The Boston College Eagles and Wake Forest Demon Deacons meet for their yearly battle on Thursday night. Boston College and Wake Forest have played every year since 2003 in the ACC. They had ten games between 1941 to 1953, and then continued their rivalry in 2003. It usually results in a hard-fought, hard hitting struggle between BC and Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons may not have had the same success as BC over the last decade, but they’ve always hung around in this game and given the Eagles a battle. Wake Forest won last year by a score of 34-10. They’ve won two of three, including a 3-0 win in 2015. The Eagles scored a close 17-14 win in 2016.
Hence, why this line is shorter than some people were anticipating. I think it’s right on target, a pretty sharp line that could go either way. Boston College usually bring a tough running game every year to the party. They typically recruit big offensive lineman to pave the way for an effective ground attack. Even when Matt Ryan was under center, Boston College was a well-balanced team who liked to run the ball. They’ve had some mobile quarterbacks come through over the years, but still stuck to the pro-style system.
It isn’t any different this season, as Boston College has one of the deepest offensive lines and best running backs in the nation. AJ Dillon will be highly talked about when he decides to go pro. He received the ACC Running back of the Week award after participating in just three series. Dillon ran for 149 yards on just 6 carries, which included 3 touchdowns. Steve Addazio has had some quality running backs over the years, but Dillon may be the best yet.
Boston College enters with a 2-0 record, but they haven’t played anyone yet. Dillon is good, but he ran for 149 yards against Holy Cross in a 62-14 win. They outgained Holy Cross by 347 yards. In the opener, the Eagles took on UMass, another cupcake who they dismantled by a score of 55-21, outgaining them by 284 yards. Wake Forest is coming off a 51-20 win over Towson and a nail biter over Tulane in overtime, 23-17. So, this will be the biggest challenge each school has had in 2018 thus far. Head below for our free Boston College vs. Wake Forest pick on Thursday evening. Note the early start time of this matchup because of the impeding hurricane on the east coast.
Boston College Eagles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons NCAAF Betting Odds:
Boston College -5(-105)
vs. Wake Forest +5(-115)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Boston College vs. Wake Forest Pick:
There isn’t any secret what Boston College is going to do in this game. They’re going to pound the ball with Dillon and let their offensive line go to work. The Eagles used three different quarterbacks against Holy Cross and they were all effective. Starter Anthony Brown completed 2 passes for 43 yards before he got to sit down and watch the rest of the game from the sidelines.
Matt McDonald led all passers with 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. By the time Holy Cross got on the board, Boston College had already cycled through the backups. The Eagles posted a shutout in the first-half, with the leading passer for the Crusaders going just 6-for-11 with 39 yards and an interception.
The key for Boston College if they want to have success against the big boys of the ACC is the quarterback play of Anthony Brown. He’s been playing well thus far but we can’t draw any conclusions against UMass and Holy Cross. He had a season-ending knee injury last season, so this has been his first taste of action on a surgically repaired knee.
The offense has a much stiffer challenge on Thursday than they had the previous two weeks. The strength of the Demon Deacon’s defense is up-front in the interior. To counter the Boston College offense this is absolutely necessary. Willie Yarbary and Zeek Rodney are fifth-year defensive tackles who have looked strong as ever so far.
Tulane’s leading rusher went for just 38 yards. For Towson, their leading rusher had 18 yards on the day. Boston College is a step-up in talent, but Wake Forest has the horses to provide some resistance. They have some holes on the back-end, though, that Brown will have to exploit. The Demon Deacons will throw everything at the running game that there will be opportunities downfield for Brown. Wake Forest have gone with first-year starter, Sam Hartman, as their man under center.
He’s struggled against inferior competition so far. He’s thrown for 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions with a 61.5 percentage completion. Tulane picked him off twice and Towson forced him into a turnover last week. Hartman will have to deal with a defense that allowed just 22.5 points per game last season. Boston College and Wake Forest games have always come down to defense. BC will predictably go to Dillon early and often. Windy conditions are likely to come in play for the quarterbacks. The Deacons are well aware of this playbook, they’ve held BC to just 8 points per game in their last three meetings. The last eight games have gone UNDER the total with an average of 34.5 points scored per game. On a short week for both schools, I expect more of the same.