Pittsburgh and Boston College used rushing performances that connected them to their glorious pasts en route to easy season-opening wins last weekend. The former Big East rivals try to do the same Friday when they face each other for the first time as ACC foes as BC hosts the Panthers. Florida transfer Tyler Murphy threw for 173 yards and rushed for 118 versus Massachusetts, becoming the first Eagles quarterback since Doug Flutie in 1984 to rush for more than 100 yards.
The Eagles generated 338 of their 511 total yards on the ground in a 30-7 triumph - their first game since the graduation of Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, who became only the 16th player in NCAA history to rush for more than 2,000 yards last year. Pittsburgh's own bruising back - 250-pound James Conner - ripped FCS Delaware for 153 yards and four touchdowns in one half during a 62-0 victory, part of 409-yard rushing effort that was the most for the school since the 1976 national championship season. The Eagles and Panthers, who met every year from 1993-2004, resume their rivalry after a 10-year break.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Pittsburgh -4
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (1-0): In addition to posting their biggest margin of victory since 1913, the Panthers outgained the Blue Hens 501-57 en route to their first shutout in nine years. However, not all the news was positive for Pittsburgh as receiver Tyler Boyd, who set school freshman records for receptions and receiving yards last fall, left in the second quarter after dislocating a finger on his left hand on a punt return. Boyd's probable status for Friday means more of the offensive load could fall on sophomore quarterback Chad Voytik, who went 10-for-13 for 84 yards and two TDs in his first career start.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (1-0): The Eagles were slightly less proficient on the ground (338 yards on 61 attempts) than the Panthers last week, but turned to Murphy as well as running backs Tyler Rouse (87 yards) and Myles Willis (57) to replace the production Williams usually accounted for last season. "We're not just one back anymore. All of us are coming and the quarterback's running, too," Willis told the Boston Herald. Josh Bordner, who served as the backup quarterback over the last three seasons, fared well in his debut as a receiver, finishing with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.
1. Pittsburgh was not dropped for a loss on any of its 56 rushes against Delaware and the Panthers did not give up a sack on 14 pass attempts.
2. Friday marks the first of four straight home games for Boston College, which will not leave the Massachusetts until it faces North Carolina State on Oct. 11.
3. Four of the last eight meetings were decided by four points or fewer and two of the last three went into overtime.
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 27, Boston College 24