Pittsburgh Panthers at Boston College Eagles (+4,
Pittsburgh and Boston College used rushing performances that
connected them to their glorious pasts en route to easy
season-opening wins last weekend. The former Big East rivals
try to do the same Friday when they face each other for the
first time as ACC foes as BC hosts the Panthers. Florida
transfer Tyler Murphy threw for 173 yards and rushed for 118
versus Massachusetts, becoming the first Eagles quarterback
since Doug Flutie in 1984 to rush for more than 100 yards.
The Eagles generated 338 of their 511 total yards on the ground
in a 30-7 triumph – their first game since the graduation of
Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, who became only the
16th player in NCAA history to rush for more than 2,000 yards
last year. Pittsburgh’s own bruising back – 250-pound James
Conner – ripped FCS Delaware for 153 yards and four touchdowns
in one half during a 62-0 victory, part of 409-yard rushing
effort that was the most for the school since the 1976 national
championship season. The Eagles and Panthers, who met every
year from 1993-2004, resume their rivalry after a 10-year
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: Boston College opened as
4.5-point home dogs and have been bet to +4. The total has held
steady at 49.
INJURY REPORT: Pittsburgh – WR Tyler Boyd
probable Friday (finger). Boston College – OL Harris Williams
out Friday (ankle).
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (1-0, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U): In
addition to posting their biggest margin of victory since 1913,
the Panthers outgained the Blue Hens 501-57 en route to their
first shutout in nine years. However, not all the news was
positive for Pittsburgh as receiver Tyler Boyd, who set school
freshman records for receptions and receiving yards last fall,
left in the second quarter after dislocating a finger on his
left hand on a punt return. Boyd’s probable status for Friday
means more of the offensive load could fall on sophomore
quarterback Chad Voytik, who went 10-for-13 for 84 yards and
two TDs in his first career start.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (1-0, 1-0 ATS, 0-1 O/U):
The Eagles were slightly less proficient on the ground (338
yards on 61 attempts) than the Panthers last week, but turned
to Murphy as well as running backs Tyler Rouse (87 yards) and
Myles Willis (57) to replace the production Williams usually
accounted for last season. “We’re not just one back anymore.
All of us are coming and the quarterback’s running, too,”
Willis told the Boston Herald. Josh Bordner, who served as the
backup quarterback over the last three seasons, fared well in
his debut as a receiver, finishing with four catches for 81
yards and a touchdown.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a SU
* Over is 5-0 in the Eagles last five home games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Almost 62 percent of wagers are
backing Pittsburgh at -4.5, with almost 61 percent of total
bets on the under 49.