Syracuse finishes out the regular season Saturday in Chestnut Hill (12:00 p.m. ET / ESPN-Sirius XM). Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Brad Bierman and Wes Cheng gave their predictions for the game.
BRAD BIERMAN (Season Predictions, 8-3): Saturday’s game will mark the 10th time Syracuse and Boston College have met in the regular season finale since 1979. That year, SU fell to BC in a game played at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field that cost the Orangemen a 7-4 record and berth in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, settling instead for an Independence Bowl invite in Shreveport, La. defeating a McNeese State team that now competes on the FCS level.
This year, a berth in another bowl game in Orlando is likely on the line, as the ‘Cuse eyes a 9-3 finish and Camping World Bowl bid, as opposed to joining group of teams likely to have 8-4, overall records including the Eagles if they should win, further muddling the final bowl picture and destination for SU.
It will be expected conditions weather-wise for late November (45 degrees) at Alumni Stadium, the perfect environment for Boston College to roll out its ground attack against a Syracuse defense that looks to rebound from being pierced by Notre Dame last week.
Meanwhile, everyone from those betting and/or rooting for the Orange in this game are waiting until pregame to see whether Eric Dungey returns from being assisted out of Yankee Stadium last week, or if Tommy DeVito gets the call to fling the ball.
This will be a physical, old school battle of Eastern rivals, with plenty of big passing plays thrown into the mix as well. In the end, mistakes and special teams play will decide the outcome and All American kicker Andre Szmyt will win it for the Orange with a 27 yard field goal with under a minute to play. Syracuse 27, Boston College 24.
WES CHENG (Season Predictions, 8-3): This is the case of the unstoppable force (the SU offense) meeting the immovable object (BC’s defense).
Even after being held to just 3 points in a 36-3 rout against Notre Dame last week, the Orange still come into Saturday’s contest averaging 40.6 ppg, good for 10th in the NCAA. Meanwhile, the Eagles have held opponents to 24.2 ppg and have forced a combined 25 turnovers this season.
It’s the other side of the ball that’s more concerning. Syracuse has given up more than 150 rushing yards in three straight games, and they go up against one of the best rushing attacks in the ACC.
AJ Dillon has rushed for 1,052 yards this season and 10 touchdowns, which becomes even more impressive when you factor in that he missed two games against NC State and Louisville.
The Eagles will also have the services of Anthony Brown, who was injured during a loss to Clemson two weeks ago, but returned to throw for 297 yards and a touchdown (though he did throw two picks) in a 22-21 loss to lowly Florida State on Saturday. He’s had a productive season, throwing for 1870 yards and 17 touchdowns to 7 interceptions.
Expect Dillon to have another productive game as the dinged up Orange defense struggles to contain him. Also expect DeVito, replacing Dungey under center, to bounce back from a tough week against Notre Dame to throw two touchdowns in a closely contested win for the Eagles to finish out the 2018 regular season. Boston College 35, Syracuse 31.