CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- When Navy and Boston College play this afternoon in what appears to be one of the biggest mismatches in college football this week, it will test the motivational skills of the opposing coaches.
For Navy coach George Chaump, the challenge will be how to get his team to recover from a 53-0 season-opening loss to Virginia.
For Boston College coach Tom Coughlin, the challenge will be to get his team that has outscored its first two opponents by a combined 86-20 to take seriously a Navy team that gained 148 yards on offense last week and has a quarterback that will be making his first start.
Boston College (2-0) is favored by 32 points.
"I haven't heard anything as ridiculous in my life," said Coughlin about the spread.
It doesn't seem that ridiculous when one looks at the raw numbers of the two teams. Boston College is coming off a 49-0 win over Northwestern in which the Eagles amassed 554 yards in total offense -- the most in seven years.
And the defense limited Northwestern to 75 yards in total offense while recording its first shutout since the Eagles zipped Navy, 31-0, in 1982.
"Our execution was about as good as it's been for as long as I've been here," said Coughlin, in his second year as head coach after coming from the New York Giants where he was an assistant. "I'm obviously pleased at this point. But again, it's one game at a time."
Chaump didn't have too much to be pleased about after the loss to Virginia, in which the Midshipmen lost quarterback Jim Kubiak (dislocated shoulder) for three to six weeks. Despite the loss, Chaump expects his team to be as pumped up as it was for the opener.
"I've never been with a group that had been that confident and that spirited -- and then to have this happen," Chaump said. "We have probably as many problems this week as any team in America. It's going to be interesting to see how these young men react."
Particularly Brian Ellis, who replaces Kubiak at quarterback. Although a senior, Ellis has never started a game and may face a difficult task against a Boston College team that recorded six sacks last week.
On defense, Navy will have to rebound after allowing Virginia 557 yards in total offense -- the most ever by a visiting team at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Navy allowed four scoring plays that covered 40 yards or more.
Defensive tackles Bob Kuberski and Robert Goodson and defensive end David Shaw are expected to start today after being limited last week because of injuries. But Navy will be without pass-rushing specialist Grover Favors, who sprained an ankle on his first play against Virginia.
Chaump hopes so.
"I feel confident about them coming back. I know what they have in them," Chaump said. "But I'll warn you -- I knew they had it in them last week and look what happened."