Betting Odds & Pick for Boston College vs. UMass: Eagles Will Score, Minutemen Will Not (Sept. 11)
Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Phil Jurkovec.
Boston College vs. UMass Odds
|Boston College Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Two programs headed in entirely different directions take the field Saturday between the Boston College Eagles and the UMass Minutemen.
Year 3 of the Walt Bell experiment was supposed to produce gradual improvements and through one week, it was much the same. The Minutemen were manhandled 51-7 by Pittsburgh from the opening kickoff.
In the postgame presser, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi called the game “scrimmage No. 3” for the Panthers.
The Eagles, meanwhile, continued to soar under second-year head coach Jeff Hafley, cruising to a 51-0 victory over Colgate with dominant performances on both sides of the ball. Boston College generated over 500 total yards of offense while limiting the Raiders to just 3.5 yards per play.
If there is a spot lacking on the Boston College offense, it is generating consistent yardage on the ground. The Eagles amassed 178 yards on 35 attempts (5.1 YPC) but no running back had more than 29 yards against Colgate, with 61 of those yards coming from quarterback Phil Jurkovec.
The offensive line failed to generate much of a push for most of the game — a surprising development considering the individual talents of Zion Johnson and Alec Lindstrom and the talent disparity between the two teams.
This week will be telling as to how they fare moving forward with another sizable advantage against a UMass front that allowed Pittsburgh, a team that couldn’t run worth a lick last season, to average over five yards an attempt.
As was the case last season, the Boston College passing game was firing on all cylinders with Jurkovec and his talented collection of receivers, averaging 12.6 yards per pass with six plays of 25 yards or more.
The UMass secondary provided zero resistance to Kenny Pickett last weekend, allowing him to complete 73% of his throws as he sat in the pocket comfortably all game long against a three-man front.
For a team that has multiple Power Five transfers starting on offense now in the third year of Bell’s system, you’d think marginal progress would be a reasonable expectation. Instead, it was much the same.
UMass ran just 54 offensive plays last Saturday and didn’t reach the end zone until garbage time in the fourth quarter with the game already out of hand.
The numbers are downright ugly.
UMass averaged 1.5 yards per carry as a team and didn’t gain a single positive rushing yard in the first half vs. Pitts. The Minutemen actually failed to gain any yards on their first five offensive plays of the game.
The Panthers defense swarmed the opposing offensive line, racking up five sacks and six tackles for loss.
That must be fixed, or at least minimized, this week taking on two of the better pass rushers in the ACC in Donovan Ezeiruaku and Shitta Sillah, who combined for 10 tackles, three tackles for losses and two sacks against Colgate.
Boston College vs. UMass Betting Pick
We know one side will be scoring a lot, and one side will not. Dating back to 2019, UMass has scored 10 or fewer points in seven of its last eight games played while Boston College is averaging 29.7 points per game since Hafley took over.
The total has hit the over in five of the last seven games for Boston College, though I’m not sure this UMass offense is capable of scoring more than a touchdown with the Eagles pass rush causing havoc in the Minutemen backfield.
Boston College wins going away for their 11th straight victory in this rivalry.