Brian: The Eagles come into this weekend's game against Clemson well rested after having the week off. In contrast, Clemson heads to Chestnut Hill having lost an emotional road game against a division rival ranked in the Top 10. Both teams have key contributors out for this game. For Clemson, the biggest loss is freshman All-American WR Sammy Watkins. The Tigers will also be without backup WR Martavis Bryant and backup offensive lineman Kalon Davis. The loss of both Watkins and Bryant will affect the Clemson passing game as well as the return game, where both are featured prominently.
For the Eagles, BC will be without two key contributors on the defensive line in Kaleb Ramsey and Kasim Edebali. Running back Tahj Kimble won't go either. While BC does lose Ramsey, Edebali and Kimble, it looks like they will be getting back WR Bobby Swigert and possibly TE Brian Miller from injury.
After the news broke that Sammy Watkins wouldn't travel with the team, the spread on this game has moved from Boston College +10 to +7. The Eagles are still a home underdog in this one and figure to be a dog in at least six of the final games of this season. Do you see the Eagles upsetting the Tigers this weekend? How many upsets do you see the Eagles pulling off in 2012?
Jeff: I think BC has a very legitimate chance to catch Clemson tomorrow on a week when they might not be prepared to give their best effort due to the emotion they left on the field in Talahassee last week. Boston College, meanwhile, is coming off a win in their last home game and will have a nice crowd on hand for Parents' Weekend. The Eagles should be ready to give their best effort even though we have a few injuries on the defensive line.
Surely the team watched or heard about what Clemson did in the second half last week and given the moderate success the offense has had so far this season. Hopefully the team will feel they are never out of the game if they do fall behind even more than just one score. Spaz will have to make some aggressive calls tomorrow in order for the Eagles to come away with the victory like maybe going for it on fourth down around midfield or trying to get seven points instead of settling for three deep in Tiger territory. However, he should be able to make these calls more confidently given what we have seen out of Clemson the last several times they have been on national TV against a team that can put up some points.
As far as the rest of the season, I'm sure this team will probably lose another game we feel that they should have won but I do think that same group of guys will win a few games that we were not supposed to. By the end of the season, I think this group will come away with three wins in games that they are more than three point dogs.
Brian: HD thinks that should Notre Dame join the ACC as a full football member, Navy should be the 16th team. Your thoughts?
Jeff: Pretty much love it. Navy would get destroyed in basketball though.
Jeff: Which ACC game are you most interested in learning the final score?
Brian: N.C. State at Miami is interesting, but I'm most interested in Duke at Wake Forest. The Deacons take a 12-game winning streak into the game against Duke and it should tell us a lot about how well BC matchups up with Wake.
Brian: ACC Sports Journal's Andrew Skwara believes the Eagles' key to victory is to move the chains and slow down the pace of the game. Agree?
Jeff: Slow down the pace by calling a lot of short completion passes that lead to high play count drives for BC, not by letting the play clock run down.
Jeff: Heights Sports' Austin Tedesco believes Andre Williams is due for a big game. Your thoughts?
Brian: If he's going to have a breakout game this season, this would be the one.
Jeff: Probably not given the talent on the other side and our own injuries but hopefully.
Brian: Yes and no. BC leads the all-time ACC series vs. Clemson and they are only 7-point home dogs. Also what would all the parents think?
Brian: Last one. We already know you think the Eagles will win today. What's your prediction on attendance? Where you setting the over/under?
Jeff: O/U on attendance is 41,500.
Pick 5 (All-time standings are here)
Brian: (5-0 last week, 11-9 overall):
Cincinnati Bearcats (+7) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-3) at Virginia Cavaliers
Idaho Vandals (+27) at North Carolina Tar Heels
Louisville Cardinals (-9.5) at Southern Miss. Golden Eagles
Mississippi Rebels at Alabama Crimson Tide (-30)
Jeff: (2-3 last week, 6-14 overall):
Indiana Hoosiers at Northwestern Wildcats (-11)
Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-26.5)
Duke Blue Devils (+2) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Ohio St. Buckeyes at Michigan St. Spartans (-3)
Clemson Tigers at Boston College Eagles (+7)
ATL: (0-1 last week, 1-3 overall):