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UB Capsule: Bulls face uphill battle vs. B.C. defense

UB (1-2) at Boston College (2-2)

1 p.m. at Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Radio: 1520 AM. Online: ESPN3

Last time out: UB won as a 13-point underdog over Army, 23-20, in overtime. Boston College routed lower-division Wagner, 42-10. UB is a 19-point underdog vs. B.C.

Trending: Boston College’s defense ranked No. 1 in the nation in yards allowed last year and stands No. 6 this year, yielding only 236 yards a game. B.C. held UMass, which is comparable to UB, to just 36 yards on 22 running-back carries. B.C. beat UMass, 26-7. The pass may have to open up the run for UB. Look for B.C. to take a page out of the Nevada playbook, play press coverage and dare UB to execute deep balls. B.C. is confident its pass rush can get to the QB before deep routes develop.

Stat check: UB is just 1-25 vs. Power 5 Conference foes. The lone win was at Rutgers in 2002. . . . UB has been outscored, 21-0, in the first quarter.

Star gazing: Boston College OLB Matt Milano (28) is projected as a mid-round NFL draft pick. B.C.’s defense is stout up the middle, with DTs Ray Smith (96) and Truman Gutapfel (97) in front of MLB Connor Strachan (13). Edge rusher Harold Landry (7) will be a tough matchup for UB OT Roubbens Joseph. Landry already has 4.5 sacks. Gabriel McClary (14) is a shut-down cornerback. . . . B.C. was horrendous on offense last year but upgraded at QB with 6-foot-5 Kentucky transfer Patrick Towles, a graduate student. UB cornerbacks better be ready to go deep with speed WR Jeff Smith (6). Towles will take numerous downfield shots with him. But Towles is completing only 49 percent of his passes.

At stake: UB seniors like CB Boise Ross, TE Mason Schreck and RB Jordan Johnson get to show what they can do against power-five talent and maybe impress some pro scouts. It’s another step in the development for QB Tyree Jackson. Next week’s Mid-American Conference opener vs. a good Kent State defense won’t seem as tough after playing the Eagles.

Prediction: Boston College, 24-6.

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