Beats' picks: Will Duke football win to reach bowl eligibility Friday at Boston College?

Duke has a chance to earn its sixth win Friday at Boston College.
Duke has a chance to earn its sixth win Friday at Boston College.

Before every game this season, our football beat writers predict whether the Blue Devils will pick up a win in their weekly matchup and keep track of their records throughout the year. Coming off of a bye week, Duke gets a chance to earn its coveted sixth win Friday night at Boston College.

Jonathan Levitan: Duke 28-13

If I have learned one thing in making my predictions this season, it is to believe my eyes. Duke looked ready to take down Northwestern after thwarting Temple, Georgia Tech teased its toughness in Pittsburgh the week before beating Duke and all across the conference, teams are dismissing expectations set in previous seasons in favor of new identities.

My eyes tell me, regardless of any past history between these teams, that Duke is a winning team and Boston College is a sinking ship. Combine that with the Blue Devils’ pursuit of bowl eligibility, and Friday’s matchup should be a breeze for the visitors with a big milestone waiting for them at the end of 60 minutes.

Micah Hurewitz: Duke 35-14

The win against Miami showed this team is really coming along on both sides of the ball. With a refreshed roster after the off week and a trip to Chestnut Hill, Mass., up next on the docket, this game should be the bowl-clincher. A bowl-clincher, say that again if you want—the seemingly unimaginable for the Blue Devils is becoming a real possibility with four games left. Without quarterback Phil Jurkovec, this Boston College team doesn’t have much going in its favor, hence the cruise to victory for Mike Elko, Riley Leonard and the Blue Devils.

Sasha Richie: Duke 35-10

Last week, Boston College lost 13-3 to UConn. Let’s be clear: UConn isn’t good. In fact, it is bad. Losing to a bad team is one thing—everyone has an off day sometimes—but losing 13-3 to a bad team is downright embarrassing. The Eagles put up a single field goal against the 67th-ranked scoring defense in the country, and that average includes the Huskies’ near-shutout of Boston College. Really, the Eagles’ only redeeming quality right now is wide receiver Zay Flowers, a genuine star. But, much like forgetting to call your girlfriend for the third day in a row, there is only so much Flowers can do. Meanwhile, Duke should be rolling after routing Miami and getting an extra week of rest and recovery. An object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest. The Blue Devils are in motion, so I am sticking with Sir Isaac Newton on this one and saying they stay that way.

Andrew Long: Duke 35-6

While Duke’s game against Miami proved that it more than has the tools to brush aside ACC opposition, I think the Blue Devils’ main advantage in this game is that Boston College is bad. The Eagles are fresh off a 13-3 slog of a loss against UConn, are likely without Jurkovec and sit at just 2-6 on the season. Flowers has the potential to cause problems for Duke’s secondary given his speed and knack for evading tackles, but a receiver is only as useful as the arm tossing to him. Conversely, the Blue Devils have one of the ACC’s top Cinderella stories in Leonard, who has continued to impress down the stretch. While conference games always have the potential to spring a surprise or two, Boston College has its wings clipped and Duke is on the up. The Blue Devils should take this one comfortably.

Rachael Kaplan: Duke 30-17

Going into its bye week, Duke was rolling. It rebounded after two tough losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina and demolished Miami in a game it was expected to lose. The momentum is in the Blue Devils’ favor right now, and the 2-6 Eagles are not going to be the ones to stop it. While Duke did win handily two weeks ago, it was a gritty victory—and led by the defense. It forced eight turnovers (a program record) in an effort largely led by emerging sophomore Brandon Johnson. Johnson and the rest of the secondary will have their work cut out for them against Flowers. This is where the Eagles could gain an edge over the Blue Devils: Flowers is quick, shifty and dominant. A big game from him is Boston College’s easiest route to victory, so as long as Duke can somewhat limit the senior, it should win and clinch bowl eligibility. 

Franck Djidjeu: Duke 38-13

Boston College has been, simply put, the punching bag of the ACC Atlantic Division. With a record of 2-6, they make up exactly a third of the division’s total losses. That speaks to the strength of the division, but just as much to the ineptitude of the Eagles. Their blowout loss to Virginia Tech is still the Hokies’ sole FBS win so far this season. The stats back up the results of their games, as they rank bottom three in both scoring offense and defense. Their one edge on the Blue Devils is their fifth-ranked passing offense against a Duke team with the second-worst passing defense in the conference. However, as we learned in Week 8 with Miami, that all means nothing if you cannot maintain possession. Boston College’s nine interceptions lead the ACC, so facing a Duke team that dominates the turnover battle is a recipe for disaster. The Blue Devils should run away with this.

Season records:

Levitan: 5-3

Hurewitz: 6-2

Richie: 5-3

Long: 5-3

Kaplan: 5-3

Djidjeu: 4-4

Sasha Richie profile
Sasha Richie | Sports Managing Editor

Sasha Richie is a Trinity senior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Micah Hurewitz

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity senior and was previously a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Jonathan Levitan

Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Rachael Kaplan profile
Rachael Kaplan | Sports Managing Editor

Rachael Kaplan is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.

Andrew Long profile
Andrew Long | Sports Editor

Andrew Long is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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