Boston College QB Tyler Murphy has lead the passing and rushing attack for the Eagles to a 7-5 record this season.
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Tyler Murphy and the Boston College Eagles take on Christian Hackenberg and the Penn State Nittany Lions in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
The Eagles looked like one of the surprise contenders of the season with a shocking win over the #9 USC Trojans, but after a 6-3 start, Boston College lost back to back games to Louisville and FSU before finishing the season with a win against Syracuse. The offense led by QB Tyler Murphy has been effective through the air and on the ground – 11 TDs passing and 10 TDs rushing. Murphy is also averaging 7.6 yards/carry – almost double what RB Jon Hillman has produced. The key to beating the Eagles will be to keep Murphy in the pocket and force him to pass – the only aspect of his game where he is less effective.
Penn State is playing in its first bowl game since the NCAA imposed serious sanctions on the team following the Jerry Sandusky scandal in 2011. A win today would officially be their first bowl win since 1996 due to the vacating of all wins between 1998 and 2011. Penn State started the season 4-0 but lost four straight before picking up wins against Indiana and Temple to clinch bowl eligibility. QB Christian Hackenberg has struggled to make plays with 8 TDs to only 15 INTs. The key to beating the Nittany Lions will be to force Hackenberg into long passing situations, where he is mistake prone.
Prediction: Penn State Nittany Lions win the Pinstripe Bowl – The Nittany Lions have waited four years for a chance to play in a bowl again since the scandal and NCAA sanctions ruined the school’s football program. It’s hard to imagine any team being able to take this bowl win away from them, much less Boston College.