BOSTON COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK, BABY! Tomorrow afternoon, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights travel to Chestnut Hill to face the Boston College Eagles in each team’s opening contest of the 2022 season.
BC is running it back with a healthy squad now that Phil Jurkovec returns as the starting QB fully-healed from his hand injury that limited him in 2021. Zay Flowers (and the rest of a terrific receiving corps), Pat Garwo III, and George Takacs are ready to set the ACC on fire. The defense returns almost all of its key pieces and Jeff Hafley has had the opportunity to coach them up to a higher level. This Boston College team is primed to make some serious noise in the ACC (and the country) if things break their way, and it all starts week 1 against Rutgers. Taking care of business against a very beatable Big Ten team is the first step in proving BC belongs with the big boys this year. Let’s get at it and have some fun along the way.
What to Watch For
- Offensive line play. BC’s biggest weakness this season will likely be an inexperienced offensive line. Rutgers should have a middle-of-the-pack rushing defense and pass rush, so the OL performance on Saturday will tell us a lot about how we can expect the season to go. If they’re struggling out of the gate, it could be a tough year.
- Phil Jurkovec’s throwing ability. Jurk injured his hand in 2021 and was rushed back from injury by week 9, clearly underperforming in his ability to throw the ball. Pay attention to his throwing power and accuracy early on, as we should hopefully see dramatic improvement from what it looked like in the back half of 2021.
- BC’s front 7. Other than the loss of Isaiah Graham-Mobley, BC is returning (and adding) a lot of production to its DL and LB corps. Their performance last year left much to be desired, so an improvement to start the 2022 season would be a good omen of things to come.
- On the Rutgers side, the #1 thing to pay attention to is their QB and offensive playcalling. If they trot out Noah Vedral like they did last season, I wouldn’t be too worried about Boston College being favored in this game. BC can definitely handle Vedral. But if Rutgers instead is using sophomore Gavin Wimsatt behind center, there could be more to worry about. Wimsatt makes the Rutgers offense a lot more dynamic and unpredictable, something that could be dangerous in week 1. The opening game of the year is always the most likely to get a wacky result because teams are rusty and still figuring out exactly how to put the best product on the field. If Rutgers brings out a wildcard like Wimsatt and calls a lot more designed QB runs or rollouts, it makes an upset a bit more likely. They could also start sophomore Evan Simon, making things similarly unpredictable.
Tailgate Treat of the Week
An old BCI weekly tradition during football season was AJ Black’s Beer of the Week. As I take over these weekly game prep articles, I’m putting my own twist on it: Tailgate Treat of the Week! Anything from beer to meals to snacks and more is all fair game.
For week 1, I’m recommending you start your Saturday with a good old-fashioned bagel from Rosenfeld’s in Newton Centre! A 12pm kickoff means you’ll need to get to an early start on your morning tailgate. And against a team from New Jersey? Bagels are a must. Rosenfeld’s have the best bagels in Greater Boston and are just a short trip down Beacon St for your gameday breakfast needs. Enjoy!
Prediction: Boston College 41, Rutgers 24
Boston College starts the season out right with a beautiful showing from Phil Jurkovec, Zay Flowers, and the offense. The BC defense has some growing pains, letting up points in the first half to make it 17-17 at halftime, but finds its footing by the end of the game while the BC offense lights Rutgers on fire. And a party in the Mods begins.
Who’s your pick?
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