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Boston College Football Opponents Preview: Syracuse

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The Orange shall be squeezed

Boston College v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Boston College football’s 8th contest of the 2021 season will be played on October 30th against Syracuse, for what should be a fun Halloween game in the Dome. Let’s see what’s in store:

Previous results

  • The Orange went 1-10 last season, 1-9 in the ACC, in their worst season since 2005
  • Syracuse is 24–36 under head coach Dino Babers since 2016
  • BC is 22-31 all-time against Syracuse. The Eagles are on a 2-game win streak dating back to 2019.
  • Syracuse is 105-146-3 against the ACC all-time
  • Syracuse’s standing for 2021 in ESPN’s FPI is -7.1, good enough for 96th out of 130 FBS teams and a 4-8 record. For reference, BC’s 2021 preseason FPI is 3.8 (50th place) and an expected 7-5 record. ESPN’s FPI gives Boston College an 73% chance to win.

Coaching

Head coach Dino Babers has fallen far since his surprise 10-3 2019 campaign. They’ve gone a miserable 6-17 since then and have shown no signs of improvement back to where they were. Recruiting and transfer luck have also been unkind to the Orange generally, so Babers is firmly on the hot seat this season.

Offense

Last season, the Syracuse OL was one of the worst in the nation in sack numbers. Everyone is returning for this season, but is that even a good thing?

Garrett Shrader is a QB transfer from Mississippi State who’s expected to win the QB battle against last year’s starter, Tommy DeVito. Shrader was decent in the playing time he saw for the Bulldogs, going 88/153 with 8 TDs and 5 INTs in 10 games in 2019.

Syracuse also returns most of their receiving and rushing corps, but again, a team this bad needs to switch things up.

Defense

Syracuse lost some defensive talent to the NFL this year, but they’re still returning most of their key players to a very young group that got beat down a lot last year. Mikel Jones at LB is the name to watch, as he’s an All-ACC player looking to make an impact in just his third year. The secondary is experiencing the most turnover, but the front-7, which includes a whole bunch of super-seniors, may actually be a formidable unit. It of course may not matter much if teams (especially BC) are able to beat them through the air.

Forecast

This should be a lay-up for Boston College. Syracuse’s weakest group (defensive backfield) plays right into the Eagles’ strength this year. Their deep roster of WRs and TEs will be able to slice through the Orange and pour out all the juice they want. The Syracuse offense may be worth noting, but it’s very unlikely they could keep up with Jurkovec & co.

Preseason score prediction: Boston College 48, Syracuse 24