Sports, Football, Fall

Preview: Eagles Look to Avoid Disaster in Home Matchup Against Winless Virginia

After showing signs of progress against then–No. 3 Florida State two weeks ago, Boston College football took several steps backward in its Week Four matchup against undefeated Louisville on the road. The Eagles surrendered seven touchdowns on seven consecutive Louisville drives to start the game and eventually fell 56–28.

This week, BC returns to Alumni Stadium for its third ACC matchup of the year against winless Virginia. The Cavaliers boast a talented quarterback in Tony Muskett, who transferred from Mommouth, and are looking to get their season back on track after Muskett missed the last three weeks with a shoulder injury. A loss for either squad, however, would end any hope of salvaging equally rough starts.

Who is BC playing?


When is BC playing?

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

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

Series History:

BC has historically dominated Virginia, going 6–1 and outsourcing the Cavaliers by 66 points over the teams’ seven matchups. In the most recent contest in 2020, Virginia notched its first-ever win in the series, defeating the Eagles 43-32. Quarterback Dennis Grosel tied Doug Flutie’s single-game passing record of 520 yards in the loss.

What to Expect From Virginia’s Offense:

Do not let Virginia’s poor record mislead you to overlook its offensive weapons. While true freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea has shown flashes of exceptionalism, averaging over 300 passing yards per game, it will be Mustkett back behind center in Chestnut Hill on Saturday.

It will be interesting to see if Colandrea sees action if Mustkett appears rusty, as he’s already played in three games and playing in over four means redshirt eligibility is lost.

Fifth-year wide receiver Malik Washington has been electric for the Cavaliers’ offense, totaling 459 yards, 28 receptions, and three touchdowns through four games. Last week against NC
State he caught two touchdowns for 170 receiving yards. The Eagles’ defense—which has let up 20 touchdowns this season and is currently the only ACC defense that hasn’t intercepted a pass—will certainly have its hands full this weekend.

What to Expect From Virginia’s Defense:

Virginia’s defense has completely overshadowed any glimmer of hope for its offense. The Cavaliers have surrendered nearly 38 points per game, and only six teams in college have allowed more. Their 240.5 passing yards allowed per game ranks 90th in college football, and their 178 rushing yards allowed per game lands at 109. 

Defensive lineman Kameron Butler, however, has been Virginia’s star on defense. The senior has already recorded 3.5 sacks in just four games and has a sack in each of his last three games. Butler is also second on the team in solo tackles with 16 and third on the team in total tackles with 23. Defensive back Jonas Sanker has also put together a solid season, as he’s currently tied for 29th in the country in passes defended with five, while also forcing a fumble in the Cavaliers’ Week Three loss to Maryland. So while BC’s offensive line has improved this season, it won’t be a walk in the park for it to find success against Virginia’s pass rush.


BC ranks dead last In the ACC standings, and UVA is just two spots above. Those rankings sum up the state of both of these squads and hint at the possibility that Saturday’s game turns ugly for fans from Chestnut Hill and Charlottesville alike. Both squads have had their struggles, especially with penalties—Virginia has allowed 51.25 penalty yards per game and BC has allowed 98.5 yards per game, the second most in the FBS. The 132 lost yards BC surrendered on a program-record 18 penalties against FSU in Week Three are likely still fresh in Eagles fans’ minds.

On the flip side, BC and Virginia have shared glaring defensive issues and offensive spark plugs could potentially give viewers quite the spectacle. Thomas Castellanos and Mustkett will air it out to see who can exploit the other’s struggling defense more, with the potential for a high-scoring matchup.

September 29, 2023