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Preview 2023: Boston College Football vs UVA

Boston College v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Boston College returns home for the fifth game of the season against the Cavaliers of Virginia. This is one of those games that Hafley, or at least each fan, has to have circled as a must win. If the first few games go about as expected, this will be a true litmus test. UVA was just about the only ACC team that had an arguably worse last season. Tony Elliot’s first season at the helm only saw one conference win and a 3-7 record, and was tragically cut short by the shooting in Charlottesville in which three of their students athletes were killed.

The schools have only met seven times, with the Eagles coming out on top all but once. Unfortunately that loss was their most recent matchup in 2020, better known as the Dennis Grosel is the GOAT game.

When: Saturday, September 30th (probably at 12:00pm ET - Prediction: The CW game)

Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA

This is THE Logan Taylor Revenge Game. The former UVA offensive lineman has taken his talents to Chestnut Hill and will be flipping pancakes all day. The Wahoo offensive line had major issues in pass protection and have now lost their long time offensive line coach to NC State.

Relatedly, quarterback Brennan Armstrong struggled mightily in Elliot’s pro-style offense, but he won’t be getting an Act II here as he also transferred to NC State (alongside the team’s OC from the season prior — a Wolfpack raiding). Monmouth transfer Tony Muskett looks to be the leading man. Muskett throws an accurate deep ball, but he’ll be playing with a not yet battle tested receiving corps.

The offense will be leaning heavily on its running game. They have a bevy of backs and added in Kobe Pace (who torched BC in 2021) from Clemson. But again, they’ll be work with a re-tooled offensive line.

The defense was also a work in progress last season, but improved mightily from the year prior. They returns a great chunk of production, including their entire defensive line and have strong safety depth. They have a trio of All-ACC caliber players in Chico Bennett and Aaron Faumui up front, and Antonio Clary at safety.

It’s a veteran defense that already was producing three sacks a game (top-20 nationally) and improved their points allowed by a full touchdown. They were also quite turnover happy, logging 13 takeaways. They finished middle of the pack defensively overall, but that improvement should continue.

How Does BC Match Up?

The Eagles will need to disrupt the rhythm of this style offense. It’s still early in the season where you’d expect the Cavaliers to still be perfecting their timing. There will be learning curves on the offensive line, so the BC front will need to exploit, all the while making sure they can’t churn yards on the ground.

Preseason Prediction:

UVA’s schedule does not do them any favors. You have Tennessee, Maryland, a sneaky James Madison team all leading up to the ACC slate that conveniently starts with Armstrong and the aforementioned former Cavalier coaches on the other sideline. I am coincidentally writing this just a few miles away from Charlottesville, so I have zero doubt BC will pull out a victory, a gritty 24-14 game.