Game in the Bronx Edging Closer


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Penn State versus Boston College, coming up a week from Saturday at Yankee Stadium, sure seems like a match made in “Three-And-Out Heaven.” Steve Addazio’s Eagles are determined to run the ball and James Franklin’s Defense is determined to stop the run. Penn State (6-6) posts the top-ranked run defense in the country (84.8 yards) and the Lions are ranked No. 2 in total defense (269.8 yards).Boston College (7-5) has faced its fair share of good defenses and the results have been not so great.

Boston College’s coaches and players believe the Eagles’ ACC schedule has prepped the team well for facing a Penn State defense led by defensive tackle Anthony Zettel linebacker Mike Hull. B.C.’s offense is built to play keep away. The Eagles average 252 rushing yards and more than 30 plus minutes of possession time, good enough for a No. 14 nationally.

“They have been doing it all year long,” Boston College dual-threat QB Tyler Murphy said of the Eagles’ offensive line earlier this week.”The offensive line has done a good job handling what teams have thrown at them. We’ve done a pretty good job with possession of the ball. So we feel like we can do some things especially up front. We are going to ride on them and lead the way. They are looking forward to it and they are hungry.”

Penn State’s defense has faced two offenses of note this season, Ohio State and Michigan State.The Buckeyes needed two overtimes to subdue PSU, 31-24. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 8 in the country in total offense, were held to 17 points in regulation.

The Eagles, who averaged almost 384 yards a game, faced five defenses that finished the regular season ranked in the top 30 in total defense. And it’s interesting to note that the USC and Florida State’s defenses that B.C. faced were ranked far below the top 30.

“The strength of the ACC has been its defenses,” Addazio said. “That’s why when people start rattling off numbers and stats, they have to understand what goes behind them. We’re a better, more sophisticated offense than we were a year ago, but maybe the numbers won’t show that. That has a lot to do with who we have played. They’re numbers will tell you what they’re all about defensively. We’re not getting anything new. We’re not getting anything we haven’t seen all season long.”

The match up is set in the Bronx of New York City. The Lions have not had a great year but a win like this against the ACC would be huge to end the year. The defense will keep the Lions in the game. The only question is if they can score on the opponent’s defense, something that has been a struggle all season long.

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