Boston College’s improved passing game could mean trouble for Syracuse football (scouting report)

Syracuse, N.Y. — After dropping its sixth game of the season against Wake Forest, Syracuse football (1-6, 1-5) is preparing to face one of the ACC’s best pass offenses.

Boston College (4-3, 3-3) enters Saturday’s game against the Orange with a rush of momentum after nearly beating top-ranked Clemson last week before ultimately falling 34-28. The Eagles rank third in the conference in pass offense, averaging 268.4 yards through the air, rounding out to 1,879 total yards.

In 2019, Boston College cruised to a 58-27 win over Syracuse which gave up a program record 496 rushing yards. Syracuse leads the series, 32-21.

Here’s a scouting report on Boston College:

Offense

Boston College is led by Notre Dame-transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who is among the ACC’s top newcomers with 1875 passing yards and 14 touchdowns. His threat as a passer opens the offense up for one of the conference’s best tight ends in Hunter Long. Not to mention, the Eagles have a 6-foot, 236-pound junior running back in David Bailey, who leads the team with 304 rushing yards. Boston College also has an pretty healthy offensive line that includes four starters that weigh over 300 pounds. Syracuse ranks last in the ACC in pass defense, giving up 176.3 yards per game. If the Eagles are able to convert through the air, it might be a long game for the Orange, especially without the help of Andre Cicso and Trill Williams, who recently announced to opt out of the rest of the season and declare for the NFL Draft.

Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Boston College has a duo of linebackers that rank top-five in the country in tackling. Isaiah McDuffie and Max Richardson have 69 tackles a piece on the season, tied for third in the nation. McDuffie previously committed to Syracuse under former coach Scott Shafer before signing with the Eagles late in the 2016 recruiting cycle. BC is allowing 86 yards less per game than 2019, going from 125th nationally to 49th. On offense, Syracuse hasn’t been able to score enough points to stay competitive. Orange coach Dino Babers threw freshman quarterback JaCobian Morgan in last week’s game against Wake Forest. It’ll be interesting to see if Babers gives him more time this week.

Coaching

Jeff Hafley, who played wide receiver at Siena, has positioned his team with a .500 conference record in his first season as coach at Boston College. After giving Clemson a scare, Hafley is going to try his luck in the Carrier Dome for the first time. A neat little stat: Since 2015, ACC teams are 13-25 in conference games immediately after facing the Tigers. Syracuse teams are 0-5 (along with a non-conference win over Western Michigan). Babers has led Syracuse for the past five years but this season has been derailed by the injury bug, as the Orange enters Saturday’s game without several starters, including Tommy DeVito, Cisco and Williams, among others who sat out the season due to coronavirus concerns. Will Syracuse pull the upset? Vegas doesn’t think so as the Orange stands as a 14-point underdog.

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Contact Mike Curtis anytime at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @MikeACurtis2.

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