Game Predictions - Northern Illinois

Game Predictions – Northern Illinois

For every Football, Hockey, Basketball, and Baseball game this year, the board members of WZBC Sports will be offering their picks on whether the Eagles will win or lose. Throughout the year, we will be tracking who has the best prediction record, crowning a winner at the conclusion of Baseball season. Here are out picks for Northern Illinois (it was a unanimous decision)!


TJ Hartnett

BC marches into Northern Illinois a 3 point favorite. A new QB leading the squad, a phenom freshman RB looking to make some noise, and a proven DE aiming for a first round NFL spot define the season. Friday night lights in a new setting scares anyone, but I have confidence the boys get it done. This game sets the tone for everything this season. Being in Ireland last year, the GT loss defined the year and would have, in my opinion, added at least 2 more wins to the schedule. Gain some confidence, establish leadership, and be dominant on defense. This one won’t be a barn burner, with the Huskies always hanging around, but the Eagles get it done, 17-10.


Quinn Kelly

Make no mistake about it, this is a make or break game in the season for Boston College. As close as Vegas has this game, there’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t walk into Dekalb and pick up the victory. The caveat to this is that the biggest question mark for the Eagles is at the most important position: quarterback. The tandem of Wade and Brown needs to find a way to get the offense going early against NIU. Mix in the fact that some of the best talent on this roster is also the youngest (namely freshman running back AJ Dillon), the Eagles are going to rely heavily on fresh faces to produce immediately; especially on offense. This will make the test tougher, but a weaker opponent will allow BC’s offense to work out the kinks en route to a tight road victory to start the season. 17-14 Eagles.


Steve McAlee

Every team’s season opener helps to set the tone for the season, but the openers for the BC Eagles carry particular importance. Coach Addazio has shown reluctance to open up the offense, and if this a close game that the Eagles have to sweat out, it could really color what we see for the next eleven games. I think this will be close for the first half, as the Huskies have been prearing all offseason to take down a Power 5 team on their own turf, but the Eagles defense is just too much for them. This game won’t be a true test for Darius Wade at quarterback (if we are right in predicting him to be the starter), but Tommy Sweeney has a big day nonetheless (the first of many this season). BC 17 – Northern Illinois 3


Landon Komishane

Boston College is now the favorite to win this game after being underdogs for most of the summer. It will be interesting to see how the offense looks given that Coach Addazio hasn’t named a starter at quarterback yet. Even if the expectation is Darius Wade at starting quarterback, BC’s offense will still struggle to open the season as fans have yet to see an explosion in the offense. However, BC’s defense will be a force with potential first round pick Harold Landry returning. Expect a low scoring game where BC comes out on top to start the season 1-0. BC 13, Northern Illinois 6.


Matt Seelig

Friday is going to be the first time in quite a while that Darius Wade will be starting at QB if he did in fact win the job over Anthony Brown, and how he plays this weekend will certainly influence how Coach Addazio runs his offense going forward. But this game will likely be decided when the ball is with NIU. They have an explosive offense, and scored on average in the upper-20s last year. Yet, they will be facing BC’s experienced defense, and particularly the pass rush coming from Harold Landry and Zach Allen. Defenses they saw last year are likely nothing compared to what they’ll find on Friday. The defense should be able to hold off NIU long enough for the offense to do its job. BC wins 17-13.


Kyle Maslan

This year’s opener, fans do not need to worry about how any new coordinators are going to fair in running the offense and defense as except for the master recruiter Al Washignton, the staff is all returning. When looking at the talent, BC as a Power 5 school has more big time talent, and the hands down best player on the field in Harold Landry. NIU has had trouble with continuity at the QB position so they do not have anything on BC in the position that usually decides big upsets. Darius Wade (and probably Anthony Brown at some point during the game) should be confident in their second year in the offense and enjoy having more weapons on offense with solid WR depth in addition to adding AJ Dillon to the running back rotation, BC should be able to take some pressure off of their inexperienced QB. Look for BC to start out conservative and hopefully open the playbook as the game moves along. BC on talent alone should be able to pull off an opening night win the beautiful DeKalb Illinois – Boston College 20 – Northern Illinois 7


Ben Neuwirth

BC comes into the year with several strengths but also many questions. Harold Landry, Zach Allen and the rest of the Eagles’ D-line should be dominant again against both the run and the pass. It’s crucial that they get pressure on the Quarterback and allow the fleet-footed BC secondary to make plays and force turnovers. Despite the loss of a good number of talented players the defense overall should be stout. How the other side fairs is less certain. Coach Addazio has still yet to name a starting QB and rumors are swirling that red-shirt Junior Darius Wade and red-shirt Frosh Anthony Brown will split snaps in the 1st half of the NIU game. There’s an old saying in football, “If you have 2 QBs you have none”. One of Brown or Wade will need to sieze the job early for this offense to really click. There are some playmakers on the team, from former QB now WR Jeff Smith, to hyped freshman runningback AJ Dillon to wideout Michael Walker. But the real star of this offense should be tightend Tommy Sweeney. Sweeney has the best hands on the team and given the TE heavy style BC plays, he should have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of mismatches against linebackers. There’s been talk all summer about how the new BC offense is going to play agressive and fast. While a dependable running game is crucial, the passing attack needs to be improved from recent seasons, that should start with Sweeney. BC should come out hungry in their first game and faces an NIU team that lost their best WR to the NFL and went just 5-7 last year. If BC wants to make another bowl this year they’ll have to wins games like this. BC 14 – NIU 7.


Al Preziosi

If BC can contain the Northern Illinois rushing attack, this should be a relatively easy victory. The Huskies lost elite receiver Kenny Golladay to the NFL Draft, and Ryan Graham should not pose much of a threat at quarterback. Expect the BC defense to shut down the Husky offense for most of the game. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles offense returns plenty of weapons for the QB to utilize. Tommy Sweeney, who was named to the Mackey Award watch list, should be a force at tight end. Expect head coach Steve Addazio to set the tone in the rushing game early against an inexperienced Husky front seven. BC 27 – Northern Illinois 6.


Andrew Linnehan

The Eagles ought to walk onto the field in their high school varsity jackets because we have a Friday night game on our hands, folks. No disrespect to Dwyane, but the real D-Wade in Darius Wade gets to lead the Eagles through the tunnel (we think). Coach Addazio has never been particularly known for his jaw-dropping offenses, however Wade gives BC an opportunity to have the flashiest and most versatile offense they’ve seen in years. Although NIU isn’t a Big 5 conference school, don’t sleep on the Huskies. They have a veteran set of linemen who are sure to be dueling first round hopeful, Harold Landry, all night long. Expect the BC defense to be strong per usual, but the game will be decided on the offensive side of the ball. If Wade and his counterparts can operate effectively despite limited first-team reps over camp, the Eagles will be capable of taking advantage of NIU’s weaker defense. Expect some growing pains in the first quarter or two for the offense to adjust, but look for the running game to carry the load until Wade can develop chemistry with his weapons in Jeff Smith and Tommy Sweeney. Eagles will fly back home with a W on their wings, 20-6


Sam Parsons


Northern Illinois didn’t play a single Power 5 team last year, yet still went winless in their out of conference schedule, including a loss to FCS team Western Illinois. In addition to that, they lost a key player to the draft in Kenny Golladay, who had over twice as many receiving yards as any other player on this roster last year. These, combined with a BC squad that has improved on paper – Harold Landry staying for his senior year, nabbing much-hyped RB prospect AJ Dillon, and more experienced offensive and defensive lines – should lead to a victory for the Eagles. The biggest question mark for BC is at quarterback: rumors of a 2-QB system have made their rounds, but fans can only hope that either Darius Wade or Anthony Brown will run away with the job sooner rather than later. I’m still taking the Eagles, but given the uncertainty at the offense’s most important position, I’m predicting a low-scoring game. Prediction: BC 16, NIU 6


Matt Sottile


Steve Addazio has gone 3-1 in season openers during his tenure at BC, and in a make or break year, the front seven shuts down NIU and limits ballcarrier Jordan Huff. Even with no true QB1, the Eagles will continue to show flashes of their loaded backfield and revamped offense- one that put up 29 points in the first half of last year’s Quick Lane Bowl, and one that can put just enough points on the board to come out on top against a weak defense. BC 20, NIU 17