Thursday, September 1, 2011

ACC Game of the Week

The beauty of the first few weeks of the college football season is the inter-conference scheduling. With the exception of rivalry week and bowl season at the end of the season, these first three weeks are fun to establish conference bragging rights. Last season the ACC took a beating in inter-conference games with Virginia Tech losing to Boise State, Florida State being demolished by Oklahoma, and last but not least nationally rank Georgia Tech being upset by Kansas.

This year is no different and an interesting inter-conference game is the ACC’s Boston College hosting the Big 10’s Northwestern the first week of the season. It is these types of games where you can really see where the conferences line up from top to bottom. Boston College and Northwestern are both middle of the pack teams in their respective conferences. With this being one of the few early ACC versus Big 10 matchups, bragging rights between the two conferences may be on the line in this Chestnut Hill matchup.

The compelling matchup in this game will be the two units that gathered pre-season national recognition. Boston College’s defensive unit includes one of the best linebacker corps in the nation, this unit is led by throwback linebacker Luke Kuechly. Kuechly was an All-American in 2010 while leading the nation with 183 tackles. On the opposing side for Northwestern is possible Heisman Candidate quarterback Dan Persa who completed over 73% of his passes before a season ending injury. It will be a classic matchup between the two most talented individuals on the field with the general of Northwestern’s offense in Dan Persa versus the hard nosed All-American Kuechly.

However, this game will be decided between Northwestern’s defense and Boston College’s offense. Boston College will be without ACC rushing yards per game leader Montel Harris. Harris is recovering from a knee injury and will not be suiting up for this game.

Even with the loss of Harris the experts still like Boston College in this game by 3. If I was in Boston College’s shoes I would be extremely worried about finding an offensive identity early on without Montel Harris. I am going to go with Northwestern to win this game 23 to 17. The gambler’s play may be taking the under at 45 or 45 and a half if you can find it.

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