BC, Miami forces collide tonight

Boston College’s dangerous rush attack meets Miami’s formidable front seven in an intriguing Friday night matchup

University of Miami fans across the land were hoping this would be the season “The U” would finally be back. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

The Hurricanes entered the season ranked No. 8 nationally, and have quietly fallen from the Top 25following losses to then-No. 25 LSU and unranked Virginia. This week, Miami will look to overcome what some are referring to as a “trap”game against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent Boston College, though the game should not be considered that in the slightest.

Boston College (5-2, 2-1 in ACC) is by no means anincompetent team. The Eagles have two losses this season, both coming to solid opponents in No. 23 North Carolina State and to Purdue, which just walloped then No. 2-ranked Ohio State last week. Also, Boston Collegehas won two of the last three meetings between the schools, though Miami (5-2, 2-1) leads the entire series 24-5.

So, why in Mark Richt’s right mind would the Miami head coach look past this game towards other opponents? There is no reason. This game should be viewed as the level matchup it has the potential to be.

One thing Boston College has proven so far is that it is more than capable of finding the end zone. In five of itsseven games, Boston College has scored at least 38 points. Even without star running back A.J. Dillon, who put up 652 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns before suffering an ankle injury against Temple on Sept. 29, the Eagles offense still scored 23 points in a close loss to N.C. State and 38 while thumping Louisville. To further the Eagles’ case, Dillon is expected to return for this game. Unfortunately for Dillon and Boston College, however, the Miami front seven is unlikely to bow down to anyone.

The Hurricanes’ rush defense ranks 10thin the nation and allows only 105.6 yards per game, but it has yet to face a Top 25 rushing offense. Miami struggled against LSU’s 47th-ranked rushing game in the season opener, and though LSU has proven to be one of the nation’s best teams, many believe the Tigers’ running attack is inferior to BC’s.

So, where should Miami look for inspiration? The 2006 game would be a good place to start.

On Thanksgiving night, No. 18 Boston College met unranked Miami in the Orange Bowl. The Miami defense was astounding that night, holding the Eagles to under 200 yards of total offense. Quarterback Matt Ryan—who has gone on to fame as the Atlanta Falcons quarterback—could not find the end zone and even threw an interception in the Eagles’ 17-14 loss. Because of its strong defensive performance, Miami posted its 15thconsecutive win over Boston College. 

Although the 2006 game was fun, everyone knows the greatest victory in series history belongs to Boston College. Every Hurricane fan has had nightmares about “Hail Flutie” ever since Nov. 23, 1984. That’s when, trailing by four with time expiring, BC quarterback Doug Flutie chunked a 48-yard “Hail Mary” pass to Gerard Phelan for the 47-45 victory. Despite Bernie Kosar’s incredible performance, a school record 447 yards passing, defending national champ Miami was not destined to win.

This year’s game may not have as much on the line as some prior games, but it’s still always fun to watch. With Boston College’s strong run game facing Miami’s fierce front seven, it could make for one thrilling outcome.H&A

Kickoff time for Miami at Boston College is 6 P.M. CDT on ESPN.

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