Quick LAne Bowl Pick
No one would call this season pretty for either of these teams leading up to the Quick LAne Bowl, but at least they got to six wins after only three a year ago. Maryland lost six of its final eight Games while Boston College had just two wins in ACC play. As expected, the spread isn’t much, with the Terrapins a -1 point favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook for the Game in Detroit.
The interesting thing for these teams is that head coaches D.J. Durkin and Steve Addazio were both on the Florida coaching staff back in 2010 and now they are on opposite sides of the field.
There aren’t many good things Maryland has done this season as their only win against a bowl team came early in the year vs. UCF in double overtime. Other than that, they lost by double digits in all but one of their six Big Ten losses. To get to six wins, the Terps beat lowly Rutgers in the finale.
But that’s not to say Boston College has been much better with one of the worst offenses statistically in the country, scoring 20.8 points per Game. To get here, they won at Wake Forest in the finale, another 6-6 team. Their two ACC wins came against 6-6 teams and the Eagles didn’t see much competition in non-Conference play.
Maryland gets the opening edge only because its offense is slightly better when healthy. Perry Hills should be good to go after battling shoulder issues all season as he’ll have a month off between Games. He’s been fine when playing, completing 66% of his passes for 10 TDs and three picks, but his backups are not very good and that would turn this Game if Hills can’t make it all the way. The Terps have been solid running the ball, but all of their numbers have come against weak competition. The one thing BC does well is stop the run and that will be an issue for Ty Johnson (845 yards, 8.9 yards per carry). It doesn’t help that their other top running back, Lorenzo Harrison, will likely be suspended for this Game.
So the question will come down to what Boston College can do offensively. Maryland doesn’t have a great defense but has been solid against mediocre teams such as in the 28-17 win against Michigan State. The Eagles came through in their final two Games, but expecting them to Scoremore than 20 points may be a stretch.
Kentucky transfer quarterback Patrick Towles has continued his poor play with BC, but at least has a positive TD-INT ratio with 10 TDs and 6 INTs. Of course, he’s only completing 51% of his passes and they don’t want him throwing more than 20 times in a Game. It’ll come down to what Maryland’s defense can do against the run. And the Terps haven’t been good against the run, 100th in the country in yards allowed and giving up 4.9 yards per carry.
That said, the Eagles still only average 3.4 ypc and their top running back Jon Hilliman is at 3.0 ypc with 463 yards, although freshman Davon Jones has gotten more run lately, not that he’s done much with it.
Boston College is better in the trenches and that’s how they’ll win this Game, but if Hills gets through the entire Game for Maryland, he’ll probably be the best player on the field and that could make the difference.
The Terrapins are 1-4 ATS in their last five Games overall, but 5-2 ATS in their last seven neutral-site Games. The Eagles are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven non-Conference Games, but 1-6 ATS in their last seven bowl Games.
Our Pick – There’s just not much to hang Our hats on in this one. Games like this make great arguments for the fact that there are simply too many Bowl Games these days with less than mediocre teams participating.
No strong opinion here, however, Our model has this Game close. Basically a toss up. With that in mind, the Game will likely be decided by a mistake (a turnover). Maryland is -5 in turnover Margin while BC is +5. Maryland figures to be the team more likely to make that costly turnover. BC +1