Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Boston College Vanderbilt Prediction
Music City Bowl
Vanderbilt vs Boston College
Wednesday Dec 31 3:30 PM ESPN
Line: Boston College -3.5
Vanderbilt and Boston College clash in the first of two ACC vs SEC bowl games. The Commodores are playing in a bowl for the first time since 1982 largely aided by a fast start in 2008. Vandy lost 6 of its last 7 games while the BC Eagles won 4 of their last 5 and played for the ACC title a few weeks back.
Keys to the Game:
Vanderbilt lives and dies by them. The Commodores are +6 on the year in takeaways but were -5 in their final 7 games. Vandy ranks 118th in total offense, 104th in points scored, and 113th in passing yards per game in the nation. If Vandy loses the turnover battle they are done. Boston College is pretty good in the turnover area at +6 on the season.
2. Can Vanderbilt Run on BC's Defense?
Vanderbilt's best form of offense is the running game where they rank 70th in the country at 138 ypg. But the problem is that BC's run defense is pretty good allowing just 92 ypg and only 70 ypg in their final 3 games. The strength of the defense is the interior with Ron Brace and BJ Raji manning the defensive tackle spots. Vanderbilt has to shorten this game by being able to run the ball consistently.
If you are Vanderbilt you have to be motivated to play in this one. This senior class is the first class to go to a bowl game in a generation. Boston College fell to a lower bowl again this year after having lost the ACC Championship Game again, but they have a bowl streak of 9 straight wins to defend also. Still, I give a slight edge to Vandy with BC coming off a loss with a BCS berth on the line.
Every statistic lines up in Boston College's favor. The only way I see Vandy winning is if they create turnovers and can control the clock. Boston College may come out a little flat, but they have not played like a jilted bride under 'Coach Jags' in his first two years despite getting no credit, so why start now? I like BC big in this one.
Boston College 28 Vanderbilt 13
Boston College Covers +3.5
Confidence Ranking (of 34): 33
My confidence ranking for a Boston College win.
Bowls: 3-2 ATS, 3-2 SU
Season: 34-32-3 ATS, 44-25 SU
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