Tough Season

Boston College already has clinched a spot in the ACC championship game, but it still has a lot to play for with the regular season coming to an end.

The 15th-ranked Eagles look to snap a 15-game losing streak to Miami and prevent the visiting Hurricanes from becoming bowl eligible when the conference rivals meet Saturday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Boston College –14.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 73% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston College –14.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

Boston College (9-2, 5-2) wrapped up the ACC's Atlantic Division last Saturday by rallying for a 20-17 victory at then-No. 15 Clemson. The Eagles fell behind 17-13 with 5:28 left in the game, but Matt Ryan hit Rich Gunnell with a 43-yard touchdown pass with 1:46 remaining.

"We practice in these situations a lot and we've done a pretty good job of executing," said Ryan, who also led the Eagles to an improbable 14-10 comeback victory at Virginia Tech on Oct. 15. "It was a great win, exciting, a lot of fun and we're glad to walk out with the win.

"We know we're (in the ACC title game), which is a very good thing."

Boston College almost blew its chance to play for the conference championship. The Eagles were 8-0 and the No. 2 team in the country, but suffered consecutive losses to Florida State and Maryland before last week's victory.

"Certainly, there are times when you're not going to play your best and the last two weeks we didn't," said Ryan, who has completed 60.0 percent of his passes and thrown for 3,584 yards and 25 TDs. "But with everything on the line, we knew we had to step up and win and we did that."

Boston College will face the winner of Saturday's game between No. 8 Virginia Tech and 16th-ranked Virginia for the ACC crown on Dec. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as the league's automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.

The Eagles, though, are focusing on Miami (5-6, 2-5), which needs to win this game to gain bowl eligibility - a feat the Hurricanes accomplished last season in a similar scenario.

Miami continued its dominance of BC with a 17-14 home win last Nov. 23 to improve to 6-6 and earn an invite to the MPC Computers Bowl, where it defeated Nevada 21-20.

The Hurricanes have won 15 straight over the Eagles since Doug Flutie's last-gasp miracle touchdown pass in 1984. Boston College not only wants to end that drought, but it's also trying to win 10 games in the regular season for just the second time - the 1940 team went 11-0.

"We've got an important game this weekend," Ryan said. "It's the last game at home for a lot of seniors. It's a lot of fun and I think we'll prepare well this week."

First-year Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski said he will go with his starters this week.

"I'm not going to put guys at risk, but we do want to win this ballgame," Jagodzinski said Sunday.

So do the Hurricanes, who haven't ended a season without a bowl appearance since 1997.

"There's nothing left to say," senior linebacker Tavares Gooden said after Miami was routed 44-14 at Virginia Tech last Saturday. "We've got to win."

Miami was 4-1 after beating Duke 24-14 on Sept. 29, but has lost five of six, including two straight by at least 30 points for the first time in 63 years.

"We've got to have each other's backs," Gooden said. "I don't know if everybody has that in their heart. Mistakes will happen. But are you going to be there for that other person when they need you? I don't know if that's going on right now."

Miami hasn't lost at Boston College since 1975.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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