Thursday, December 24, 2009
Emerald Bowl Prediction: USC vs Boston College
USC Trojans vs Boston College Eagles
December 26 8PM ET
San Francisco, CA
If there was ever a mismatch on paper in the bowl season, this is it. Boston College does not have more than three guys that USC heavily recruited if any, but the Eagles have a chance in this one.
Pete Carroll has been the master of motivation, but this year his team just doesn't have it. They get two beat downs of epic proportion in Trojan history and then play themselves out of the Holiday Bowl with a loss at home to Arizona.
8-4 is a territory none of the USC players ever thought they would be in.
Boston College has another year beating the expectations set in the preseason by making another run at an Atlantic Division title. And they do this with their third head coach in four seasons and a 25 year old former minor league baseball player as their QB.
What is USC's motivation in this game?
I remember watching Carroll being interviewed after the UCLA win and he talked about how they had another game next year and they love to play so they will be ready. Well it sure didn't look like it against the Wildcats.
Now USC gets to go play in the worst bowl stadium, a converted baseball field. The Trojans and Eagles will be on the same sideline! Why can't they get this game moved to Candlestick?
Anyways, does anyone really want to be here from USC?
Which QB can take care of the football?
Maybe the biggest difference with USC this year is their offense's inability to score despite piling up yards. The Trojans average nearly 350 yards per game, but under 30 points. They rank 60th in the nation in turnovers and 70th in interceptions thrown.
BC is actually worse in the turnover column, but does rank 34th in interceptions gained nationally. But their QBs have thrown 17 interceptions on the season ranking 109th in the nation.
The team that can limit the turnovers will be able to move the ball with relative ease.
Does USC stick with the run game?
The Trojans have been pretty good at running the ball this year averaging over five yard per carry and 170 yards per game. If I am Pete Carroll, I run the ball until BC stops me.
Even though the Eagles are giving up just 104 yards on the ground, I take my bets with my offensive line versus their defensive line in a power running game.
Vegas opened this game up at one of the bigger spreads at -9 for USC, but it has fallen with the news about Joe McKnight missing the game as well as three other Trojans.
I think it all comes down to how motivated USC is. If they are, they could blow the doors off BC, but if they aren't the will get beat.
I don't think USC wants to be here and that will be magnified when they see the cruddy field and stadium they are playing in; they will be dreaming of Pasadena.
I am only risking 4 points on this game because of the mismatch on paper, but I do think BC wins because they will prepare better.
Boston College 24 USC 21
4 of 34 points risked
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