Nevada Wolf Pack (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Boston College Eagles (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS), Fight Hunger Bowl, 9:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, January 9, 2010, AT&T Park, San Francisco, Cal. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Nev -7/BC +7
Over/Under Total: 55
The Nevada Wolfpack can thank Kyle Brotzman for getting the them here. The Boise State kicker missed two field goals – one at the end of regulation and one in overtime – to allow Nevada to win that game, perhaps the biggest win in Nevada history. The Wolf Pack took advantage with a win over Louisiana Tech the next week to close out the season at 12-1 with a share of the WAC title. Now, the top-15-ranked Wolf Pack will try to end their season on a good note when they face the Boston College Eagles of the ACC in the Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Nevada’s only loss this season was at Hawaii, 27-21. The Wolf Pack got its best wins over California, BYU and Boise State. They scored at least 21 points in every single game. They scored at least 27 points in every one of their wins. They scored at least 34 points in all but one of their wins.
Nevada’s biggest offensive strength is its running game but its passing game isn’t too shabby either. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has 2,830 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 65.3 completion percentage. Kaepernick is a running quarterback. He has 1,091 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He is very difficult to stop because of how multi-talented he is. Vai Taua has 1,522 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. As a team, Nevada has 3,854 rushing yards and 52 rushing touchdowns. Rishard Matthews leads the team in receiving with 49 receptions for 793 yards and four touchdowns.
After starting off 2-0, Boston College ran into a rough patch with five straight losses to Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, NC State, Florida State and Maryland. But then, the Eagles turned it around and ended the regular season with five straight wins. They beat Clemson, Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia and Syracuse. All five of those wins were by 10 points or less. They didn’t score more than 23 points in any of their last 10 games. They held their opponents to 16 points or less in each of their last five games, all of which were wins.
Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has 1,117 passing yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games with a 53.4 completion percentage. Running back Montel Williams leads the offensive attack with 1,208 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Bobby Swiggert leads the team in receiving with a paltry 36 receptions for 494 yards and four touchdowns.
Boston College is allowing 229.8 passing yards per game. The Eagles have allowed 13 passing touchdowns and they have 19 interceptions. Nevada is one of the worst teams in the country against the pass, allowing 252.7 passing yards per game. The Wolf Pack have the 15th worst pass defense in the country. Nevada has the 24th best run defense in the country, allowing 124.6 rushing yards per game. The Boston College has the absolute best run defense in the country, allowing only 80.2 rushing yards per game. It will be an interesting matchups between the incredible running attack for Nevada against the incredible run defense for Boston College.
BC is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall, 4-1 ATS in its last five bowl games as an underdog, 1-6 ATS in its last seven neutral site games, and 0-4 ATS in its last four bowl games. Nevada is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall, 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS win, and 1-4 ATS in its last five bowl games. The under is 5-0 in BC’s last five games overall, 7-0 in its last seven games following a SU win, and 7-1 in its last eight games as an underdog. The under is 4-1 in BC’s last five bowl games and 5-1 in its last six neutral site games.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: In most matchups like this, I’d be putting a lot of weight into strength of conference/opponents. In this case, I just don’t believe that BC can score with Nevada. I also usually prefer defense over offense, but I’m not sold that BC’s D is as good as advertised. Take the Wolfpack to win and cover. This is also an excellent game to throw into your teasers. Good luck!