The Cotton Bowl in Dallas Texas will be the site for the second bowl matchup between Boise State and Boston College. Last time these two programs met on the field was back in 2005 in the MPC Computers Bowl. The game was played on the ” blue turf” of Boise State. On that day, Boston College came out on top 27-21 snapping a 31-game home winning streak for the Broncos.
Fast forward thirteen years later and these two football teams get another chance at each other. There is an importance for both schools in this game. For Boise State, it’s the chance to end their season as a top-25 team. The Broncos arrived in Dallas as a ranked team in both the AP Top 25 at ( #23) and in the College Football Playoff Ranking at #25. For Boston College, it’s an opportunity to end their year with eight wins. For the Eagles, that may not sound like much, but in the ACC win totals do matter.
Boise State (10-3) made it to the championship game of the Mountain West Conference losing to Fresno State in the title game. Their offense is in the very capable hands of quarterback Brett Rypien. Rypien threw for over 3700 yards and thirty touchdowns. His completion rate of 67% is good, but what’s even better is that Rypien takes very good care of the football throwing only seven interceptions all season.
When the Broncos are not lighting up the sky, they can be successful with their ground game. Alex Mallison gained 1400 yards on the ground to go along with 17 touchdowns. He finished seventh in the nation in yards and fifth in touchdowns. His 302 carries are the most in FBS. Mallison ran the ball thirty times in three of his last five games and went for over one hundred yards in five of his last six games. This included back-to-back two hundred yards games. In the MWC championship game, Mallison carried the ball forty times vs Fresno State.
The Broncos defense gives up twenty-two points a game. Jabril Frazier has five and a half sacks, and Curtis Weaver has nine and a half sacks. They will be two members of the Broncos front four that the BC offensive line will have to keep out of their backfield all day long. The secondary has only seven interceptions to there credit, so putting pressure on the Eagles QB will be necessary.
Boston College (7- 5) did give themselves a chance to play in the ACC Championship game. However, the Eagles stumbled down the stretch losing league games to Clemson, Florida State, and Syracuse. On the ground, the Eagles are led by A.J. Dillon despite an ankle injury that bugged him for most of the year. He gained 1154 yards on 227 carries and finished with10 touchdowns. Quarterback Anthony Brown threw for twenty touchdowns on 158 completions on 285 attempts for 2121 yards. He took care of the football throwing only nine picks.
Brown spread the ball around. Kobay White had 33 catches for 526 yards and three touchdowns. Jeff Smith chipped in 20 catches for 387 yards and six touchdowns, and TE Tommy Sweeney got 32 catches for 348 yards and three scores. The Eagles offense averaged 32 points per game and were at their best when they “played fast”.
On defense, the Eagles front four was led by Zack Allen with six and a half sacks and Wyatt Ray with nine. The Eagles secondary was a ball-hawking group with 18 interceptions. They were led by Hamp Cheevers’ seven and Taj-Anir Torres with four.
If this does come down to a field goal contest, Boise State may have the advantage. Their kicker, Haden Hoggath, is 12-20 on the year. He is four of six inside thirty yards, six of eight inside forty yards, and two of four inside fifty yards.
Boston College has struggled in this area. Colton Lichtenberg is five for eight on the year. Three of four from inside thirty yards, two of three inside forty yards. Boston College does not have much faith in this part of their game, so look for them to stay away from it at all costs.