ACC Rivals Duke Blue Devils and Boston College Eagles Meet in Chestnut Hill

Duke Blue Devils at Boston College Eagles
Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Saturday, September 17, 2011, 12:30 pm Eastern, TV: ACC Network, ESPN Gameplan
Opening Line: Boston College -7 (all odds courtesy of bookmaker)
Current Line: Boston College -7

Opening Total: 48 1/2
Current Total: 47
Opening Money Line: BC -275 / Duke +235
Current Money Line: BC -270 / Duke +230

Boston College is a 7 point favorite at home against Duke in the ACC opener for both these 0-2 teams.

Both Duke and Boston College are 0-2 to start the season and are hungry for a win as they meet in Chestnut Hill. Duke, coached by David Cutcliffe, was upset 23-21 by Richmond to open the season and then was crushed by Stanford 44-14 last week. Now the Blue Devils go on the road for the first time as they take on Boston College. The Eagles are coached by Frank Spaziani, and have had two tough games to start the season against teams that went to a bowl game last year. BC lost at home 24-17 to Northwestern and 30-3 at Central Florida. Boston College and Duke are meeting for the sixth time Saturday. Boston College leads the overall series 4-1, including a 21-16 victory last season in Durham.

No one expected Duke to beat Stanford, ranked in the top ten in the nation, even if the Cardinal had to travel across the country for the game. Stanford appeared a little sluggish in the first half and were only up 17-7 at halftime. They ended up winning 44-14 to cover the 21 point college football betting line. Duke had 335 total yards, including just 30 rushing yards. The blue Devils were 3/16 on third down conversions and had one turnover. Duke allowed 504 total yards to the high powered Cardinal offense including 205 rushing yards. One of Duke’s touchdowns came off a 76 yard interception return in the first half.

Duke is averaging 357 total yards a game and 17.5 points. duke has averaged 253 passing yards a game but they don’t have a passing touchdown yet. They also haven’t thrown an interception yet either. Duke has three turnovers and has allowed 7 sacks. Duke is 10/30 on third down conversions this season. Duke has missed all 5 field goals attempted this year and the Blue Devils are only 3/7 in the red zone. Duke has allowed 396 total yards a game along with 33.5 points a game on defense. Duke has allowed 246 passing yards a game in the two games. Duke has forced 2 turnovers and 2 sacks this season.

Duke quarterback Sean Renfree is 42/60 passing with 380 yards. Anthony Boone took some snaps in the blowout loss to Stanford last week. Boone has 4 carries for 11 yards and 2 touchdowns, but is 7for 9 passing with 70 yards. Juwan Thompson is the leading rusher with 24 carries for 129 yards. Thompson also has 2 catches for 11 yards. Desmond Scott has 11 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown, along with a catch for 5 yards. Scott is listed as questionable with a leg injury. Another Duke running back Josh Snead is also questionable with a foot injury but he hasn’t played so far this season. Receiver Connor Vernon has 14 catches for 176 yards to lead the team. Five other Blue Devil receivers have at least 4 catches. Kicker Will Snyderwine is 4/4 on extra points but is 0/4 on field goals. He is questionable with a foot injury. If he can’t go Jeffrey Ijjas will be the kicker. He has made an extra point and missed a field goal in his only action of the season.

Boston College jumped out to a 3-0 lead early at Central Florida last week but things quickly went sour after that. The Golden Knights scored 30 unanswered points to 30-3. Boston College was held to 141 total yards, including 57 rushing yards. The Eagles had 2 turnovers. BC had only 7 first downs and was 1-12 on third down conversions. On defense, the Eagles allowed 422 total yards including 235 rushing yards. They held the Knights to three first half field goals but UCF scored three touchdowns in the second half.

Boston College has averaged 298 total yards and just 10 points a game so far. The Eagles are rushing for 80.5 yards a game with just 3 yards a carry. Boston College has allowed 6 sacks and have turned the ball over 3 times. The Eagles are 9/29 on third down conversions. On defense Boston College is allowing 423 total yards a game including 231 rushing yards a game. The Eagles are allowing 27 points a game. BC has forced 1 turnover and 2 sacks this season.

Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig is 34/67 passing with 421 yards, no touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Running back Andre Williams has 34 catches for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 2 catches for 11 yards. Williams has both touchdowns that BC has scored this year. Receiver Ifeanyi Momah is the leading receiver with 8 catches for 171 yards but he is out for the season with a torn ACL. Bobby Swigert also has 8 catches but he only has 107 yards. Kicker Nate Freese is 2/2 on field goals but is only 2/4 on field goals with a long of 47 yards.

Duke is 0-2 ATS and both games have gone under the total. Boston College is also 0-2 ATS and the under is 0-2 in those games. Duke is 5-1-1 ATS in the last 7 road games against a team with losing home record, and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 September games. BC is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 as a favorite, 4-17 ATS in the last 22 versus a team with a losing record, 1-8 ATS in the last 9 home games, including 0-6 as a favorite, and 0-5 in the last 5 September games.

These two teams struggle to move the ball, so don’t expect a lot of scoring in this contest. Boston College has played a brutal schedule and is probably the stronger team. Hpwever, I am not sure they should be a touchdown favorite even at home. I think Duke will hang around and might even pull off the upset.

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