Boston College (1-3) at Army (0-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 6, 12:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Michie Stadium (38,000) -- West Point, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Boston College 1-3, Army 0-2 Away Record: Boston College 0-1, Army 0-2. Neutral Record: Boston College 0-0, Army 0-0. Conference Record: Boston College 0-1, Army 0-0. Series Record: Boston College leads 24-12.
GAME NOTES: Two teams with a combined record of 1-7 will square off at Michie Stadium on Saturday with the Boston College Eagles and Army Black Knights each looking for a win to turn the season around.
Boston College went toe-to-toe with the No. 17 Clemson Tigers in its ACC opener last weekend, but couldn't keep pace in the second half to fall to 1-3 overall with a 45-31 loss. The Eagles' only win of the season came at home against FCS opponent Maine in early September. Boston College also began the season 1-3 last year and finished 4-8 for its first losing season since 1998.
It has been a little more for Army which is 0-4 entering play. The Black Knights suffered a a 23-3 loss to Stony Brook this past weekend and have been outscored 155-87 overall, with 40 of those offensive points coming in a 41-40 loss to Northern Illinois in the second game of the season.
In the all-time series Boston College has twice as many wins as Army with a 24-12 ledger. The Eagles have won five straight and 13 of the last 14 meetings in the series, including a 37-17 victory in Chestnut Hill last season.
Against the second ranked offense in Clemson, Boston College was able to keep up with the Tigers, pounding out 420 yards, although the 31 points were actually the second lowest point total of the season. Overall the Eagles are averaging 414.5 yards per game, while scoring 27.5 a game. The majority of that output has been through the air with quarterback Chase Rettig throwing for 1,320 passing yards this season. The Eagles have managed only 338 yards on the ground, ranking last in the ACC in rushing.
Rettig was guilty of a pair of interceptions, but threw for 341 yards and three scores against Clemson, giving him nine touchdown passes this season. Rettig is now only three passing scores from his total for the entire 2011 campaign.
On the season Rettig has looked for one receiver far more than any other, with Alex Amidon making 33 receptions for 559 yards. Amidon is currently second in the ACC in receiving yards and tied for fifth in receptions, while leading the conference in yards per game (139.8). No other receiver on the team has more than 12 receptions or 179 yards receiving.
Andre Williams has been the most productive rusher, with a team-high 178 yards, but has only averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Rolandan Finch, who led the team in rushing last season, did not have a carry against Clemson as he has continued to have a more limited role in the Eagles' offense.
With the departure of Butkus Award winner Luke Kuechly, the Eagles' linebacking corps was supposed to take a major hit, but Nick Clancy and Kevin Pierre-Louis have filled the void. Clancy has amassed 53 tackles this season, while Pierre-Louis has 44 stops, including a sack, one of only four total by the Eagles this season.
Clancy and Pierre-Louis have been able to accumulate so many tackles in large part because of the number of plays Eagles' opponents have had (336) as compared to Boston College (296). Overall the unit has allowed 27.8 points and 438.5 yards per game.
Army is one of just a handful of programs in the country that still utilize a triple-option offensive scheme that relies almost exclusively on the run. The Black Knights have compiled 1,470 yards on the ground, which is sixth in the nation, despite playing only four games. On the other side Army has only 270 passing yards.
With such a prolific rushing attack the Black Knights have had a stable of backs carrying the ball, led by Raymond Maples, who has 487 yards on 70 carries for a solid 7.0 yards per carry and 121.8 yards per game. Larry Dixon (332 yards, 4 TDs) and quarterback Trent Steelman (290 yards, 5 TDs) have been the more utilized in the red zone.
As a quarterback, Steelman has completed only 11 passes all season for 192 yards and one touchdown. No receiver has more than three receptions or 70 yards on the year.
On defense, Army also has a number of prolific tacklers led by Geoffery Bacon, who has piled up 43 stops this season. Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires has 32 total tackles, while Nate Combs has been a force on the line with four sacks and six tackles for loss.
Overall the defense is giving up 474.8 yards of total offense per game, while allowing teams to convert on 63 percent (31-for-49) of third down attempts and 82 percent in the red zone.
Even with the loss to Clemson, Boston College has got to feel good especially with the continued growth of Rettig. That ability to pass will make it hard for Army to keep up, especially with its run-first offense going against a solid group of linebackers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 30, Army 20
10/03 10:39:32 ET