Change is in the air for the Boston College Eagles football program. Before diving too deep in 2020, however, the Eagles have the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl to prep for.
By the time the Boston College Eagles take the field on January 2, 2020 to face the 21st-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats, 34 bowl games and two College Football Playoff games will have been played. Not to mention the Eagles will have an interim head coach in Rich Gunnell and be without star running back AJ Dillon, who declared for the NFL draft.
The show must go on, however, as the Eagles look to reach the seven-win mark for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
While another winning record will be enjoyable, not being able to get past the seven-win barrier is a reason Steve Addazio is gone (and subsequently hired by the Colorado State Rams).
Former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley is in, hoping to build the Eagles into a contender in the ACC.
More from College Sports
- Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley in make-or-break season
- Boston College Eagles: Top 5 wide receivers in program history
- Boston College Eagles: 3 standouts in 2022 season
- Boston College Eagles snowed under in South Bend
- Boston College Eagles navigate their way to upset-victory
Hafley won’t be coaching in the bowl game. Instead it will be Gunnell who will lead Boston College as they take those for steps without Dillon.
Dillon rewrote the Boston College running back record books. In three seasons, he finished with 4,382 yards and 38 touchdowns on the ground, both school records. His 1,685 yards this season were good for fourth-best in the nation.
Even without Dillon, the Eagles still have the talent to grab the win, but they’ll need a perfect game to defeat Bearcats. Cincy sat at the top of the Group of Five mountain before back-to-back losses to the Memphis Tigers to close out season.
On offense, the teams put up similar numbers, at least in average points (30.9 for Boston College, 29 for the Bearcats) and passing yards (183.4 to 187.4). The Eagles averaged about 70 more yards per game than Cincinnati did, but that is to be expected with Boston College’s run-heavy focus.
Defensively, the Eagles give up about 480 yards per game while the Bearcats allow 376.
Date, bowl records, where to watch
Location: Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama
When: January 2, 2020 at 3 pm (ET)
Cincinnati (10-3) enters this game with a bowl record of 8-9. 14 of their 17 bowl games have been played since the year 2000. The Bearcats defeated Virginia Tech in the 2018 Military Bowl, 35-31.
Boston College (6-6) is 14-12 in 27 bowl games (last year’s First Responder Bowl was cancelled in the first quarter due to weather). The Eagles have lost six of their last seven bowl games, with their last victory coming in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl over Maryland.