In a “petri dish,” as UConn head coach Bob Diaco likes to say, the 2 programs set to square off at Fenway Park in the Fall Classic of college football this Saturday are pretty similar. Both hard-nosed, blue-collar programs that get along just fine in excellent conferences, and occasionally make some noise in league play.
But this season, the Boston College Eagles are way up, and the Connecticut Huskies are way, way down in the pack. Except for a remarkable mid-season surge in which they beat Temple and Tulsa in consecutive weeks, the Huskies have been mired in misery. 6 of their 7 losses have not been close.
Meanwhile, BC is standing at a proud 5-5 after a marvelous run against the heart of the ACC schedule. Louisville, Virginia, and FSU have recently fallen to the Eagles, the latter in a 35-3 crushing.
The success-story vs. sad-sack narrative reflects in the point spread.
Who: Boston College Eagles vs Connecticut Huskies
When: Saturday, November 18th, 7 PM EST
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Lines: BC (-21.5) vs UConn (+21.5) / O/U Total: (50)
Everyone knew that if the BC offense ever woke up, the team would be a load for anyone in the ACC to handle. The wins and losses of the past few weeks would be tedious to parse through – let’s just say anyone visiting the Eagles these days is in for a battle.
Visiting? Yes, though the game is technically being held at “neutral” Fenway Park, this is Boston College playing at Fenway Park. It will likely be a greater, noisier home-field advantage than the Eagles could hope to enjoy.
But QB Anthony Brown is injured, out for the season with a leg injury. That leaves Darius Wade to step into the void in a huge situation and legendary setting. Wade is a senior, but has just over 100 pass attempts in his career, no rushing attempts in ’17, and hasn’t thrown a TD pass since 2015.
Can the Huskies take advantage? The normally-stout UConn defense has been MIA for most of 2017. But playing a wounded BC offense might feel like a non-weighted bat after losing to the “Florida gauntlet” of USF and UCF in the last 2 weeks.
Take the Huskies and the points.
Boston College would be very pleased to engineer a 3-touchdown lead with Wade’s rudimentary skills. Their defense will be up to the task in a raucous “home” environment, but if Connecticut squeezes in at least a TD and a FG they should cover the spread in defeat.