The last game of the regular season comes for the ‘Canes this Friday against the Boston College Eagles in chilly Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
This ACC matchup is the first between the Hurricanes and the Eagles since 2018, when the ‘Canes took a 27-14 loss in Boston, but this Friday’s game should be a more even matchup. Both teams are 6-5 and are eligible for bowl games, and Boston College only has one more ACC win than the ‘Canes. Miami head coach Mario Cristobal says matchups between Miami and Boston College are always tight and well-fought by both teams.
“This is, in essence, this is a rivalry game,” Cristobal said to reporters. “Looking forward to a great game.”
Coming off a near-win against the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals, Cristobal says Miami has the opportunity to carry that energy over into this week. However, near-wins against ACC teams have been a prominent theme for the ‘Canes this season, with simple mistakes often costing them the game.
“We’ve got to find a way to get better, get back to work for a quick turnaround and go play our best football on Friday,” Cristobal said.
With freshman quarterback Emory Williams out for the season after suffering a fracture in his left arm in Miami’s loss to Florida State, Tyler Van Dyke will look to lead the team alongside lead receiver Xavier Restrepo, who has the second most receiving yards in the ACC. Miami’s receiver room is powerful, with Jacolby George not far behind, having the third-highest receiving yards in the conference.
A powerful and confident offense will be key for the ‘Canes this week, going up against the Eagles’ strong defense. Boston College linebacker Vinny DePalma leads the team with 83 tackles this season, putting him in the top ten for the most tackles in the ACC.
The ‘Canes also have some threats on the defensive side of the ball. Junior linebacker Francis Mauigoa and freshman defensive lineman Rueben Bain Jr. have had 6.5 sacks each this season, placing them sixth for the number of sacks in the ACC. Junior safeties James Williams and Kamren Kinchens lead the team in solo tackles, with Williams having 44 and Kinchens having 40 this year.
The Eagles have a multidimensional weapon on offense. Sophomore quarterback Thomas Castellanos leads the team in both passing and rushing yards. Castellanos has rushed for 10 touchdowns this season and has thrown 14. He is a dominant force that the ‘Canes will need to take care of with a heavy and intimidating defensive presence.
Miami defensive coordinator Lance Guidry is optimistic about the team’s skill and potential for not only this season but also for the future.
“When you’re trying to change a culture and you’re coming into a place that isn’t the standard of what it’s been, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better,” Guidry said. “I think we’ve closed the gap. The record really doesn’t reflect how close we are.”
The Hurricanes and Eagles will take the field up north for a noon kickoff on Friday, and the game will air on ABC.