Week 14 - Boston College at Syracuse

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Boston College at Syracuse

Boston College (7-4) at Syracuse (5-6) Nov. 30, 3:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Now that Boston College and Syracuse are back in the same league again, the longtime Northeast rivals will renew a series that dates back to 1924. Oh, and the Carrier Dome will be the stage for Eagle RB Andre Williams to continue his improbable surge toward Heisman contention. The senior has been a runaway train for BC, which is bowl-eligible for the first time in three years, rumbling for almost 900 yards in just the last three games. The Orange is coming off a heartbreaking one-point loss to Pitt that kept the team a win away from bowl-eligibility. First-year head coach Scott Shafer desperately wants an additional game and 15 more practices to work with his younger players.

Why Boston College Might Win: Williams has been a force of nature in November, hoisting the Eagles on his shoulder and carrying them to four straight wins. He runs downhill, drags tacklers and demoralizes the other guys. Williams also makes life much easier on his quarterback, Chase Rettig, who has less pressure when looking for top receiver Alex Amidon. Rettig has also been well-protected by LT Matt Patchan and the rest of the veteran Boston College offensive line.

Why Syracuse Might Win: The Orange believes it has the perfect remedy for Williams, a stout front seven that's yet to allow an opposing back to rush for 100 yards in a game. Syracuse will stack the box with linebackers Marquis Spruill, Cameron Lynch and Dyshawn Davis to provide support for gap-busting DT Jay Bromley. If the Orange can even slow down Williams, the way Clemson and USC did earlier in the season, Rettig will labor to extend drives when facing too many third-and-long situations.

Who To Watch Out For: Syracuse RB Jerome Smith might need to do his best Williams impersonation this week, because the team's passing game is awful. Terrel Hunt has held on to his job by default, but he's thrown just one touchdown pass in his last seven games.

- Hunt can't complain about a lack of protection, since Syracuse quarterbacks have been sacked just 15 times this season. The unit must wall off DE Kasim Edebali and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, who've combined for 23 stops for loss and 14.5 sacks.

- Orange cornerbacks Brandon Reddish and Ri'Shard Anderson better not bite on play-action this Saturday. If either player lacks discipline and patience, he's liable to get burned deep by Amidon, one of the more polished all-around ACC receivers.

What Will Happen: The defenses are similar, but Williams tips the scale in BC's favor, especially indoors on a fast track. Although he won't break records this weekend, he will become the first back to crack 100 yards on the Orange, once again leading his Eagles to a close, hard-fought victory.

Prediction: Boston College 26 … Syracuse 20
Line: Boston College -2 o/u: 52.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 2.5
Buy tickets for this game at TicketCity