Boston College vs. Buffalo prediction and game preview. The Eagles and Bulls face off in Alumni Stadium on Saturday.
Boston College vs. Buffalo Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
TV Broadcast: ACC Extra
The Eagles were inept in a blowout loss to Virginia Tech two weeks ago, but Steve Addazio’s team found things much easier last week against FCS foe Wagner in a 42-10 win. Before the setback to the Hokies, BC opened with a close loss to Georgia Tech in Dublin and a win over UMass. The Eagles continue their four-game home stand this week when Buffalo visits.
The Bulls began the season 0-2 and were staring at 0-3 with an unbeaten Army squad on deck. But Lance Leipold’s squad was up to the challenge, as the Bulls prevented the Black Knights from moving to 4-0 with a 23-20 comeback victory last Saturday night. Buffalo found the end zone twice in the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter to force overtime against a team that had not allowed any of its first three opponents to score in the fourth quarter until that point.
What To Know About Boston College
The Eagles improved to 25-1 all-time against FCS schools with the win over Wagner, and they did not turn the ball over in a game for the first time this season. Penalties remain an issue, though, which is something that needs to be cleaned up before league play resumes. Which offense is going to show up each week? That’s the major question. It has been anemic against better competition this year, but perhaps things are on the upswing after BC outgained Wagner 490-107 in total yards. Patrick Towles was 9 of 16 for 157 yards with two touchdowns through the air, and he added 46 yards and two scores on the ground. Meanwhile, Jon Hilliman and Davon Jones combined for 173 rushing yards. Addazio focused the week before the Wagner game on re-establishing the run after being one of the better ACC rushing teams his first three seasons in Chestnut Hill. It worked for one week, but will it continue? The offensive staff still needs to be more creative, too, because a one-dimensional attack won’t get it done.
What to Know About Buffalo
The Bulls were able to avoid going 0-3 for the first time since 2005, and the win over Army snapped a five-game losing streak dating to last season. Army had not given the ball away in any of its first three games, but Buffalo forced two turnovers in the win. Leipold received a nice performance from redshirt freshman Tyree Jackson, who passed for 178 yards and a touchdown and ran for 34 yards and two more scores to lead the Buffalo comeback.
Offense: Boston College. The Eagles aren’t exactly world-beaters on offense, but the hope is that the Wagner game could be a springboard.
Defense: Boston College. The Eagles held Wagner to 107 total yards in last week’s game.
Special Teams: Boston College. Against Wagner, Tyler Rouse set up a pair of Eagles touchdown runs with career-long kickoff (44 yards) and punt returns (53 yards).
Coaching: Even. Leipold went 109-6 at Wisconsin–Whitewater before arriving at Buffalo. The guy can flat-out coach.
Intangibles: Buffalo. The Bulls are coming off of a really nice win against Army, and they have nothing to lose playing a Power Five team.
Matchup To Watch
Rouse vs. Buffalo kickoff/punt return defense
Rouse can be a factor for the Eagles both on kickoff and punt returns this week. He is the primary return man on both units, and he can instantly change BC’s field position for the positive as he did against Wagner (two returns of over 40 yards). Buffalo is the underdog, and the Bulls are going to need to play clean football in all three phases if they want to steal a win. So paying attention on special teams is vital.
Spread: Boston College -17.5
Boston College vs. Buffalo Prediction
The Eagles are going to get the Bulls’ best shot in this one. Buffalo’s running game is solid, and it’s led by senior running back Jordan Johnson, who had been very productive up until getting shut down last week by the Black Knights. It’s hard to see Buffalo moving the ball consistently against this physical and dependable BC defense. Even if the Eagles deal with some offensive struggles of their own, they’ll have enough to hold on and eek out a win.
Boston College vs. Buffalo Score Prediction: Boston College 23, Buffalo 16