over the past six quarters, including the second half of a defense breakdown against Wake Forest and the entire Louisville game last week. John Wolford and Lamar Jackson were effective in their reads, either launching it down field or running with the ball on their own. The Eagles don’t have as potent a QB, but they have a strong run game that will pose yet another challenge for the SU defense. Player to watch: A.J. Dillon, running back, No. 2Dillon is an explosive 6-foot, 240-pound back who is hard to bring down; look to his 5.1 yards per carry for evidence. As only a freshman the shifty runner has gone for 10 touchdowns, including four — yes, four — in a 272-yard showing at Louisville. In his last three games, Dillon has run for at 149, 196 and 200 yards, respectively. Expect him to get the ball early and often on Saturday. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 23, 2017 at 10:26 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more