Maryland-Boston College preview: Can the Terps make it two in a row?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland hopes to continue their winning ways when they host Boston College.

Maryland pulled off the miracle last Saturday, defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies in overtime. The win was Maryland's first over the Hokies in ACC play, and also the win that punched their ticket to a bowl game.

Let's run the matchup down, unit by unit.

Maryland offensive line vs. Boston College defensive line:

Maryland's new-look offensive line looked much better against Virginia Tech, with Ryan Doyle at left tackle, Andrew Zeller at right guard and Michael Dunn at right tackle. The Terps will go with that look again Saturday against a Boston College team that has done a good job making its way into the backfield.

The Eagles are led by senior defensive end Kasim Edebali, from Hamburg, Germany, who has 12.5 tackles for a loss and eight-and-a-half sacks this season. Don Brown's defense relies heavily on turnovers, and Edebali has forced four fumbles and recovered two this season.

Advantage: Boston College.

Maryland defensive line vs. Boston College offensive line:

Boston College has had a pretty staunch offensive line this season, giving up less than two sacks per game and just over five tackles for a loss per game. They run the ball extremely well (more on that in a moment), and Darius Kilgo will be key here.

Advantage: Boston College.

Maryland rushing offense vs. Boston College front seven:

The Eagles are giving up four yards per rush this season, and have their usual excellence at linebacker in Kevin Pierre-Louis, Steele Divitto and Steven Daniels.

Maryland's rushing offense was certainly revamped last week against Virginia Tech -- that'll happen when you have a relatively healthy C.J. Brown behind center. The Terps ran for 184 yards in that game -- the bulk of them from Brown -- and they'll hope to find success on the ground at home with a whole lot of questions at wide receiver.

Advantage: Push.

Maryland front seven vs. Boston College rushing offense:

Andre Williams is one of the best running backs in the country. He is averaging 6.3 yards per carry, has 14 touchdowns, and leads the nation in rushing yardage by a wide margin (1,810 to next-best 1,439).

Advantage: Boston College.

Maryland receivers vs. Boston College secondary:

Levern Jacobs is back! DeAndre Lane, Tyrek Cheeseboro and Ricardo Young are not (not to mention Stefon Diggs or Deon Long). Boston College's passing defense has left some to be desired, but this Maryland unit is very far from adequate.

Advantage: Push.

Maryland secondary vs. Boston College receivers:

You know who else is really good? Alex Amidon. He's caught 62 passes for 760 yards and four touchdowns, but that's...it. No other Boston College receiver has double digit receptions (running back Dave Dudeck has 11), rendering the Eagles' passing game entirely one-dimensional.

Maryland's battered secondary can't exactly be called an advantage here, even with a healthy duo at safety.

Advantage: Push.

Maryland quarterback vs. Boston College quarterback:

You all remember Chase Rettig, right? He's been Boston College's quarterback forever, so you should. A fourth-year starter, Rettig is averaging 7.4 yards per attempt and completing 63.2% of his passes, with 14 touchdowns against four interceptions.

C.J. Brown has Rettig beat on yards per attempt and running ability, but the Eagles have a much more proven passer here.

Advantage: Boston College.

Maryland special teams vs. Boston College special teams:

Spiffy Evans and Myles Willis have both been very good in the return game, and Nate Freese hasn't missed a kick this season.

Advantage: Boston College.

Overall impressions and final tally

Boston College 5-0-3

Maryland survived the pressure against one of the top pass-rushing teams in the ACC last week, so there's no reason to think they can't do it again here. But Boston College is a much better offensive team than the Hokies, and are certainly less prone to quarterbacking mistakes.

Our prediction: Boston College 24, Maryland 17

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