Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Boston College Eagles (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date and Time: Friday September 5th, 2014. 7:00PM EST
Where: Alumni Stadium Chestnut Hill, M.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Pittsburgh -2/BC +2
Over/Under Total: OFF
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ACC football takes center stage this Friday night when the Boston College Eagles welcome the Pittsburgh Panthers into Chestnut Hill. Both the Eagles and Panthers were predicted to finish 2nd to last in their separate divisions earlier this year at ACC Media Day. However both teams were able to make solid performances in their season openers by capturing resounding victories and covering the point spreads in both contests. Pittsburgh demolished Delaware in a 62-0 blowout as they scored the most points ever under 3rd year coach Paul Chryst. After finishing 89th in total offense in 2013, the Panthers look to see if they can sustain offensive improvement Friday night in their first road test against Boston College.
Head Coach Paul Chryst made a big name for himself as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator in 2005 when he transformed the Badgers offense from mediocrity into an offensive scoring machine. Chryst sustained that offensive success for several years which helped carry Wisconsin to back to back Rose Bowl appearances before he took over at Pittsburgh in 2012. Obviously it has taken Chryst some time to get recruits and talent into his system. However this is the year that Pittsburgh fans hope that improvement will start to show. Last week the Panthers moved the football with ease by racking up 408 yards on the ground. Returning sophomore running backs James Conner and Rachid Ibrahim both carried the ball 14 times each to rack up 244 combined yards. Conner led the way with 153 rushing yards and scored 4 touchdowns which all came in the first half against Delaware. Obviously things will be tougher this week as the competition and talent level pick up. However the Panthers have some talented ball carriers to lead the way in the rushing attack.
Boston College drastically improved last year in coach Steve Addazio’s first season in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles improved from a measly two wins in 2012 to a 7 win season that was capped off by a trip to the Advocare V100 Bowl. Addazio inherited a lot of returning talent in 2013 but things will be quite different this season. Boston College returned just 10 starters from last year’s team which is tied for last in the ACC. The Eagles struggled for the majority of the 2013 season on the defensive side of the ball mostly against the pass as the defense gave up more 10 plus yard receptions than any other defense in the country. The good news is that the defensive secondary returns everyone. The bad news is just 2 starters return among the front 7 and that will be the area where the Panthers offense attacks with their strong running game this Friday.
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Offensively the Eagles have some potential to make things happen with quarterback Tyler Murphy and a strong backfield. The senior quarterback is a dual threat with his arm and legs. Just last week, Murphy led the team in rushing with 118 yards on 13 carries. Murphy was also solid with his arm in the Eagles opener by completing 17 of 24 passing for 173 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 pick. However the backfield is equally talented with running backs Tyler Rouse and Myles Willis. Both backs carried the ball more than 15 times last week to combine for 144 yards as an additional running threat behind Murphy. As long as Murphy continues to throw the football well, the Eagles will have plenty of options to keep defenses off balance is they move forward in 2014. In fact, Boston College’s potential on offense is the biggest reason the Eagles are listed a very small 2 point underdogs in this Friday’s matchup with Pittsburgh. The Panthers have the most returning talent and also hold a big edge in defense comparisons. Still, Boston College’s offense can keep this game interesting and may even be able to pull out the victory for the Eagles this Friday.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This will be an interesting game as both offenses attempt to establish the running threat. However, I believe Pittsburgh is much better prepared for a full team effort this early in the season and I fully expect the Panthers to win this football game. Take Pittsburgh -2!