Preview: BC Looks to Reignite Its Offense at Home Against Duke
After scoring three points in two of its last three games, Boston College football will look to reinvigorate its offense against Duke on Friday in its first home game since Oct. 8. The Blue Devils are 5–3 on the season and would clinch bowl eligibility for the first time since 2018 with a win at Alumni Stadium. The Eagles will look to flip things around after a program-first loss to Connecticut in Week Nine.
Who is BC playing?
When are they playing?
Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m.
Where are they playing:
Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How to watch:
The game will air on ESPN 2 and BC Sports Network on WEEI 93.7 FM/850 AM.
BC and Duke’s Friday night matchup marks the two teams’ ninth meeting. The two teams first played in 1927, a game that resulted in a 25–9 Duke victory. BC leads the all-time series 5–3. The Eagles have won three of their five games against Duke since 2000, including a 26–6 win on Sept. 19, 2020—the first game under head coach Jeff Hafley’s reign.
What to Expect from Duke:
Duke boasts the fourth-best overall offense in the ACC this year. It runs a rush-heavy attack led by running back Jordan Waters, who’s scored seven of Duke’s 35 touchdowns this season.
Sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard leads the Blue Devils in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. In the air, he’s thrown for 1,693 yards this season with a pass completion percentage of 64.1 percent. His main target has been wide receiver Jalon Calhoun, who’s recorded 443 receiving yards this season to lead the team.
The Blue Devils’ offensive line puts up some of the biggest numbers in the conference—it has allowed only 12 sacks on the season, the second-lowest number in the ACC. Led by four returning starters, the O-line has been key in Duke’s success throughout the season, protecting Leonard in the pocket and creating space for him to run.
The Blue Devils have struggled to stop the run game this season, a weakness that BC running back Pat Garwo III can look to exploit on Friday. As a team, Duke has recorded five interceptions this season, the third-lowest number in the ACC. The Blue Devils have held opponents to an average of 22.1 points per game, while BC lets up an average of 28.8 points per game.
The Eagles should expect to see defensive back Darius Joiner, who leads the team in tackles with 63, and defensive lineman Brandon Johnson, who has recorded 3.5 sacks on the year, make some big plays on defense.
A BC victory will require the Eagles to find a way to generate scoring opportunities and stop Leonard on the run. While Duke has outmatched preseason expectations, Friday’s game is the Eagles’ most winnable matchup left on the schedule. After its Friday game, BC will go on the road to face No. 21 NC State and Notre Dame in Weeks 11 and 12 and will close its season by hosting No. 22 Syracuse in Week 13.
After BC’s loss at UConn, all eyes will be on Hafley and quarterback Phil Jurkovec to maintain composure. If the Eagles can establish its run game and force Leonard to pass the ball, they’ll have a chance to earn a victory under the lights.