After playing seven years in a BCS championship game the USC Trojans will have to settle with the Emerald Bowl as they face the 9 point underdog Boston College Eagles on December 26 at AT&T Park at 8:00 PM ET.
Boston College Eagles +9
USC Trojans -9
The Trojans had a terrible second half of the season dropping 3 of their last 5 games. “We’re disappointed with the way we played the last half of this season, so the Emerald Bowl gives us a chance to finish the year on a positive note,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ll work hard to send our seniors out in the fashion they deserve. And it’ll give our younger players some extra practice time that will pay off in the future.’
Boston College Eagles on the other side becomes the first team to play in the Emerald bowl twice. If they want to win their 9 bowl game in the last 10 games they will need to improve their game a bid.
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They know they can stop the run, so stopping USC RB Joe McKnight will not be a concern. But BC’s pass defense has several holes and will have a tough time trying to stop opposing QB Matt Barkley.
Barkley is known for throwing interceptions but BC won’t be able to pressure him into losing the game on his basis of his mistakes.
On offense the Eagles will rely on RB Montel Harris as he recorded 1355 rushing yards and 13 TDs this season. Harris should take advantage of a slow Trojans rush defense that allows 5.1 yards per carry and struggled against running teams like Oregon and Stanford.
If they can establish the run, QB Dave Shinskie could have more room to connect with his receivers. Expect him to look for WR Rich Gunnell and WR Colin Larmond Jr down the field against an average USC passing defense.
“We could not be happier with this matchup,” bowl director Gary Cavalli said. “In USC, we have one of the great brands in college football and a program that is almost always in the national championship hunt. In Boston College, we have one of the nation’s premier academic institutions and an overachieving team that overcame a lot of adversity this season.”
College Football betting trends: Southern Cal is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games and Boston College is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games. Also the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston College’s last 5 games
My winning pick: USC -9