Ailing Orange look to finish strong vs. up-and-down BC

Two long familiar foes clash in Saturday’s regular-season finale as Boston College hosts Syracuse for the first time since 2018 in Chestnut Hill, Mass.After fighting through injuries all season, the Big East-turned-Atlantic Coast Conference rivals look to finish strong in their 56th all-time meeting.The Orange (6-5, 3-4 ACC) have lost five straight since their superb start to the season earned them their first bowl game in five seasons. The Eagles (3-8, 2-5) were shut out last week at Notre Dame, 44-0, a week after they had knocked off then-No. 16 NC State.Syracuse battled in last Saturday’s 45-35 loss to Wake Forest despite missing 12 players from its season-opening depth chart.”Our goal right now is Boston College, and that’s where we have to be at because you only get 12 opportunities to play 13, which we have received,” coach Dino Babers said. “To be fair to everyone, we have to stay locked in on that, but … the numbers are concerning.”Left tackle Matthew Bergeron, who had started 38 consecutive games, was one of three linemen out.Against Wake, Garrett Shrader threw for a career-best 324 yards, and Sean Tucker scored twice while rushing for 106 yards.Tucker became the fourth back in ‘Cuse history to surpass 3,000 for his career, joining Joe Morris (4,299), Walter Reyes (3,424), and Delone Carter (3,104).”Eleven explosive plays, seven guys caught the ball,” Babers said. “That just shows you guys are getting better and coaches are doing a good job bringing the underbelly along.”BC has a conference-high 34 underclassmen on its two-deep but using nine different starters across the offensive line has been particularly challenging.Also, quarterback Phil Jurkovec has missed three games due to a concussion and broken rib.