We take a look at Miami at Boston College in
an ACC showdown. BC has opened up a -1 favorite over traditional powerhouse “The U.” Will Miami start off their season strong and, in the process, return to
prominence, or will BC destroy the dream before it's begun?
Miami was stunned when 6 key players declared for the NFL Draft; Miami had been favored to win the Coastal Division of the ACC prior. Four very close loses cost Miami last season. According to the stats, 91% of teams losing several close games improve immensely the following season. With
all those key players leaving early, however, it looks like the Hurricanes will be in rebuilding mode.
With the loss of last year's top rusher Lamar Miller, who
ran for over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns, Mike James,
who averaged just 3.8 yards per rush last year in a limited role, will become the lead back. Stephen Morris will start
at quarterback; in limited action last season, he put
up decent numbers, completing 70% of his passes but passed. Unfortunately, he didn't throw a single TD.
Miami will also have to find a replacement for WR Devin
Streeter, who lead the team last year with 9 touchdowns and
811 receiving yards. The U with has to replace major
production at most skilled offensive positions. The good
news is, they do have some highly recruited running backs to compete with James in the backfield.
The defense lost leading tackler Sean Spence, not to mention 5 starters on
defense. This is a unit that gave up just 20 ppg. last year, but struggled big
time stopping the rush, giving up 162 yards per game; they were, however, dominant shutting
down the passing game, giving up just 198 passing per game.
Boston College has 17 returning starters this year, the most in the ACC, having lost just 15 letterman (fewest in ACC), which should give
them a much improved team.
The offense should be much more explosive this year,
returning a whopping 10 starters on that side. QB Chase Rettig will be back at
the helm; he will be looking to improve on his “play it safe, don't turn the
football over and manage the game” style of play, a style of play that lead to just 1,960
passing yards for 12 touchdowns and 9 INTS. Rettig will have plenty of options
at WR and they should be gelling well after having another year under
their belts. BC returns all four of their top receivers, including big
threat Bobby Swigert, and big things are expected of him this year.
Toheir top two running backs, Roland
Finch and Andre Williams, with split carries; Finch rushed for 740 yards while
Williams went for 546, and we can certainly expect those numbers to improve
BC will have to vastly improve on the defensive side of the
ball in which they gave up 24 ppg last year on almost 400 yards per game, 151
rushing yards per game and 243 passing. The seven returning starters on that
side of the ball should help them improve.
We like Boston College -1 here as they will be licking their
chops, looking to get on the field and hit someone hard after not making a bowl
game last year. I'm sure
they practiced with that nasty taste in their mouths all off season and should
come out guns ablazing. The “U” may hold the talent advantage, but there is no doubt that the BC Eagles hold
the advantage in experience, and that is huge in the first game of the year,
especially when Miami will be playing on the road in a hostile environment. We
aren't often fans of backing a home team that is laying just 1 point to the
road team, which often means the college football odds makers don't have a very strong belief in
the home team but in our opinion this line is set low just on name recognition
alone on “The U”.
recommend playing the Boston College Eagles -1 in this spot.