Eagles looking for first ACC victory against Maryland

Boston College vs. Maryland

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA

1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3, select networks

 

After three debilitating losses on the road, Boston College (1-6, 0-4 ACC) is seeking motivation to compete. A turn-around is about as unlikely as bowl eligibility for the Eagles this year, but a win against Maryland (4-3, 2-1 ACC) on Saturday would be a nice change in pace for everyone at the Heights. Losing gets old after a while.

Maryland comes into Saturday’s game hoping to rebound from a string of unlucky occurrences. Starting quarterback Perry Hills tore his ACL in the first quarter of the N.C. State game last weekend, which Maryland lost 20-18 after N.C. State kicked a 43-yard field goal with 32 seconds left.

Devin Burns, a wide receiver-turned-quarterback, took over the game last week and will most likely start against the Eagles this coming weekend. Burns was the fourth-string quarterback at the start of the season, but made his way to the starting spot after a myriad of injuries and transfers.

Offensively, Maryland plays into BC’s defensive strengths—if you can even define them as "strengths." Ranked 89th in the FBS in passing yards and 118th in the FBS in rushing yards, Maryland focuses far more on the passing game. This could potentially take the pressure off BC’s atrocious run defense, ranked 117th overall in the FBS.

A bright sliver of hope among all of BC’s shortcomings this season: Chase Rettig has thrown for around 2,000 yards and 13 TD's thus far. He only passed for a total of 1960 yards and 12 TD’s last year. His QB rating of 130.5 is far better than his previous two seasons.

With a defense that is struggling mightily, the coaching staff has to maximize Rettig’s talents and base all of their momentum and energy off of his performance. Parroting what has been said countless times this year, Boston College’s best defense is their offense. If Rettig can manage to open the field with down-field completions to the likes of Amidon, Coleman and Sweigert, Andre Williams and Deuce Finch need to perform big against a Maryland run defense that is 6th in the country.

A win against Maryland would reinvigorate a BC squad that has yet to beat a team in the ACC—let alone the FBS. If (and this is a big, big if) the defense pulls off some great stops, Rettig should take control and relatively dominate the scoreboard. It wouldn’t be all that bad to leave Alumni Stadium feeling victorious.

Prediction: Eagles win, 31-24

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