Point/Counterpoint: Who will have more ACC wins, Boston College or UConn?


UConn safety Anthony Watkins tackles a member of the Cavalier’s offensive line during UConn’s 13-10 victory over UVA on September 17, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Ever since UConn twitter hero @Noescalators first put the question out to the masses, perhaps satirically, it has plagued football fans nationwide. Who will win more ACC games this season, UConn or Boston College? BC went winless in the ACC in 2015 as part of a dismal season in Chestnut Hill. They are 0-2 this year, including a 49-0 beatdown at the hands of Virginia Tech. They have six ACC games remaining. The Huskies started the season with three ACC teams on their schedule and after their 13-10 win over Virginia Saturday, already have a leg up. The Huskies host Syracuse this weekend and then travel to BC on Nov. 19 in what might be the deciding game.

Matt Barresi: I’m certainly a UConn fan so I hope it happens, I’m rooting for it to happen, I think it would be amusing if it happens. But I don’t think it will happen. BC fans might be up in arms about their start to the season but they still have what it takes to be a bowl team this year. I believe the Virginia Tech loss was an outlier, they still have a talented defense. Harold Landry is a potential high NFL draft pick at Defensive End and Kamrin Moore and John Johnson are stout defensive backs. Offensively, it hasn’t been pretty rough going but they still have a young line. Patrick Towles has experience and if they can get Jon Hilliman going, they will be a threat to the ACC. This is the program who battled and challenged powerhouses Florida State and Clemson the last couple seasons. Syracuse, NC State and Wake Forest are all very winnable games for the Eagles. That would bring them to at least three ACC wins and if they can handle UConn, another winnable game, then UConn would be stuck with at most two wins against the ACC. I just don’t see it happening.

Connor Donahue: I grew up an Eagles fan. The days of Matt Ryan, Luke Kuechly, BJ Raji and even Andre Williams. The Eagles were good back then; Ryan almost lead BC to an Orange Bowl and a few years later Andre Williams almost won the Heisman. The key word here is almost. Just like how the Eagles will almost have as many ACC wins as UConn. The Huskies should take care of a poor Syracuse team this Saturday to bring their ACC record to 2-0. Sure the Eagles have one of the best defenses in the entire country; that’s why they keep games close against good opponents. But their offense is lacking, if not flat out non-existent. And this ‘elite’ Eagles defense just surrendered 49 points to a Virginia Tech team that went 7-6 and 4-4 in the ACC just last year. I think UConn beats BC in late November for a 3-0 ACC record. But the Eagles should take care of Syracuse in Chestnut Hill, and win one of two other games against weaker ACC opponents in NC State and Wake Forest. There’s not a shot in the world they hang with Lamar Jackson’s Louisville Cardinals, Deshaun Watson’s Clemson Tigers, or Jimbo Fisher and the ‘Noles. They’ll be a game short of the Huskies’ three ACC victories. So does this mean UConn gets take BC’s spot in the ACC?

Barresi: I wish. I too am very confident in BC’s ability to knock off both Syracuse and Wake Forest. NC State will be more challenging but attainable. The season is still very early and who knows what could happen with the Eagles and Huskies. Both teams need to start improving significantly and improving soon if they are to live up to preseason expectations. I personally feel the Eagles would beat UConn if the game was played this weekend. As of now, BC seems more stable. UConn has had all three games come down to the wire after terrible first halves. Maybe the whipping from Virginia Tech will throw the Eagles out of their game, but with a game against FCS Wagner ontap I think they will get back on track quickly. UConn’s offense has displayed virtually nothing until they get down to the wire and Frank Verducci has to adjust. BC had the second best defense in the country last year and, again, I think the nature of their loss to Virginia Tech was a fluke. I really see UConn’s offense struggling. On the other side of the ball, I think both teams return enough talent that they should be performing better than they are. It will be interesting to see if Jon Hilliman can return to form and if Patrick Towles can be more consistent. For the Huskies, it seems to be finding a better balance and Bryant Shirreffs improving in the passing game. Who will find a cure by November 19th is the real question. Like you said, I believe UConn will come into the game with a chance to exceed or at least tie BC’s ACC win total. As the school who played a major role in preventing UConn joining the ACC, it would be embarrassing if the Huskies come into Alumni Stadium and defeat the Eagles, not just in the game, but in ACC wins. I think BC head coach Steve Addazio and his squad will have too much pride to let it happen. The game should have some intensity for both teams, who as both fringe bowl contenders, will have another chance to chalk up a win in the race for bowl eligibility. Addazio is trending towards the hot seat after lack of improvement in recent years. There’s just going to be too much on the line for the Eagles, who are playing at home, will have what it takes to prevent UConn from getting to three ACC wins.

Donahue: UConn will continue to get better, they would be 3-0 right now if the Navy debacle never happened. I just think the Huskies will have the most complete team, offense and defense by the time they travel to Chestnut Hill. Boston College will be coming off back to back games against No. 3 Louisville and No. 13 Florida State. Both should be routs so I would imagine Addazio and the Eagles should have a tough time getting motivated for a late November nonconference game. The Eagles do have the potential to be better but ‘better’ for the Eagles means one or two ACC victories instead of none.

Time will tell. For UConn, who was snubbed by the ACC in the last go-around of conference expansion, to win more ACC games than regional foe and rival Boston College, would bring some sweet redemption. The Huskies will also have a strong chance to exceed rival Syracuse, a team the ACC chose over them when they expanded. Both UConn and BC are looking to improve after lackluster starts, so it’s a race to see who can be better than who on November 19th by all accounts.

Matt Barresi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.barresi@uconn.edu

Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue 

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