Penn State vs. Boston College: Line, Channel & Prediction

Quarterback Tyler Murphy has passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards each for Boston College. (Getty)

Quarterback Tyler Murphy has passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards each for Boston College. (Getty)

Penn State wasn’t supposed to be in this position.

Hit with a 4-year postseason ban and a loss of scholarships stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the Nittany Lions were not expected to be bowl-eligible until 2016.

But the NCAA ended the ban and restored the scholarships back in September after a recommendation from Sen. George Mitchell, who conducted an investigation into the situation.

So now head coach James Franklin’s Nittany Lions (6-6) will be going bowling. They will doing so at Yankee Stadium in the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College (7-5), which just extended head coach Steve Adazzio’s contract through the 2020 season.

Penn State brings the nation’s top run defense (84.8 yards per game) and No. 2 total defense (269.8) and pass efficiency D into the game.

The Basics


Penn State (6-6) vs. Boston College (7-5), Pinstripe Bowl


Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Eastern


Yankee Stadium – Bronx, New York

TV Info:

Channel: ESPN
Announcers: Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Matt Millen (analysis), Quint Kessenich (sidelines)


Boston College (-3). Line provided by

All-Time Series:

Penn State leads 19-4

Last Year’s Pinstripe Bowl:

Notre Dame 29, Rutgers 16

Heavy’s Pick

What we have here is a tale of two teams who like to play defense. That’s good, because neither have really displayed much of an ability to score on offense. Penn State’s 19.8 points per game on offense is near the bottom of the FBS, while Boston College’s 25.9 is in the bottom half.

Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg completes nearly 20 passes per game (37th in the nation) but has just 8 touchdowns the entire season. Trust me, that’s not normal. The Nittany Lions just don’t have the weapons.

B.C. brings the nation’s 13th-best rushing attack into the game at 251.8 yards per game. The Eagles have Tyler Murphy, who has thrown for 1,526 yards and 11 touchdowns and 1,079 (an ACC quarterback record) and 10 TDs more on the ground. Jon Hilliman has added 12 rushing TDs and 712 yards. But that’s pretty much all the offense you’re going to find.

Now about those defenses. I mentioned earlier about Penn State’s dominance against the run, etc. Both bring top 20 scoring units into the game. At 17.7 points per game, the Nittany Lions and tackling machine Mike Hull (134 tackles, 73 solo) rank 8th, while Boston College cedes 20.5, which is tied for 19th. And that’s what this game is going to be about.

The emotion of playing in a bowl game for the Penn State players is going to be pushing the maximum limits. Can the Nittany Lions focus on the task at hand? Yes … here comes the but … but, Murphy is going to make the plays Hackenberg won’t. It’s not going to be a Yankees-Red Sox score in the House That Ruth Built 2.0, but it won’t be far off.

Boston College 17, Penn State 13