Even though Boston College football lost to Iowa in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27, dropping to 7-6 for the fourth time in the past five years, there is more optimism surrounding the program than there ever has been during the Steve Addazio era. The Eagles closed out the year on a tear, winning five of their last seven games, in large part thanks to running back A.J. Dillon. The true freshman racked up 1,256 yards and 12 touchdowns in the final seven weeks of the season, en route to ACC Rookie of the Year honors. Now a Heisman Trophy candidate, Dillon, fellow classmate and quarterback Anthony Brown, and 14 other returning starters are tasked with getting BC over the hump in 2018.
In order to do that, the Eagles will have to get through the ACC’s top four teams and a non-conference slate consisting of age-old rivalries, a reunion of sorts, and an unfamiliar Big Ten opponent. On Wednesday afternoon, the team officially turned the page, releasing its complete schedule for the upcoming season.
2018 Schedule (Note: italicization denotes ACC competition):
Sept. 1 Vs. Massachusetts (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) *Home Opener
—> For the second time in four years, the Eagles will kick off their season against University of Massachusetts. BC hasn’t lost to the Minutemen since 1978, and over the course of the teams’ past five meetings, the Eagles have outscored their in-state rival by an average of 20.4 points.
Sept. 8 Vs. Holy Cross (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
—> After a 32-year hiatus, BC will once again play host to the Crusaders—a team that the Eagles have faced more than any other opponent in school history, 82 times to be exact. Last season, Holy Cross finished 4-7 and tied for third in the FCS’s Patriot League.
Sept. 13 at Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.) *ACC Opener
—> The Demon Deacons are fresh off their second-straight bowl victory and their best season since 2008. BC and Wake Forest have split their last four head-to-head contests. Interestingly enough, the winner of each of those games has been the team playing on the road. This will be the Eagles’ first Thursday night game in seven years.
Sept. 22 at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.)
—> Stepping out of its comfort zone, BC will travel to Purdue to face off against the Boilermakers for the first time in program history. The matchup marks the first of the teams’ home-and-home series, the latter of which will be played at Alumni Stadium in 2020.
Sept. 29 Vs. Temple (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
—> Addazio will finally get a chance to square off against his former team—one that has compiled a 27-14 record in the past three years. In each of the schools’ five meetings this century, the last of which was in 2004, BC has rolled over Temple, holding the Owls to an average of 11.4 points.
Oct. 6 at North Carolina State (Raleigh, N.C.)
—> The Eagles have bested N.C. State in three of their last five bouts, two of which were on the road. In 2016, BC entered Carter-Finley Stadium and defeated the Wolfpack, 21-14, snapping its infamous 12-game ACC losing streak.
Oct. 13 Vs. Louisville (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
—> Last season, Dillon ran all over the Cardinals’ defense, guiding the Eagles to a shootout victory, their first win over Louisville since 1994. But the Cardinals have owned Chestnut Hill of late, blowing out BC by at least two touchdowns in both 2014 and 2016.
Oct. 26 Vs. Miami (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
—> Coming off a bye week, the Eagles will take on defending Coastal Division champion Miami under the lights. The Friday night matchup will serve as the teams’ first meeting since 2012. Although BC has won two of its last four games against the Hurricanes, it trails the all-time series, 24-5.
Nov. 3 at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)
—> After edging the Hokies in the first two years of Addazio’s tenure, the Eagles have dropped three in a row to their inter-division foe—and none of them have been close. In fact, when BC made the trip to Blacksburg, Va. in 2016, VTech dealt the Eagles their worst loss of the series, a 49-point shutout.
Nov. 10 Vs. Clemson (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
—> Since 2010, Clemson is 7-0 against BC. Even worse, the Eagles have been outscored by 90 points in their last three games against the Tigers. Scheduled for the latter portion of the season, the game will be the first the teams play against each other outside the month of October in six years.
Nov. 17 at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)
—> BC put an end to its seven-game losing streak against the Seminoles last season with a decisive 32-point victory. The Eagles’ 35 points were the most they had scored against FSU in program history. But this time around, BC will return to Doak Campbell Stadium, the same place it was embarrassed, 45-7, on national television just two seasons ago.
Nov. 24 Vs. Syracuse (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) *Senior Day
—> For the fifth time in the past six years, the Eagles will wrap up the regular season against Syracuse. This past year, BC thumped the Orange, 42-14, but the Eagles still have some ground to cover, as Syracuse leads the all-time series, 31-20.
ACC Championship Game
Dec. 1 (Charlotte, N.C.)
Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Editor