Here’s a quick preview of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl:
WHO TO WATCH: BC quarterback Chase Rettig. Much attention will be paid to BC’s rushing defense in this game, and rightfully so, but if the Eagles can’t score, they’ll never beat a team that ranks fifth in the country in scoring offense at 42.62 points per game. Rettig has shown progress since his first start, which came against Notre Dame. He is 5-3 as the Eagles' starter, and has completed 86 of 161 passes for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. This game could be a good springboard for him heading into the offseason, and BC needs it to be, as the inconsistency at quarterback has been one of its biggest obstacles in recent years.
WHAT TO WATCH: BC’s rushing defense against Nevada’s ground game. Boston College is allowing just 80.17 yards per game on the ground and has allowed just one 100-yard rusher the past two seasons (Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams in ’09). Nevada enters the bowl averaging 305.92 rushing yards. Running back Vai Taua ranks sixth in the nation, averaging 127.83 yards per game while quarterback Colin Kaepernick ranks 34th with 91.08. The duo has combined for 39 rushing touchdowns this season and holds the NCAA record for the most touchdowns and points scored by teammates in a career.
WHY WATCH: The matchup between BC’s rushing defense and Nevada’s offense is reason enough to watch this game, as they’re two of the best in the country. But this is also the final chance for the ACC to finish with its first winning record in bowl season since 2005, and BC is looking to stop a two-game bowl losing streak.
PREDICTION: Nevada 35, Boston College 20 – The Eagles’ defense is good, but it can’t do it all and will wear out for the offense's inability to sustain drives. Nevada's defense isn't all that bad, either, holding opponents to about 22 points per game. Rettig is still in the developmental phase, and BC’s offense won’t have enough firepower in the end to match Nevada’s offense.