When: Mon., Dec. 25, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Teams’ Bowl Performances Last Year:
Boston College lost to Colorado 62-28 in the Insight.com Bowl Arizona State lost to Wake Forest 23-3 in the Aloha Bowl
What to Watch For
The passing friendly Arizona State likely will go to the air against a Boston College team that got to the Aloha Bowl because of its running game but will be without its top rusher.
Behind a solid offensive line, Boston College running backs William Green and Cedric Washington combined for 19 touchdowns this season. But Washington will have to be the engine to the Eagles’ offense in Honolulu, since Green was suspended as a result of unspecified team rules violations and will be on the bench for the Aloha Bowl.
Green, who earned all-Big East honors and scored 14 touchdowns, logged 1,164 yards rushing on the season, the sixth-highest total in school history. Washington, last year’s second-leading rusher in the Big East, was hampered by injuries this season but still notched 676 yards on the ground.
A big part of the BC running game is senior tackle Paul Zukauskas, who was a first team all conference pick this season. Zukauskas leads a very tough Eagles’ offensive line that allowed just six sacks all season.
With Green on the bench, look for Eagles quarterback Tim Hasselbeck to team up with receiver Dedrick Dewalt, who had 38 receptions for 676 yards this season.
With a weak running game — Arizona State lost starting back Delvon Flowers to injury, and Tom Pace was the leading rusher with 581 yards — the Sun Devils this season relied heavily on wide receiver Todd Heap, who had 45 receptions for 617 yards. Donnie Oneal and Richard Williams also had 39 and 38 catches, respectively, giving ASU a triple receiving threat.
Looking to shut down Arizona State’s passing attack will be BC cornerback Lenny Walls, who led the Eagles with six interceptions this season. But he will have to have one incredible game against the Sun Devils if Boston College hopes to stay close in this game. The Eagles secondary played well most of the season but got burned against strong passing teams like Pittsburgh — which threw for five touchdowns and won 42-26 — and Miami, which also scored five passing touchdowns in a 52-6 blowout.
The knock against Boston College last season and again this year is that it benefited from an easy schedule. The Eagles finished the year 6-5, but won only one game on the road (55-17 vs. Army) and one game against a team with a winning record (20-13 vs. 6-5 Syracuse).
The Sun Devils, who did not beat a team with a winning record in the PAC-10, will try to send off their fired coach with a final win in the Aloha Bowl. Bruce Snyder was let go after nine seasons coaching at Arizona State and will be replaced next season with Boise State’s Dirk Koetter.