Boston College Eagles (2-1) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1)
Saturday, September 21, 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST
HighPoint.com Stadium (Piscataway, NJ)
Moneyline: BC (-280), Rutgers (+240)
Spread: BC -7.5 (-105), Rutgers +7.5 (+115)
Over/Under: 57.5 (-110)
Boston College (2-1) and Rutgers (1-1) are teams that should be going in opposite directions, as their offenses have looked drastically different so far. BC has racked up nearly 466 yards and ~35 points per game on offense, and Rutgers has been out-gained by over 30 yards per game and has been outscored. The main reason that Rutgers has been outscored is that they suffered a 30-0 loss to Iowa last week, in which they were out-gained by over 300 yards and lost the turnover battle 3-0. I have a feeling this game could get pretty ugly early in favor of Boston College, and the turnover battle will most likely be a major key for them.
Boston College (2-1 Record, 1-2 ATS)
On offense, Boston College relies heavily on the run game, as they have just 84 pass attempts and 145 rushes so far, including their win against Richmond, in which they ran the ball 50 times and threw the ball just 16 times. Despite some struggles with his accuracy (53.9% completion percentage), QB Anthony Brown has thrown for 633 yards and 6 touchdowns. And maybe the biggest key to their success is that he has yet to turn the ball over. Junior RB AJ Dillon, who was the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year and ran for nearly 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2017, looks like he’s ready for another great year. Dillon has averaged close to 5 yards per rush yet again, with 4 rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown.
The Eagles’ defense looked awful in their 48-24 loss against Kansas last week. Yes, Boston College, who were 20.5-point favorites, actually lost 48-24 to Kansas. The same Kansas Jayhawks who had a 48-game road losing streak against Power 5 teams going into last Saturday’s game. Despite suffering such a catastrophic loss last weekend, a struggling Rutgers offense may be just what this BC defense needs to get back on track.
Rutgers (1-1 Record, 1-1 ATS)
Rutgers has a turnover problem. The Scarlet Knights have lost the turnover battle 6-2 in just 2 games, including 5 interceptions from QBs McLane Carter and Artur Sitkowski. Due to a concussion he suffered against Iowa in their last game, Carter has not been cleared to play and will not suit up on Saturday. Sitkowski, who was the full-time starter for Rutgers a year ago, had a dreadful first year. He threw for just 4 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions, while completing just 49.1 percent of his passes for 1,158 yards. Last week against Iowa, he completed just 4-of-11 passes for 19 yards and an interception.
Rutgers’ offense has only been able to manage 339.5 yards per game, which puts them in the bottom 20% of the FBS (106th), and they were even worse in a blowout loss to Iowa, running only 49 plays for 125 yards (2.6 yards/play). Fortunately for the Scarlet Knights’s offense, RB Isaih Pacheco showed what he can do in Week 1, when he ran the ball 20 times for 156 yards and 4 touchdowns. With 4 touchdowns in Week 1, he has already surpassed last year’s total (3). Even in last week’s 30-0 loss, Pacheco managed to average over 4 yards per carry and catch the ball out of the backfield 3 times for 25 yards.
On defense, Rutgers has looked significantly better than Boston College when it comes to yardage allowed, as they’ve held their opponents to just 371 yards per game. Unfortunately, they have still surrendered over 5 yards per play and 25.5 points per game. The biggest disparity between these teams is in the turnover battle (Rutgers has 6 turnovers & 2 forced turnovers, BC has 1 turnover & 8 forced turnovers), and I think that will ultimately be the difference-maker, especially with Artur Sitkowski starting at QB for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers is 6-20 SU in their last 26 games
Boston College is 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games as an AWAY team
Rutgers is 2-19 SU in their last 21 games as an UNDERDOG