Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Champs Sports Bowl Preview

Champ Sports Bowl Orlando, Fla.
Dec. 28, 5 p.m. ESPN
Boston College vs. Michigan State
BC -4, 56.5

Skinny on BC Season:
The Eagles, under 1st year head coach Jeff Jagodzinksi (Jags), won the Atlantic Division of the ACC and rose to #2 in the country during the season. They were led by Senior QB Matt Ryan a Heisman candidate for most of the year. After losing two straight after an 8-0 start, the Eagles recovered earning a berth in the ACCCG by defeating Clemson on the road. They fell to Virginia Tech in Jacksonville after defeating the Hokies earlier in the year on the road.

BC Offense:
The Eagles are going to put their bowl hopes on the arm of Ryan in his final college game. The receiving corps is largely a no-name, but sure handed group. LV Whitworth and Andre Callender spell each other at running back, but neither has been the force Jags thought they would be. The offensive line started off the year very strong, but struggled in some games down the stretch as teams began to key on the pass. The group is very big and carrying on the tradition of good BC lines.

BC Defense:
This group figured to struggled entering the year with the loss of Brian Toal to injury and BJ Raji to academics, but this group has played very solid all year. The strength of the group is in the secondary led by DeJuan Tribble and Jaime Silva. This defense allowed just 68 ypg on the ground.

Michigan State Skinny:
Mark Dantonio finished off his first year in East Lansing with wins over Purdue and Penn State after suffering through a rough middle of the season.

Michigan State offense:
Sparty relies on a running back duo of Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick to move the ball of offense averaging over 200 ypg on the ground. The Spartans are balanced on offense with junior QB Brian Hoyer who threw for over 2500 yards this season.

Michigan State Defense:
Defensively, the Spartans will be shorthanded due to ineligible players due to academics. Sparty is also balanced on defense allowed just over 350 yards total per game. The have given up close to 27 ppg on defense though despite a low yardage total per game.

Motivation:
This game could be a classic case of highly motivated vs not so motivated. BC came within 1 game of the Orange Bowl and was ranked as high as number 2 in the country; now they are playing in the Champs Sports Bowl. Sparty finished the season on a high note after playing their way into this bowl. Clear Advantage to Michigan State.

This BC team has done very well in bowl games as of late and nearly every time they have been in a bowl less than they deserve because they don't travel well. Playing on the road or at home does not seem to make a difference. I think Jags pull this team together and Matt Ryan has a solid outing.

BC 30 Michigan State 27
BC Wins, Michigan State Covers, Over

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