Boston College and Syracuse renew their gridiron rivalry on Saturday afternoon when the Eagles visit the Orange in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
The longtime regional Big East rivals will meet for the 55th time and the third straight year inside the Carrier Dome.
While the Orange (4-4, 1-3 ACC) lead the all-time series 32-22, the Eagles (4-3, 0-3) have won the last two meetings and three of the past four.
Last season, Boston College held on for a 16-13 victory at Syracuse on Nov. 7 thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter field goals.
“We gotta compete with those guys, but we compete with a lot of other people as well. And the game’s a rivalry game, and it’s a recruiting battle as well,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “But right now, it’s just a way for us to get one more win in the ACC.”
Syracuse is coming off a 41-36, come-from-behind victory at Virginia Tech last week. With just over five minutes remaining, the Orange trailed 36-27, but they rallied to take the lead on Garrett Shrader’s 45-yard TD pass to Damien Alford with 19 seconds remaining.
Shrader stuffed the stat sheet in the win, passing for 236 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 174 yards and three scores.
After an impressive 4-0 start, the Eagles have fallen back to the pack by suffering three consecutive losses, including a 28-14 defeat at Louisville last week.
Since losing starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec to a hand injury, Boston College has struggled to generate consistent offense under backup Dennis Grosel.
Grosel threw for 141 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against the Cardinals. On the season, Grosel is averaging 160.4 passing yards per game and has thrown six TD passes and seven interceptions.
The three straight losses are a first under coach Jeff Hafley, whose team went 4-0 after defeats during his inaugural 6-5 season last year.
“I don’t want guys to change who they are,” Hafley said. “I want them to be (ticked) off — because I’m (ticked) off, and (the fans) should all be (ticked) off. But that doesn’t mean I turn into some raging lunatic. I think good leaders are guys that are consistent.”