University of Kansas

Kansas Jayhawks football vs. Boston College Eagles: Prediction, kickoff time, TV

The details

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Central time Friday

Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

TV: ACC Network

Radio: WHB (810 AM) in Kansas City, KFH (1240 AM) in Wichita

Line: Boston College by 21

Prediction

Honestly, I’m not feeling nearly as confident as last week when picking a side in this strange Friday night matchup.

Here’s where to start, though: It’s always best to not overreact to one game. Sure, KU looked awful — especially offensively — in last week’s 12-7 home loss to Coastal Carolina, but there actually are some reasons for optimism in this contest.

For one, KU lost the turnover battle last Saturday, 2-0. That can be fluky week to week, and with every giveaway worth an average of five points, it’s not difficult to see a path for the Jayhawks to be more competitive if they simply get a couple better breaks on both ends.

Also: KU should be making some offensive changes this week. The Jayhawks have too many smart people — including assistant coaches and analysts — to simply continue the status quo while believing the results will change against an ACC opponent.

The problem for KU is likely to come defensively. Though KU’s defense has been its strength so far, Boston College provides the type of physical challenge the Jayhawks are likely to struggle with, especially with the team’s lack of depth and rotation options in the front seven.

Just a hunch here: I think Boston College’s run game will be effective, but I think KU’s offense should be much better too. Look for more shotgun and less I-formation from the Jayhawks, which should allow more space for playmakers like Pooka Williams and Khalil Herbert to break free.

Will that result in a road win? Probably not. But a more encouraging performance (along a Vegas cover) after last week’s disappointment would certainly be a step in the right direction.

Boston College 38, KU 21

Last game prediction: Coastal Carolina 27, KU 24 (Actual: Coastal Carolina 12-7)

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.
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