Thursday, September 14, 2006

BC-BYU preview

After nail biters in the first two weeks, BC fans need a more comfortable win. Will it happen this week? Here is the preview.

Theme that won’t be discussed on television. BC and (to a lesser extent) the ACC need BC to win this game and then see BYU have a great season. BC needs a good Cougar team on its resume, because as the team moves up the polls, media and opposing fans will start to notice how light BC’s schedule is. Pointing to the BYU win won’t mute the critics but it will help. The ACC cares because there is a very good chance BC could win the conference. This looks to be a down year for the Conference to begin with. If the conference champion’s best non-ACC win is over a MWC team, it better be a Top 25 MWC team.

Three simple keys
1. Prevent the big play. On Saturday, BC allowed seven plays for more than 20 yards including an 82 yarder from Spiller. Against CMU BC allowed a QB scramble for 42 yards and a completion for 60. This has got to stop. BC has the athletes to play with these teams. Allowing them to run free and break poor tackling will cost BC a game at some point.

2. Get Andre Callender back in the mix. I feared that after the Clemson fumble, he would never see the field again. Fortunately TOB put him in later in the game. Andre clearly has issues holding onto the ball, but he deserves a chance to get over it. He is talented and has the ability to break a big play. Get him the ball.

3. Great play from the linebackers. BYU has added a ground attack to a team that threw for more than 300 yards against us last season. The defensive effort is going to rely on the Dunbar and company. Pruitt’s coverage work has looked very good, and Francois has looked solid against the run. Dunbar has made some great plays and also a few questionables. Saturday will need a complete game from all of them -- especially with Toal questionable.

Gambling notes.
-- TOB is 20-14-1 as a home favorite
-- BC is 5-3 against the spread against current MWC teams
-- Mendenhall is 1-1 as an away underdog
-- BYU is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games on artificial turf
The current line is BC -7

What would be a pleasant surprise? A BC romp. This is a much improved BYU team. If we come out and win by 28, I think it will say a lot about this BC team’s potential.

What would be a letdown? A loss. Last week’s game provided such a high, that following it with an L to a non-BCS team at home would be devistating.

What would be a shocker? Getting blown out by BYU. Let’s face it, no one knows how good the ACC is this year. NC State losing to Akron…FSU getting into a dog fight with Troy…Duke losing to Richmond. If BC gets beat up at home, Big East fans and the pundits will be out in force.

Bottom line
This game should not be a problem. BC has the edge in nearly every position. The early season mental lapses should be out of the way. The team is playing with a lot of confidence. I just don’t see how we could lose. I don’t even think it will be as close as our first two games.
Final Score: BC 35, BYU 21.


NYC Eagle said...

Love the blog and please keep up the great comments/analysis.

But I strongly disagree on the role of Callender. While he's the more sexy of the 2 primary backs, the bottom-line is that he doesn't hit the holes well and has problems holding onto the ball. Last week ended the debate and it was on display in overtime - LV is the primary back. He hits the holes well, gets positive yardage and most importantly, holds onto the ball.

I like AC and think the guy has great potential, but he's simply not getting it done. At this point he should be the #3 back - LV #1, Jeff Smith as the #2 for change-of-pace & 3rd and long, and AC backing-up those guys.

FWIW - I'm terrified of this being a WTF game. BYU is underrated and very solid.

ATL_eagle said...

I wouldn't call it a WTF, because BYU is respectable. A classic WTF would be us losing to a bad NC State team.