The Syracuse Orange will close out one of the stranger seasons in a while when they head to Chestnut Hill to face the Boston College Eagles.
BC’s struggled with injuries all year and will not make a bowl game even though they finally beat a ranked opponent this year. Before the game kicks off, let’s look at some of the keys to this primetime affair.
Kevin: Don’t give Zay his Flowers
Zay Flowers is the best WR in the ACC. He’s the player who BC needs to open up their passing game and since the Eagles are averaging 61 yards per game rushing, he’s the one player Syracuse needs to contain. We know Tony White loves to trust his corners in man coverage, but it would be criminal not to bracket Flowers on every play. The Orange have to force anyone else on BC to make the plays to beat them. Flowers is likely playing his final game and he’s going to be given lots of targets.
Dom: Can Syracuse’s defense shine for the last time this season?
I second Kevin’s point here. Entering Saturday’s game, Boston College is producing the second-lowest points per game in the ACC, while giving up the second-most points in the conference. There will obviously be questions about the Orange offense, but given its recent 35-point resurgence against Wake Forest last week, scoring shouldn’t be as big of a concern for Syracuse. BC will be throwing the ball relentlessly, as the team is averaging nearly 250 passing yards per contest. If SU can stop the passing game and force a couple of turnovers on defense (BC ranks 124th in the NCAA in turnover margin), then this should be a cakewalk.
Mike: A Pl34sing (Final?) Performance
It’s hard to believe that this could be Sean Tucker’s last game in a Syracuse uniform. After his record-shattering 2021 campaign, Tucker needs 65 yards on the ground Saturday for another 1,000-yard rushing season - and what better team to do it against than BC? Last season, Sean tallied 207 rushing yards and a TD against the Eagles, and their battered defense gives him a chance for another great outing. While both Flowers and Gadsden should be swarmed by each other’s secondaries, Tucker can carry the Orange offense forward and give his resume one more bold point.
Christian: Second go-around
Assuming the worst case scenario, Matthew Bergeron, Chris Bleich and Kalan Ellis could miss a second straight week. Regardless of who’s available and not, I expect to see the heavily rotated offensive line that featured in the Wake Forest game. That means another run for Enrique Cruz, Josh Ilaoa, Jakob Bradford and Joe Cruz. Barring any transfers, which hopefully is unlikely, these guys will be at the forefront of the offensive line next season. How do the rotated big guys play after another week of practice with the starters? The early conclusions were not pretty, but we can probably chalk that up to inexperience.
Steve: Take advantage of Boston College weaknesses in front of our faces
BC’s rushing offense is literally the worst in the country at this point. They’re only averaging 60.9 yards per game on the ground. They do average 246.6 yards of passing offense however. If the Orange can limit this passing game through the secondary play that has been stellar all season, as noted by the 13th best passing yards against in the country, they shouldn’t be getting gashed on the ground like could have happened in other matchups.
What will you be looking for tomorrow night?