On Dec. 26 the ACC and the Mountain West will get a chance to square off in Dallas. Boston College will take on Boise State in a power five conference vs. a group of five conference matchup. Here is the 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl preview.
Boston College Eagles (7-5)
Boston College had an up and down season that had them in the top 25, but they lost their three games of the season to finish at 7-5. Their four wins over bowl-eligible teams came over Temple, Wake Forest, Miami and Virginia Tech. Their loss to Florida State, was their only defeat to a team below .500.
The Eagles have the 42nd ranked scoring offense in the country 32 points per game. They rush for 189.1 yards a game (ranked 50th) and pass for 215.3 yards a game (ranked 78th).
Anthony Brown has been the starting quarterback for the Eagles, but he isn’t the most dangerous passer. He has thrown for 2,121 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 55.4% completion. Three receivers have been great for Boston College. Wide receivers Kobay White and Jeff Smith capitalize on big plays, while Tommy Sweeney is a great tight end. White leads the team for receiving yards at 526 and Smith leads the team in touchdowns with six.
Running back A.J. Dillon is the real star of this team, as he continually puts up big numbers for the Eagles. He has rushed for 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns this season as a sophomore. Ben Glines has added 380 rushing yards and is a receiving threat as an all-purpose player.
The Boston College defense ranks 54th in points allowed per game at 25.7. Opponents rush for 154.9 yards a game (ranked 52nd) and pass for 247.9 yards per game (ranked 97th) against the Eagles. Zach Allen (6.5 sacks) and Wyatt Ray (nine sacks) have teamed up to be a great pass rushing duo. Cornerback Hamp Cheevers is tied for the FBS lead with seven interceptions on the season.
Boise State Broncos (10-3)
Boise State did lose to Fresno State in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game, but they still were able to have a successful season with 10 wins. Their other losses (Oklahoma State and San Diego State) also came at the hands of bowl-eligible teams. Six of their 10 wins came over teams that went at least .500.
The Broncos average 35.4 points per game, which ranks 25th in the country. They rush for 167.5 yards (ranked 65th) and pass for 292 yards a game (ranked 17th).
Brett Rypien is the unquestioned leader of this team as a four-year starter at quarterback. He has thrown for 3,705 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 67.3% completion. Four receivers have over 500 yards receiving this season, which gives him a lot of good targets. Sean Modster is his favorite target with 68 receptions for 978 yards and eight touchdowns.
Running back Alexander Mattison has carried the load for the Boise State offense. He has rushed for 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, as the seventh-leading rusher in the country. His 17 rushing touchdowns ranks fifth in the country as well.
The defense gives up 22.1 points per game, ranking 35th in the country. They allow 122.9 rushing yards per game (ranked 23rd) and 233 passing yards per game (ranked 74th). Sophomore defensive lineman Curtis Weaver has constantly gotten pressure on quarterbacks with 9.5 sacks.
Boston College’s offense is great when A.J. Dillon is running well, but they can be one-dimensional. Boise State can beat a defense in a variety of ways and their defense will be able to hold their own against the Eagles. Boise State will get up for this game, as it’s a chance to play a power five conference team.
Boise State Broncos 37 Boston College Eagles 31
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