~ The following article was contributed by esteemed Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray. Thank you so much, Delray, for doing such a great job previewing the games this season. We appreciate you! ~
The Miami Hurricanes (6-5, 3-4 ACC) will looks to finish the season .500 in the ACC as they take on the Eagles of Boston College (3-8, 2-5 Big East) on Black Friday afternoon at 3:30pm on ABC. This game will be the first time Boston College and Miami have met on Black Friday since the famous (or infamous) “Flutie Miracle” game of 1984. Twenty-Six years ago Flutie, the Boston College Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, beat the Canes on a last-play “Hail Mary” pass play which was caught by BC’s Gerald Phelan in the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a 47-45 victory at the old Orange Bowl Stadium (moment of silence). This is the only time the Eagles have beaten Miami in Miami. The last time these two teams played was 2007 when the Eagles beat the Canes 28-14.
With Miami declaring themselves Bowl ineligible after their 6-3 win in Tampa this past weekend, this will no doubt be an melodramatic finish for the seniors that have not won a bowl game during their time at Miami. Look for both teams to play some players that they have not played all year in an effort to get the seniors those last few snaps for which will be the end of their college careers.
Let’s look at the Eagles statistically…
QB – Chase Rettig (6-3, 212, So.). Chase has completed 157-of-300 passes for 1,758 yards and has thrown 10 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. That is an efficiency rating of 106.6. He is about as much of a threat to run as Marino was.
RB – The Eagles rushing attack is lead by Rolandan Finch (5-10, 201, Jr.) who has 135 attempts for 609 yds with three scores and Andre Williams (6-0, 216, So.) with 111 carries for 465 yards and 4 TDs.
WR – Colin Larmond.(6-3, 202, Jr.)) leads the team with 34 receptions for 530 yards and three touchdowns. Bobby Swigert (6-1, 184, So.) has also contributed with 40 receptions for 395 yards with and also has three touchdowns. At TE – Chris Pantale (6-6, 251, Jr.) has chipped in with 17 receptions for 166 yards and one score. The Eagles will often line up with three receivers and a 1 back formation.
OL – The offensive is anchored by center Mark Spinney (6-4, 282, Sr.). At the guard spots are Bobby Vardaro (6-5, 301, R-Fr.) and Ian White (6-5, 288, So.). Outside at the tackle slots are John Wetzel (6-8, 303, Jr.) and Emmett Cleary (6-7, 300, Jr.). It seems like both these tackles could also help the Eagles out on the basketball court.
On defense The Eagles will show a 4-3 scheme. Their defense allows almost 400 yards per game and 24.1 points per game. They are ranked 73th in total defense.
LB – At the LB spots Luke Kuechly (6-3, 235, Jr.) roams the middle and is one of the most dominant middle linebackers in the country with 182 total stops with 11 of those for a loss. Sean Duggan (6-4, 215, Fr.) on the weak side has 37 total tackles with three for a loss. On the strong side Steele Divitto (6-3, 225, So.) comes in with 66 total tackles, three and a half for a loss and two sacks.
CB/S – Corner Donnie Fletcher (6-1, 195, Sr.)has 33 stops and interception. Manny Asprilla (5-10, 170, Fr.) has 27 tackles and one and a half for a loss and one pick. Safety spots are occupied by Dominique Williams (6-0, 209, R-Fr.) on the strong side and Hampton Hughes (6-3, 200, Jr.) on the free side. Combined they have 47 tackles with Williams having the lone pick. On a side note former Cane commit Al Louis-Jean, Jr. (6-2, 183, Fr.) who decommited after Randy left has played in 8 games and has 15 tackles.
K/P – Nate Freese is 9-of-15 on FG attempts with a long of 52 and a is 23-of-24 on PATs. Punter Ryan Quigley has 63 punts, averaging 38.4 yards per punt.
Kick/Punt Returns – Spiffy Evans (yes, that is how his name is listed) has 21 kick return chances with a 21.3 yard average with a long of 32 yards. Bobby Swigerthas 10 punt returns for 55 yards, averaging 5.5 per return, with a long of 14 yards.
I don’t know how many times we have said this but we are going to say it again. Miami’s biggest opponent for this game will be themselves. They need to not commit turnovers and penalties. They will also need to worry about Kuechly in the middle. Jacory should be able to have his way with the Eagles secondary due to Miami’s superior receivers and BC’s lack of a pass rush. This should be an exciting game as the Hurricanes close out their season and some of their players close out their careers. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of them will be back, though.
Hope to see you all at Sun Life on Friday afternoon. Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.