1.) Center Nate Richman (probable) and left guard Emmett Cleary (questionable) are nursing leg injuries. The Eagles are allowing three sacks per game, the worst average in the ACC. The ground game has been held under 100 yards and 3 yards per carry by every I-A team they've played, and not surprisingly, theirs is the worst rushing attack in the league. However, Montel Harris is doing whatever he can to prop them up, and his performances have gone like this: good, bad, good, bad. We're ruined!
It sounds like this Boston College offensive line is the most vulnerable unit they've had in years. But I was under the same impression about Virginia Tech's line, and that didn't quite work out for us. I think I'll stay skeptical on this point until I see it. The Eagles' OL isn't lacking for experience, they've just struggled for whatever reason. Maybe it's the injuries. Maybe teams have done a better job keying on the Harris-led running game.
2.) On the other side of the ball, Boston College's defense remains tough. They're third in the ACC in both total defense and yards allowed per play (4.5). Those ranks are right in line with the last 3-4 years. They've held three of four opponents to less than three yards per carry, and no one has managed more than 112 yards on the ground. Adding up State's rushing yards from the last three meetings with BC, we have: 170. Success on the ground is not essential to victory, never is with Russell under center, but a little progress on this front would be nice.
3.) With Chase Rettig listed as doubtful, the start is expected to go to Dave Shinskie. I should feel good about this. If Boston College's offensive line continues to struggle, I'm sure I will before long.
4.) Maybe I've missed them, but I was expecting roughly 632 articles about the meeting between Nate Irving and Mark Herzlich. Well, there will be 600 articles after the game as media members scramble to explain what they've seen. When Irving and Herzlich meet during a simple pre-game handshake, the happiness in the stadium will be so overwhelming that the two men will explode into bits of rainbows, a variety of delicious candies, and OMG a litter of the cutest puppies you have ever seeeen you guys. Bet, lock, cigar, etc.
5.) In 2008, Chris Crane set season-highs in attempts, completions, completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt, and passing efficiency. He threw for 428 yards, nearly double his second-highest output (218 yds vs. VT) that season. In 2009, Montel Harris ran for 264 yards and five scores, both of which are school records. We've been completely embarrassed by Boston College twice in a row. We should be focused, the defense especially, on putting an end to the embarrassment tomorrow. I don't know that it gives us an added edge, but it can't hurt.
For the sake of consistency, and with jinx concerns rising once more, I'm going BC 24, NC State 17.