How To Watch, Stream & Listen
Rutgers at Boston College
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
Kick-off: Saturday, September 3 at 12:00 PM ET
Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy with a 7% chance of rain, 10 mph winds
TV: ACC Network with Chris Cotter (play-by-play), Mark Herzlich (color), Lericia Harris (sideline)
Stream: ESPN App
Radio: Radio: RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers Sports Network (WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM, Fox Sports New Jersey 93.5 FM/1450 AM, SiriusXM 203) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Julian Pinnix-Odrick (analyst), and Anthony Fucilli (sideline); WRSU 88.7 FM - Dylan McCoy & Dennis Geissler; Audacy app, Scarlet Knights app
Current Spread: Boston College -7.5
Series History: Boston College leads, 20-6-1; last meeting was in 2019 with Boston College winning 30-16
Returning Statistical Leaders
Passing: Noah Vedral - 180-for-303, 59.4%, 1,813 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: Noah Vedral - 297 yards on 102 carries, 2.9 ypc, 2 touchdowns
Receiving: Shameen Jones - 35 catches for 334 yards, 9.5 ypc, 0 touchdowns
Defense: Christian Izien - 69 tackles, Aaron Lewis - 2.5 sacks, Max Melton - 3 interceptions
Passing: Phil Jurkovec - 52-for-96, 54.2%, 914 yards, 7 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
Rushing: Pat Garwo III - 1,045 yards on 205 carries, 5.1 ypc, 7 touchdown
Receiving: Zay Flowers - 44 catches for 746 yards, 17.0 ypc, 5 touchdowns
Defense: Kam Arnold - 61 tackles, Marcus Valdez - 5 sacks, Jaiden Woodbey and Josh DeBerry - 2 interception
What To Watch For
When Rutgers has the ball
Get first downs and maintain drives.
It is easier said than done — especially when Rutgers has lost two of its leaders from last season (Bo Melton, Isiah Pacheco) and have not named a starting quarterback. Boston College might have some key players back defensively but the offensive unit is the one that could give the Scarlet Knights fits.
Rutgers struggled to put points on the board last season. This might be the case once again. The Eagles return their quarterback and top two skill-position players. It would benefit Rutgers to keep the offense on the field and Boston College on the sideline.
The key to this game will be to make it ugly. Rutgers can do this by king stingy defensively and maintaining drives all afternoon. This is unlikely to be a shootout and that is not the game that Rutgers wants to play. When the Scarlet Knights have the ball, it will be important to execute and keep drives alive.
When Boston College has the ball
On paper, Boston College is the superior team but the game can be neutralized quick if the defensive line of Rutgers causes havoc. For the Eagles, it is important to protect and let Jurkovec go through his reads.
Boston College will likely get the ground game going early with the lack of depth at the linebacker position for Rutgers. As for Jurkovec, he is rejuvenated and looking to return to form after missing time last season with an injury.
If Boston College can gel along the offensive line, there could be some big plays there from Garwo and Flowers. The personnel is in place and now it is about putting it all together. Defensively, the Eagles will need to pressure Vedral as well and take away the run game completely.
Rutgers lost Pacheco and this was a big one in the backfield. Now, Aaron Young and Kyle Monangai will act as a two-headed monster looking to take on the job. If Rutgers is one dimensional, it could be a long afternoon.
Could Rutgers win this game?
This game certainly has a different feel than the season-opener from last season. Rutgers blew out Temple and got off to a fast start in the non-conference. Now, it will take on a team that has high hopes in the ACC and could win eight or nine games. The short answer is yes, Rutgers can win this game but it is not going to be easy. The Eagles have an edge in many areas and have home-field advantage during the first game of the season.
Nothing is impossible but the path to six wins is difficult for Rutgers. If the Scarlet Knights lose this game, it seems as close to impossible as it gets to win six ball games when looking at the schedule. Rutgers will have plenty of energy and fire in Week 1 so it will be interesting to see how it all comes together. Remember, the Scarlet Knights were not in a favorable spot in 2020 when they had to travel to East Lansing for the first game of the season. We all remember how that one ended.