Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Boston College took on a Clemson team last week at home only to lose by two touchdowns. The Eagles will soon take on third-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee (Oct. 13), just one year after the Seminoles blew them out, 38-7.
The loss was the worst beating Boston College has taken from Florida State since losing 41-7 in 1980. One has to think the Eagles are looking forward to that matchup, especially since they have defeated the Seminoles three of the last six meetings.
In between the Clemson loss and the Florida State game, Frank Spaziani's squad has to travel to West Point, N.Y., and play a winless Army team coming off a loss to Stony Brook. Expect the Eagles to look past the Black Knights in a perfect sandwich spot that favors Army.
The Black Knights have not played as badly as their 0-4 record suggests. Prior to the loss to Stony Brook, they gave the Wake Forest Demon Deacons all they could handle before losing by 12 in Winston-Salem. Army trailed by less than a touchdown with three minutes to play while posting over 500 total yards.
The week before, the Black Knights had to travel from San Diego to West Point and almost beat Northern Illinois. The Huskies needed a touchdown inside the final five minutes to edge Army, 41-40.
Army should move the ball against a Boston College defense that has allowed 436 yards per game this season. The Eagles also are 94th in the country against the run while giving up 4.5 yards per carry. Moreover, defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey and defensive end Kasim Edebali are questionable with injuries.
Boston College's offense has been much improved under new offensive coordinator Doug Martin. The Eagles are 13th in passing with 330 yards per game. However, they are 108th in quarterback completion percentage.
If the Black Knights can control the clock with their running game, the odds are strong they will be able to stay within single digits of Boston College from start to finish.
Take Army plus 10 points in this week's key three-star play.
OTHER THREE-STAR PICKS
Notre Dame has been extremely impressive on defense, allowing a grand total of 36 points in four games. Two weeks ago, the Fighting Irish held Michigan to two field goals in their 13-6 victory. Still, the fact the Wolverines threw six interceptions and Notre Dame managed just 13 points does not bode well for the Irish on Saturday.
Miami (Fla.) comes to South Bend to renew one of the better rivalries from the 1980s. The 4-1 Hurricanes already are 3-0 in conference play and their only defeat this season came at the hands of Kansas State.
The Hurricanes averaged 43 points per game against Georgia Tech and North Carolina State, but it is doubtful they will put up that number against Notre Dame. Then again, the Irish won't be scoring 37 points as the Wolfpack did last week against Miami (Fla).
Take the Hurricanes plus 13 points.
Houston finally got into the win column last week with its 35-14 victory over Rice. The Cougars now face North Texas after the Mean Green held on to beat Florida Atlantic, 20-14.
North Texas managed only 307 total yards against one of the worst teams in the country (Rice) just one week after falling at home to Troy.
Houston won't dominate North Texas as it did last year when Case Keenum and Co. outgained the Mean Green by 400 yards. Still, the Cougars should be able to cover a spread that is less than two touchdowns.
Take Houston minus 12 points.
Washington State is getting 15 points from Oregon State as the two Pac-12 clubs get it on in Corvallis. The last time they played there the Cougars prevailed, 31-14, while getting 24 points.
Oregon State got its revenge in Seattle last year, winning, 44-21. Nonetheless, the Cougars played the entire second half without Jeff Tuel. The senior quarterback could start on Saturday if Connor Halliday is unable to go. Either way, this is a team that is getting better each and every week.
The Beavers have been a pleasant surprise this year with three consecutive victories. They come home after back-to-back Pac-12 wins on the road and might be a tad overconfident against the Cougars.
Take Washington State plus 16.5 points.
Finally, the Utah State Aggies have gone under the total in seven straight games while BYU has gone under the number in its last five contests. Furthermore, the last time these two teams went over the total when playing each other was all the way back in 2002. Last year's contest was a push while the previous four matchups were all unders.
Given that BYU is now relying more on a ground game with freshman quarterback Taysom Hill running the show, and Utah State has yet to allow more than 20 points in a game, the odds are strong that another under will come to fruition.
Additionally, the Cougars are allowing opposing rushers fewer than two yards per carry while the Aggies are giving up fewer than three yards per carry. Both squads are in the top 11 in total defense and top 20 in scoring defense.
Take under 46 points.
In an earlier column, I mentioned North Carolina State +15 (Florida State) and Texas Tech +6 (Oklahoma) as two home underdogs to keep an eye on. The Wolfpack and Red Raiders are two other top of the list three-star choices for Week 6.
Go with Indiana +16 (Michigan State), Toledo -10 (Central Michigan), Kansas +24.5 (Kansas State), New Mexico -3.5 (Texas State) and Florida +2.5 (LSU).
Take Arizona +9 (Stanford), Massachusetts +17 (Western Michigan) and ULM -3 (Middle Tennessee).