DALLAS (AP) — SERVPRO First Responders Bowl: No. 23 Boise State (10-3) vs. Boston College (7-5), 1:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Boise State by 2 1/2
Series Record: Boston College leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Boise State is looking for a second straight 11-win season in what is already the fourth year of double-digit wins in five seasons under coach Bryan Harsin at his alma mater. The Broncos also want to put aside the memory of their Mountain West championship game loss to Fresno State. Boston College is looking for its first eight-win season in six years under Steve Addazio. The Eagles had seven wins in four of his first five seasons, including the school’s first bowl win since 2007 two years ago.
Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien is ninth nationally in passing yards (3,705) and touchdowns (30). The four-year starter is facing a defense that is tied for third in the country with 18 interceptions, led by Hamp Cheevers with seven, tied for the most in FBS. But the Eagles are in the bottom third in the country in passing defense, allowing 248 yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Boise State: Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Curtis Weaver already has 20 1/2 career sacks with 9 1/2 this year after leading the Mountain West with 11 as a freshman. And he’s already half a sack ahead of former Broncos pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who was just named to his second straight Pro Bowl with the Cowboys.
Boston College: Anthony Brown needs one touchdown pass to match Boston College’s sophomore record of 21, set by former NFL quarterback Glenn Foley in 1991. Brown became the first BC quarterback since Ryan 11 years ago to throw for more than 300 yards with five touchdowns in a game.
FACTS & FIGURES
Harsin was a Boise assistant the only other time these teams played — on Boise’s blue turf in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan led BC then, and threw for three touchdowns in a 27-21 victory. … Both of Boston College’s previous appearances at Cotton Bowl Stadium were in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day. That bowl game has since moved to the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington. The first bowl in BC school history was the 1940 Cotton Bowl, a 6-3 loss to Clemson. Doug Flutie led the Eagles to a 45-28 win over Houston in the 1985 Cotton Bowl. … This is Boise’s second bowl trip to Texas since joining FBS in 1996. The Broncos defeated TCU, 34-31, at the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl in 2003. … Broncos running back Alexander Mattison is seventh nationally with 1,415 yards rushing and has 17 touchdowns, while Boston College’s AJ Dillon is 12th nationally at 110.8 yards rushing per game. He missed two games with an ankle injury. Dillon is the first BC back to start his career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
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