NCAA Football – Week 1
Miami and Boston College will get right into the ACC schedule in the season opener this weekend at Chestnut Hill. Both of these teams were picked to finish fifth in their division of the ACC. Both Miami and Boston College have had a bit of a complicated summer. Question marks surround both of these programs. Both badly want to get on the field and start the season as soon as possible. Which one of these teams will get the season started with a big win?
The once-proud Miami Hurricanes have definitely taken several steps backward over the last few years. The team was just 6-6 in 2011. The NCAA is still investigating possible recruiting violations at the school, and it has been a few years since this team was a legitimate title contender. Al Golden is a great recruiter, and hopes are high that he can do a lot with this team in the next couple years; but this team isn’t that great on paper.
Miami returns only four starters on the offensive side of the ball. Stephen Morris takes over for Jacory Harris at quarterback. Morris did get some reps last year, and he seems to have a decent handle on the offense. Duke Johnson will be the next star in the backfield at Miami, but the true freshman might not get many carries at the start of the year. The wide receiver group has tons of inexperience. Seantrel Henderson missed last year with an injury, but the top recruit in 2011 will be back and leading a strong offensive line in 2012.
Miami will rely on its defense to lead the way this season. Buchanan, Perryman, and Gaines will be a very good trio of linebackers for the Hurricanes. The secondary is loaded with athleticism and talent. Senior corner Brandon McGee will be the leader in this unit. Miami allowed just 20.1 points per game last year.
Frank Spaziani’s seat is extremely hot right now, and the Boston College Eagles have to improve this year or he’ll likely be out as head coach of this program. The team has gradually gotten worse in every year he has been at the school. The Eagles went 4-8 in 2011. The team was outgained by an average of more than 100 yards per game in 2011, so they have a lot of improving to do.
The Eagles offense was brutally bad in 2011. They averaged only 299 yards per game in 2011, and 18.2 points per game. Chase Rettig completed just 53.6 percent of his passes last season, but the team brought in a new offensive coordinator who seems to have helped him over the offseason. Boston College returns its top four receivers from a year ago. Two of them are seniors and two are juniors, so they have plenty of experience. The Eagles also return their top two runners in “Deuce” Finch and Andre Williams. Four starters return on the offensive line, so that should be an area of relative strength.
It’s going to be very hard to replace Luke Kuechly, who was the heart and soul of the Boston College defense. Even with Kuechly, the defense saw a decline in production last season. Boston College allowed 23.5 points and 394 yards per game last year. Kaleb Ramsey is a beast at the defensive tackle spot. The defensive line will be the strength of the defense, since they return six of their top eight players.
Both of these teams come into this game with a bunch of question marks. Still, Miami has more talent on the roster than Boston College. I don’t think this game will be pretty, but I think Miami comes out on top.
Miami 21 Boston College 17