Boston College - Syracuse Matchup

The Boston College Eagles will meet the Syracuse Orangemen this week in the Carrier Dome. These teams had very different experiences last week. Eagles improved their record to 4-2 with a 38-13 drubbing of Temple while Syracuse was roughed up by Virginia Tech, 51-7. This is a crucial game for both teams as they battle for positioning in the Big East which will help determine who goes to which bowl game at the end of the year. Here is a summary of each team:

The Quarterbacks
Quinton Porter -- 56.5% comp, 1,044 yards, 11 TD, 3 INT
RJ Anderson -- 59.7% comp, 888 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT

Top Rushers
Derrick Knight -- 886 yards, 6.2 ypc, 3 TD
  Horace Dodd -- 293 yards, 5.3 ypc, 7 TD
Walter Reyes -- 721 yards, 6.7 ypc, 11 TD
  Damien Rhodes -- 123 yards, 3.5 ypc, 0 TD

Top Receivers
Grant Adams (WR) -- 16 catches, 239 yards, 2 TD
  Joel Hazard (WR) -- 15 catches, 169 yards, 0 TD
  Sean Ryan (TE) -- 12 catches, 154 yards, 4 TD
Johnnie Morant (WR) -- 24 catches, 428 yards, 2 TD
  Jared Jones (WR) -- 16 catches, 156 yards, 0 TD
  Walter Reyes (RB) -- 14 catches, 103 yards, 0 TD

Top Defenders
Josh Ott (LB) -- 50 tackles
  Mattias Kiwanuka (DE) -- 4 sacks, 12 QB hurries
  Will Blackmon (CB) -- 30 tackles, 3 INT, 6 passes broken up
Rich Scanlon (LB) -- 64 tackles, 4.5 for lost yardage
  Diamond Ferri (SS) -- 49 tackles, 3 for loss
  Anthony Smith (FS) -- 50 tackles, 3 INT

The Kickers
Sandro Sciortino -- 5/10 FG, 21/21 PAT
Colin Barber -- 7/9 FG, 17/17 PAT

The Punters
Jeff Gomulinsky -- 40.4 yards per kick
Brendan Carney -- 41.6 yards per kick

The Kick Returners
Will Blackmon -- 24.7 yds per KO return, 10.0 per punt return
  Nat Hasselbeck -- 6.4 yards per punt return
Johnnie Morant -- 29.6 yards per kickoff return
  Steve Gregory -- 20.6 yards per kickoff return
  Marcus Clayton -- 8.3 yards per punt return

Final Analysis
Offensively, Boston College and Syracuse are very similar. Both teams possess excellent running backs (Derrick Knight and Walter Reyes are 1st and 3rd in the nation in rushing yards per game, respectively). Neither team has a particularly strong passing game. Syracuse has had better success with the kicking game. Both teams have a dangerous kickoff returner (Will Blackmon for BC and Johnnie Morant for Syracuse). Syracuse protects their quarterback slightly better (3 sacks allowed vs 7 for BC). The major difference between these teams is defense. Syracuse has allowed 100 more total yards per game than BC. Some of this is due to the fact that the Orangemen have played slightly better offensive teams (average national rank of 40 as opposed to 66 for BC). Still, I give BC the advantage on defense. The offense and special teams are about even. Obviously, Syracuse will have the Dome field advantage so BC would be well-advised to get ahead early and take the crowd out the game. This one should be very competitive. I'll go with the better defense.
Boston College 24 Syracuse 20
Syracuse Links
Official Site
CBS Sportsline
The Sporting News

Syracuse by the Numbers

These teams have split the last five meetings with each team going 3-2 at home.

A total of 23 ex-Orangemen currently play in the NFL including four Dolphins and three Colts.

Statistic BC SU
Offense - Run 14 8
Offense - Pass 66 93
Defense - Run 35 85
Defense - Pass 12 78