Chestnut Hill, MA - Boston College relies on a grind-it-out rushing attack and a stifling defense. That's an excellent formula for a team set to start a redshirt freshman at quarterback in its biggest game of the season.
With a chance to earn a spot in the ACC championship game, the 20th-ranked Eagles will give Dominique Davis his first start when they host Maryland in their regular-season finale Saturday.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Boston College -7 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston College -7 (View College Football bet percentages).
Chris Crane was one of only three ACC quarterbacks to have started every game for his team this season, but he fractured his right collar bone on a run in the second quarter of the Eagles' 24-21 win over Wake Forest last Saturday night and will miss the rest of the season.
Crane threw one interception in his last four games, giving Boston College (8-3, 4-3) a chance to win with a rushing offense that is averaging 172.0 yards per game and a defense that has allowed 17.2 points a contest.
Now, Davis will be asked to manage the offense in a game the Eagles need to win to finish first in the Atlantic Division and earn a trip to the ACC championship. If Maryland (7-4, 4-3) wins, Florida State would hold the top spot in the Atlantic.
After Crane was injured, Davis rebounded from mistakes and showed moxie to keep Boston College's league title hopes alive. Davis sneaked 1 yard for a touchdown with 1:12 remaining after having two fumbles returned for touchdowns.
"I was real shocked, I was overwhelmed. I wasn't expecting that," Davis said of Crane's injury. "But as a backup quarterback, you've got to expect the worst. ... As soon as I got used to it, the game got a little slower, so I got a lot better."
Davis finished 13-of-23 for 103 yards, making enough key throws on the decisive nine-play, 70-yard drive in the final 5 minutes to help the Eagles make up for his fumbles.
"That stuff happens, and you rebound from it - it's like a golf shot," wide receiver Brandon Robinson said. "You have a bad golf shot, you forget about it, and you move on to the next one."
Davis' TD gave Boston College a three-game winning streak after losing its previous two.
The Eagles got another outstanding effort on defense, holding Wake Forest to 191 total yards. Linebacker Mark Herzlich picked off two passes, returning one 37 yards for a touchdown, to give Boston College a nation-leading 23 interceptions.
The Eagles have scored on defense or special teams in six straight games and are ranked fifth in the nation in total defense, allowing 269.6 yards per contest.
Maryland has averaged 11.0 points en route to losing two of its last three games, and was held to 252 yards in a 37-3 defeat to Florida State last Saturday night.
The Terrapins entered that game ranked 22nd, but are now out of the Top 25 after missing a chance to set up a winner-take-all matchup with the Eagles for the Atlantic title. Maryland is 4-0 against Top 25 teams, 3-4 against unranked teams.
"I just don't understand how we can play so well one week and so poorly the next," Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen said. "When you have that many seniors, a chance to play in the Orange Bowl and in Tampa (for the ACC title), it's just disappointing."
Even when Maryland's offense got the opportunity to perform against the Seminoles, it didn't do much. Chris Turner was sacked six times, and the Seminoles came close on several other occasions.
The Terrapins have been held under 20 points six times this season. Turner has been sacked 11 times in his last four games, and hasn't thrown a TD pass in his last two.
Turner, though, threw for a career-high 337 yards and three TDs without getting picked off in Maryland's 42-35 upset of then-No. 8 Boston College on Nov. 10, 2007.
The Terrapins also ran for 135 yards in that game. Da'Rel Scott leads Maryland with 940 yards and six TDs on the ground.
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
BOSTON COLLEGE is 2-1 against the spread versus MARYLAND since 1992
BOSTON COLLEGE is 2-1 straight up against MARYLAND since 1992
3 of 3 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
BOSTON COLLEGE is 1-1 against the spread versus MARYLAND over the last 3 seasons
BOSTON COLLEGE is 1-1 straight up against MARYLAND over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at BOSTON COLLEGE since 1992
BOSTON COLLEGE is 1-0 against the spread versus MARYLAND since 1992
BOSTON COLLEGE is 1-0 straight up against MARYLAND since 1992
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at BOSTON COLLEGE over the last 3 seasons.
BOSTON COLLEGE is 1-0 against the spread versus MARYLAND over the last 3 seasons
BOSTON COLLEGE is 1-0 straight up against MARYLAND over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[WR] Kevin Dorsey is expected to miss entire season - Foot - 09/05/08
[LB] Rick Costa has been suspended indefinitely - Suspension - 11/11/08
[DB] Kevin Barnes is out for the season. - Shoulder - 10/21/08
[DB] Richard Taylor out for the season - Knee - 09/21/08
[WR] Clarence Megwa expected to miss the rest of the season. - Leg - 11/03
[FB] James McCluskey is expected to miss remainder of the season. - Fibula
[WR] Dominick Magazu has transferred - None - 08/31/08
[PK] Billy Bennett has been suspended indefinitely - Suspension - 10/30/08
[DL] Alex Albright out for the season - Neck - 09/15/08
[LB] Brian Toal out for season - Ankle - 10/19/08
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Posted: 11/25/08 6:43PM ET