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North Carolina vs Boston College
Key ACC Football Matchup
Boston College hosts North Carolina Saturday at high noon in a game with ACC title implications. Oddsmakers at BetEd and BetJamaica, two leading offshore sportsbooks, have Boston College listed as -3.5 favorites with a total of 38.5.
If there is a conference that can rival the Pac 10 in inconsistency this year
it is the ACC. It has been close to impossible to figure out the ACC this year.
Outside of Georgia Tech there are 8 teams with 2-4 losses on the year which says
that the teams have been beating up on each other much like the SEC does. When
it looked like Virginia Tech was on their way to another ACC Title they lost
back to back games to Georgia Tech and North Carolina, then when it looked like
Miami was back to their old winning ways they lost to both Clemson and North
In this matchup we have two other teams that have had problems with consistency all year. During the preseason many people thought this was the year that North Carolina was going to contend for an ACC Title under Head Coach Butch Davis. Davis had been doing a great job of recruiting and getting elite talent, but things just didnt come together like they had hoped and they dropped 3 games to Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Florida State. For a school that is known as a basketball school a 9 win season would be a big step in the right direction, and they can still accomplish that goal if they win their last two games.
Boston College will be a big test for the Tar Heels though. Boston College also has 3 losses on the year, but their 3 losses came to 3 very good teams in Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame. They are still in the hunt for their 3rd straight ACC Title game appearance, but for that to happen not only do they need to win, but they need Clemson to lose. They need to make sure to take care of business this Saturday against North Carolina in this must win game or it wont matter.
North Carolina wont blow you away with their offensive attack, but thats not how they win games. They are very well coached, they are very disciplined, and they play great sound defense. They are ranked 1st or close to 1st in just about every defensive statistic in the ACC which is the main reason why UNC finds themselves close to a 8-9 win season.
Boston College likes to get things going early with their RB Montel Harris who has been their workhorse for much of the year. When a team is able to stop Harris they stop Boston College. In Boston College's 3 losses Harris was held on average to just 31.3 yards per game and only had one TD in those 3 games compared to an average of 141 yards and 12 TD. North Carolina is ranked 1st in the ACC in rush defense so the Tar Heels defense matches up well for this matchup. Expect Butch Davis to stack the box and commit to stopping Harris and force Boston College to beat them through the air with QB Dave Shinskie which is a lot to ask of their Freshman QB.
THE FINAL VERDICT
This is going to be a hard hitting smashmouth game that will be won by whoever is able to control the line of scrimmage. Will it be North Carolina's defensive line that wins that battle or Boston College's offensive line? North Carolina is ranked 2nd in the ACC in sacks with 25 on the year and Boston College is ranked 2nd in the ACC in sacks allowed giving up just 12.
The one thing that stands out about Boston College's rushing attack with RB Montel Harris is that when he went up against tough defenses like Clemson and Virginia Tech Harris struggled. In those two games he had 13 yards on 12 carries and 43 yards and 11 carries. He will see another tough defense this Saturday that is better then any defense he has faced with stopping the run. We expect North Carolina to control the line of scrimmage and force QB Dave Shinskie to beat them with his arm, and if they are able to do that then the Tar Heels will be one win away from a 9 win season, and they will completely put Boston College's ACC Title hopes to rest. North Carolina +3.5
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