Returning to the national spotlight for the first time in a decade, the Boston College Eagles go in search of their fourth straight win when they visit the Purdue Boilermakers in Week 4 action. BC entered the AP poll for the first time since 2008 at No. 23 following their 41-34 win over Wake Forest. Year 2 of the Jeff Brohm era at Purdue has hit a roadblock. The Boilers are off to their worst start since 1996, but they’ve been close and need a break to end their slide. Purdue has lost its three games by a combined eight points and they are good enough to lose the close games.
This contest in Week 4 will go down Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 12 p.m. ET at Ross-Ade Stadium.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Boston College Eagles -7
Purdue Boilermakers +7
Fans are jumping on the BC bandwagon thanks to the 3-0 start. The Eagles are getting almost 70 percent of the early action, forcing the line rise a half-point to the current -7. BC has taken care of its inferior opponents while Purdue is a few plays away from having their own unblemished record, so don’t get overconfident. There’s been a dramatic increase in the total since hitting the board at 60.5. Over backers were all over this one causing a spike to the current 68.
Player to Watch
AJ Dillon will be playing on Sunday’s real soon. The sophomore running back had a monstrous second half to last season and the production has carried over. Dillon ran for nearly 1,600 yards with 14 touchdowns in 2017 and he’s emerged as a premiere back in college football. In a pasting of Holy Cross, Dillon barely broke a sweat. He scampered 54 yards on his first carry, had a 74-yard touchdown on BC’s next possession, and scored his third rushing touchdown a little later. Dillon amassed 149 yards on six carries and three scores – halfway through the first quarter.
It was against FCS Holy Cross, so to prove that wasn’t a fluke he ran for 185 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over Wake Forest. It took him 33 attempts and the yards per carry average came down, but Dillon’s combination of size and speed make him a challenge for any defense. And when teams key on him, the passing game opens up. Anthony Brown threw five touchdowns to help knock off Wake 41-34.
Matchup to Watch
After easily dispatching UMass and Holy Cross, the Eagles had a game on their hands last week and barely escaped Wake with a victory. For the first time all season the BC defense was tested and the unit allowed 512 total yards and 27 first downs. The Demon Deacons sliced through the BC front for 298 yards on the ground.
On Saturday, the Eagles secondary will get a workout from Purdue’s lethal passing attack. Backup David Blough set a school record with 572 yards and three touchdowns last week and he hasn’t been named the starter. That’s because Elijah Sindelar is recovering from an injury. Sindelar is the prototypical passer with size and a strong arm. Blough is a gritty competitor who can make plays with his legs. Brohm has used both players in previous games and there’s a good chance that continues to confuse the defense.
4 – BC is a solid team, but one weakness they have is on special teams. It’s rare to have one kick blocked in a season and the Eagles have had four blocked in three games. Holy Cross scored both of its touchdowns on blocked punts and Wake Forest had a blocked punt for a touchdown last week. Those plays make for huge momentum swings and you can bet the Boilermakers will go for it on punting situations.
Being the underdog and staring at a winless season, what do they have to lose? And as we’ve seen in the early going, the Eagles have made their share of mistakes.
Free ATS Pick
Don’t write this one off simply because of the records. Sure, BC has looked good, but it’s easy to do against UMass and Holy Cross. And the Boilers are much better than their record indicates with their losses coming by a combined eight points.
There will be a sense of urgency on the Purdue side and expect them to pull out all the stops to get that elusive victory. The passing game will be on full display and a few breaks on special teams will keep this one close. But look for Dillon to run wild and for the Eagles to squeak out another victory.
College Football Odds: Boston College 30, Purdue 27
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