Sports, Football, Fall

Preview: BC Will Look to Snap Losing Streak Against NC State

In what many consider a lost season for Boston College football and head coach Jeff Hafley, a matchup at No. 22 NC State figures to be a blowout. Last week’s loss against Duke eliminated the Eagles from bowl contention, so in its last three contests, BC won’t be playing with postseason dreams on the horizon. The last time BC missed bowl eligibility was in 2015 under head coach Steve Addazio.  

Wins have been tough to come by for the Eagles, as they’ve started the season 2–7. Opponents have outscored them 125–52 in their last four matchups. BC’s only games against ranked opponents thus far have resulted in 28-point blowout losses to Clemson and Wake Forest. The Wolfpack looks just as explosive. BC will need a near-perfect game plan to keep this one close.

Who is BC playing?

No. 22 NC State.

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Nov. 12, 3:30 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.

How to watch:

The game will air on ACCN and BC Sports Network on WEEI 93.7 FM/850 AM. 

Series history:

BC leads the all-time series against NC State 10–8, and the two teams have played every year since the Eagles joined the ACC in 2005. The only exception was the 2020 season, which was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NC State routed BC without Phil Jurkovec last year in a turning point for the Eagles’ 2021 campaign. After a 4–0 start, BC nearly knocked off Clemson in Death Valley, but its next homestand marked the beginning of a 2–5 streak to end the year for the Eagles. 

What to Expect from N.C. State:

Offense

Despite the Wolfpack’s AP Poll ranking, NC State doesn’t rank highly in most offensive statistical categories. Similarly to the Eagles, it doesn’t run the ball often and isn’t efficient when it does. Most of the Wolfpack’s offense operates through the air. NC State’s starting quarterback going into the season was Devin Leary, who passed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns in six starts, but a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the rest of the season. 

True freshman MJ Morris took over for Leary and has been a pleasant surprise for the Wolfpack. Through two starts, he’s completed 64.6 percent of his passes while registering 513 passing yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Wolfpack has shown no signs of slowing down since Morris took over, beating Virginia Tech and Wake Forest with Morris under center.

Morris’ top target is wide receiver Thayer Thomas, who has almost twice as many receiving yards as the next closest NC State receiver. The Eagles’ defense should focus on Morris and Thomas’ connection if it wants to slow down the Wolfpack.

Defense

NC State’s defense will be one of the best defenses BC has had to face all season. The Wolfpack allows 17.8 points per game, good for 22nd in the nation. NC State doesn’t necessarily have a standout on the defensive side of the ball. Instead, its combined team defense is what makes the Wolf Pack so tough to score on. 

Whether it will be Emmett Morehead or Jurkovec at quarterback for the Eagles, either one will need to have one of their best games of the season to score enough points to keep BC in the game. Putting up three points like BC did against Clemson and UConn will not be enough to top the Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack’s defense excels in coverage, especially at intercepting passes. It averages 1.5 picks per game, tied for fifth in the nation. Jurkovec has been prone to throwing dangerous passes in the past, and he will need to limit those on Saturday if he plays to give the Eagles a shot.

Outlook:

BC will need to get every ounce out of its playmakers to stay competitive. As the offseason looms, this game could determine the future for some of BC’s players and coaches.

November 10, 2022
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