Boston College vs Boise State
When: 1:30 PM ET, Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Preview to Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
FIRST RESPONDER BOWL STORYLINES
DALLAS – Both Boston College and Boise State will be trying to rebound from disappointing endings to their respective pre-bowl slates when they meet in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 26. The Eagles saw a promising campaign torpedoed by three straight losses to finish their regular season, including a 21-point home loss against Syracuse on Nov. 24. Boise State had won seven in a row before falling to Fresno State in the Mountain West title game, but the Broncos did finish with double-digit victories for the 16th time in their last 20 seasons.
If he loses in this one, Boston College coach Steve Addazio will finish with a 7-6 record for the fifth time in his six seasons in Chestnut Hill, Mass., but the school still likes the direction of the program and rewarded him with a two-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2022. Addazio is 38-38 with the Eagles and 1-3 in bowl games, and he’ll be matching wits with fifth-year Boise State coach Bryan Harsin. A former quarterback with the Broncos, Harsin is 52-15 with the program and 3-1 in bowls.
The month-plus of rest should do wonders for the Eagles’ star running back AJ Dillon, who missed two games in the middle of the season with an ankle issue and struggled at times down the stretch as the injury lingered. The sophomore finished with 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, lagging well behind Broncos junior Alexander Mattison, who had 1,415 yards – 400 over his last two games – and 17 scores. Boise State enters bowl season ranked 23rd nationally in run defense (122.9 yards allowed per game), while Boston College was 52nd (154.9).
TV: 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Boise State -3
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (7-5, 4-4 ACC): Sophomore quarterback Anthony Brown threw for 2,121 yards and 20 TDs, and he had four of his nine interceptions in the final two games of the regular season. Sophomore Kobay White had a team-high 33 catches and 526 receiving yards but senior Jeff Smith (20, 387) led the way with six TD grabs. The Eagles are tied for the lead nationally with 18 interceptions and junior defensive back Hamp Cheevers has seven of them, also tied for the most in the country.
ABOUT BOISE STATE (10-3, 7-1 Mountain West): Brett Rypien was the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,705 yards and 30 TDs, both of which rank in the top 10 nationally. Senior wideouts Sean Modster and A.J. Richardson combined for 1,803 receiving yards and both had eight TDs through the air. Only five FBS teams had more sacks than the Broncos’ 39, led by sophomore linebacker Curtis Weaver with 9.5.