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Penn State-Boston College Pinstripe Bowl Looks To Be Lowest-Scoring Bowl

December 18, 2014

If you like defensive, low-scoring college football games in these offense-first days, then the Saturday, Dec. 27, Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium will be your cup of tea as Penn State faces Boston College. The Eagles are 2.5-point WagerWeb favorites and the total of 40 points is by far the lowest of any bowl game.

Penn State (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) didn’t think it would be able to play in a bowl game when this season began, but the NCAA lifted its sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky scandal so the Lions are thrilled to be playing anywhere. It also got first-year head coach James Franklin a big bonus. The Nittany Lions are a good defensive club, ranking No. 8 nationally in allowing 17.7 points per game. They are not a strong offensive team as sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg, expected to be a star, regressed a bit this season. PSU can’t run the ball, either, ranking 120th nationally in averaging 103.6 yards on the ground per game.

None of Penn State six wins were all that great. The best team the Lions probably beat was Central Florida on a last-second kick in the season opener in Ireland. Franklin is leading a team to a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season, winning his last two. This is Penn State’s first game in New York City since 1947. It’s the Nittany Lions’ 45th bowl appearance overall. The Lions are 27-15-2. They last played in the TicketCity Bowl in 2011 and lost to Houston 30-14 in what would be Coach Joe Paterno’s final postseason game.

Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) is a good defensive team as well, allowing 20.5 points per game. The Eagles don’t throw the ball much, averaging just 132.0 yards per game. They usually run it with dual-threat QB Tyler Murphy, a transfer from Florida. BC ranks 15th nationally in rushing (251.8 ypg). Murphy broke the ACC record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,079) and scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He has thrown for 1,526 yards and 11 scores with 10 interceptions.

The Eagles can be inconsistent. They played well in nearly upsetting ranked teams Clemson and Florida State this season but lost handily to Pittsburgh and Louisville. This will be the second time Boston College will be making a trip to a postseason bowl under second-year head coach Steve Addazio and the Eagles’ 14th appearance in the last 16 seasons. Last year, BC fell to Arizona in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La. Overall, this will be the Eagles’ 24th appearance in a bowl game. BC is 13-10 (.565) in the postseason, which is the fourth-best winning percentage among all Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

Boston College has faced neighbor Penn State 22 times with the first meeting in 1949. PSU dominated the series, winning the first 19 of 20 games. The Eagles have won the last three matchups in 1993, 2003 and 2004. The two teams have never met on neutral territory.

Penn State has covered its past five non-conference games while Boston College is just 1-5 against the spread in its past six bowl games. Bet this game now at one of the top rated sportsbooks at SBA in 2014

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