Boston College looks to get back to .500 when it faces Army for the first time in a decade Saturday at West Point, N.Y.
The Eagles (2-3) take a break from Atlantic Coast Conference play following their 27-24 win against Virginia last Saturday.
The Black Knights (2-2) have been idle since losing to another ACC school Sept. 23, falling 29-16 at Syracuse.
In the victory over Virginia, BC orchestrated its largest halftime comeback since 1997 while allowing only 39 total second-half yards.
“We’ve got to go 1-0 this week,” Eagles coach Jeff Hafley said. “I said we needed to play Virginia like we’re playing the best team in the country, and we need to treat Army the same way.”
Against Virginia, Thomas Castellanos passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards while the defense stepped up with six sacks after entering the game with just four all season.
Hafley knows the challenge ahead with Army, which ranks second nationally in rushing offense (289.4 yards per game).
“This is going to be a very physical, tough game,” he said. “We’ve got to throw everything into this one and then we can take a break.”
The Eagles have next weekend off before resuming ACC play at Georgia Tech on Oct. 21.
Army is well-rested for just its second home game of the season.
“Bye weeks … are a great chance to get healthy and get a two-week preparation on an opponent, but it’s odd to be sitting on a Saturday watching everyone else play and not have a game ourselves,” Black Knights coach Jeff Monken said. “Our guys practice because they like to play. I think they get excited about playing these games against Power 5 opponents.”
Noah Short logged a career-high 105 receiving yards in the loss to Syracuse, including an 80-yard touchdown from Bryson Daily.
That pair’s continued emergence will go a long way for the Black Knights, who last beat BC in 2012.
“It’s going to be a tough game to win, but it is a game that we’ve got to win if we want to be in the conversation for postseason play,” Monken said. “I think it’s OK to recognize that.”