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Preview: Boston College vs Texas State

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A strange season bring a strange new opponent to the heights

Boston College v Duke right and teammate Jaelen Gill celebrate after Flowers scored a touchdown against the Duke Blue Devils in the third quarter at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 19, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. The Boston College Eagles won 26-6.(Photo by Nell Redmond-Pool/Getty Images

After a very strong season opener BC returns to the Heights to play host to Texas State. It will be a game of firsts, first time playing Texas State, the first game at home in lovely 2020, and the first game without fans as all of BC’s home game in September will be without fans.

The Bobcats of Texas State joined the FBS only 8 years ago, starting out in the Western Athletic Conference then after one season in the WAC moving to the Sun Belt Conference where they’ve been ever since. It has not been a great 7 years for the Bobcats as their overall conference record is only 13-43. Last year wasn’t much better as Texas State went 2-6 in the conference (only 3-9 overall). In 2020 however, Texas State is certainly a better team than their 1-3 record should suggest. The Bobcats gave SMU all they could handle in their season opener and nearly beat the Mustangs. Then Texas State nearly completed a wild late 4th quarter comeback against UTSA if not for a late missed extra point and then a missed field goal in double overtime. Texas State got their first win of the season last week in their Sun Belt conference opener against the UL-Monroe.

Despite only being 1-3 this is an explosive offense that is averaging 36.7 points per game. The Bobcats #1 weapon is their running back Calvin Hill. Hill leads the team in rushing with 202 yards on the season and is very shifty and can be a real homerun threat in space. Hill’s back-up Brock Sturges who’s rushed for 185 is another name to look out for. In terms of the passing game Jeremiah Haydel is the leading receiver and another big play weapon for this offense. Some may recognize Haydel for his acrobatic one handed TD grab against SMU. The Bobcats after staring Brady McBride in their opener against SMU, seemed to have settled on the junior Tyler Vitt who took over against UTSA when McBride had to sit out for Covid reasons. Vitt’s thrown for 602 yards, 6 TDs, and 2 Ints this season. Players to look out for on defense are Jarron Morris, who is the Bobcats defensive leader, and Gavin Graham who leads the team in tackles. Texas State has had to rely on its offense to rack up points because its defense is not particularly stout. The Bobcats have surrendered 33 points per game, 304.3 passing yard per game, and 191.3 rushing yards per game.

Two great take-aways from BC’s win over Duke: #1, BC’s defense as concerned as fans were going into the season, held when it needed to and forced 4 turnovers. The BC offense may experience growing pains as it shakes off the rust and that will require the defense to hold the gates till the offense gets its engines revving. #2, halftime adjustments! Once Duke starting stacking the box the Eagles’ actually let Phil Jurkovec let it fly and it worked. Hafley watered the Flowers! (Yes, I’m determined to make that a thing) However, the Eagles did not escape unscathed. The loss of Kobay White removes a key veteran leader on the offensive end but the loss is softened by the fact that BC still has other weapons for Jurkovec to throw to like Zay Flowers, Jaelen Gill, and Hunter Long. Gill in particular will need to step up his game as he will now be the number two wideout to Flowers.

Oddsmakers

Spread: BC (-17.5) Texas State (+17.5)

Money Line: BC (-850) Texas State (+575)

Over/Under: 57

Predictions

There is the slight danger that if BC gets off to a slow start like against Duke, Texas State’s offense could rack up an early lead, especially since this will be the Bobcats fourth game and they may be a bit sharper than the Eagles. It will certainly be an interesting test for the Eagles’ defense as Texas State’s offense is more explosive than Duke. That being said Texas State’s defense is not very strong at all and BC’s offensive line is the best they’ve faced and maybe the best they’ll face all year. Whether BC’s defense can hold or not the Eagles should have no trouble putting up points, especially if Jurkovec can keep throwing the ball like he did last game.

Eagles win 38-24