Theme that won’t be discussed on television. Pressure on Amato will be discussed. TOB the great leader and winningest coach at BC will be discussed. What won’t be discussed is how similar their accomplishments are. Perception does not always equal reality. TOB wins more than he loses, wins bowls and is an unassuming guy at a program that is not flashy. Amato wins more than he loses, wins bowls but is an attention magnet with his stupid glasses, funny voice and even funnier quotes. Chuck announced his big time intentions for NC State long ago and every little misstep brings out the vultures. Now let me set the record straight -- I don’t think much of Amato as a coach. I would much rather have TOB than him, but their accomplishments are comparable and Chuck has done many things that TOB critics have been waiting for (won a Jan 1. Bowl, won 10 games and beaten a team like FSU three times).
TOB’s winning percentage .621
Amato’s winning percentage .610
Three simple keys
1. BC needs a big day from B.J. Raji. He has been inconsistent so far this season. The rest of the line is trying their best but he is the only true game changer up front. In order to keep pressure off their new QB and keep BC’s offense off the field, NC State will probably lean on the run. The key to slowing it down will be Raji. He was very good against the run last year. Not only did he collapse the line, but he was a good tackler and followed the action. We need to see the 2005 Raji on Saturday.
2. BC needs to establish the run early. In the last two games BC was able to use the run in the second half after sputtering in the first half. NC State just allowed 291 rushing yards to Southern Miss. There is no reason BC cannot at least get 180 on the ground against the Wolfpack’s young line.
3. BC needs to show Evans multiple looks. It is easy to say that Spaz uses the same defense and never blitzes. The reality is that he mixes in a fair amount of blitzes and pressure from the base defense. Now let’s mix in more or go more 3 down line man with Akins blitzing from the slot. Or have 3 down line man and drop Akins in to coverage. Whatever he can think of...the point is Evans should come up to the line and wonder “what they heck are they going to do to me now?”
-- TOB 12-11 as an away favorite
-- TOB is 8-4 as an away favorite against a conference opponent
-- Amato is 13-13 off a loss
The current line is BC -7
What would be a pleasant surprise? At this point any win in regulation! Actually I’ll be surprised if BC wins this with ease. NC State is a disaster right now but those types of teams have often sprung back to life against us.
What would be a letdown? Losing. BC controls its destiny. Losing a to struggling conference team in a season where the divisional title is within reach would be a major letdown.
What would be a shocker? Another OT win. First, half of our fan base won’t survive the stress. But I just don’t want to keep tempting fate. As I said Sunday, our luck will run out.
BC needs a really good effort and win. Another narrow win will leave everyone wondering how good BC really is. NC State is bordering on full meltdown. BC needs to show killer instinct. Don’t give this opponent the glimmer of hope they are looking for.
Final Score: BC 35, NC State16