CFN's Take: NC State vs. Boston College

College Football News takes a look at Saturday's contest against Boston College. NC State (2-3) will be looking to upset Eagles (3-1).

Boston College (3-1) at NC State (2-3), 12:00 EST, ESPN Gameplan

Why to watch: Head coach Jeff Jagodzinski wants no part of this topic, but there’s a brewing quarterback controversy in Chestnut Hill. While Chris Crane remains the starter for Boston College, he was upstaged by redshirt freshman Dominique Davis in last week’s disposal of Rhode Island. While clearly the future with the Eagles, Davis could become the present if Crane continues to struggle getting the offense into the end zone. NC State head coach Tom O’Brien gets a second chance at his former employer, losing last year’s game in Massachusetts, 37-17. After upsetting East Carolina a week earlier, the Wolfpack reverted back to old ways last weekend, getting thoroughly mauled by South Florida, 41-10. Now that the William & Mary game is over, State won’t win another time this year if it plays the way it did versus the Bulls.          

Why Boston College might win: O’Brien’s quest for offensive consistency will have to wait at least another weekend. The Eagles continue to play some of the stingiest defense in the country, allowing just six points and 253 yards a game. The front seven, led by linebackers Mark Herzlich and Brian Toal, is an immovable group, and the pass defense has 10 picks and not a single touchdown pass allowed. The Pack’s 113th-ranked offense will have no luck moving the chains on this unit, especially with starting QB Russell Wilson expected to be out for a second straight week..                           

Why NC State might win: The Pack’s best bet for delivering the upset will be if Boston College remains in neutral on offense. The Eagles have indecision at quarterback and true freshmen leading the way in the running game. Hope for NC State can be found in defensive ends Willie Young and Shea McKeen, who both bring intensity and speed off the edge. They’ll need to get in the quarterback’s face, much the way they did in the upset of East Carolina, forcing turnovers and errant throws. The Wolfpack is No. 4 in the ACC with a dozen takeaways.                                        

Who to watch: True freshman Montel Harris has started locating a rhythm and comfort level as Boston College’s feature back. He’s gone over 100 yards in each of the last two games and has a healthy average of more than seven yards a carry. He’ll be needed in the second half by the Eagles, especially if the passing game keeps having problems.                 

What will happen: No matter what Boston College does when it has the ball, NC State simply won’t generate enough offense to threaten in this game. The Eagles are far from a finished product in Jagodzinski’s second season, but as long as they’re running the ball with Harris and dominating on defense, poor teams, like this week’s host, can be overcome.

CFN Prediction
: Boston College 27 … NC State 3 ...  Line: Boston College -8

Must See Rating: (5 Palin vs. Biden - 1 Beverly Hills Chihuahua) … 2

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