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Boston College Preparing for a "Must-Win" Against Syracuse

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The Eagles aren't downplaying the significance of Saturday's game against Syracuse.

Sophomore receiver Jeff Smith called Saturday's game a "must-win" for the Eagles.
Sophomore receiver Jeff Smith called Saturday's game a "must-win" for the Eagles.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, when fans and media begin hyping the importance of a given game, a team will downplay the pressure and urgency of the task at hand.

Boston College is not doing that this week, fully admitting that Saturday's homecoming game against rival Syracuse is critical if the Eagles hope to achieve their goals in 2016.

"This is a big game, a must-win game," sophomore receiver Jeff Smith said. "So we've prepared the past two weeks, and I think we'll be ready come Saturday."

Though Smith would walk back his statement a bit, smiling and noting that "every game is a must-win," it's clear that the team as a whole is putting plenty of eggs into the Syracuse basket.

"This is an extremely important football game," senior quarterback Patrick Towles said. "Everybody (on the team) knows that, everybody feels that. We're not going to play tight. We're going to play loose and have fun, but everybody knows this is a really important football game."

There will certainly be plenty at stake when Boston College hosts the Orange Saturday. BC's 11-game ACC losing streak is something weighing on the Eagles' minds, and the chance to get back above .500 before games against NC State, Louisville and Florida State is there as well. Simply put, it's hard to see the Eagles reaching a bowl game without defeating Syracuse Saturday, and it seems like even the players know it.

"This is a big game for us to get that fourth win, and that first conference win," Smith said. "This is a pretty big one for us."

For its part, Syracuse is coming into Saturday's game with some momentum under first-year coach Dino Babers. The Orange upset Virginia Tech at home last week to end a two-game losing streak and, much like Boston College, Syracuse will be looking to keep its postseason hopes alive Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

"They're a really good football team that flies around," Towles said of the Orange. "Our defense is gonna do a great job and put us in position to win the football game, but if we (the offense) do our job, we should be fine."

Coming off a bye, the Eagles have had plenty of time to prepare, and rest up, before welcoming their old rival. The Eagles say they've used that time to get back to basics, and get healthy on the offensive side of the ball, where Towles hopes fresh bodies will lead to more consistency throughout.

"It's really helpful just getting people back," Towles said. "People who are banged up, the extra week is helpful for that, but us getting on the same page early is helpful too. We looked really sharp the last two days, and I have no doubt we'll continue that the rest of the week."

Boston College will host Syracuse Saturday at 12:30 pm inside Alumni Stadium. The game can be seen locally on myTV38 Boston, or streamed online on the ACC Network/WatchESPN.