This is a must win for both teams. BC has probably played better football this year, but Maryland has the better record. Both teams are flawed and I don’t think any outcome would surprise either team’s fanbase (as we’ve all been on a roller coaster ride this year).
Theme that won’t be discussed on television
Frank Spaziani is Defensive Coordinator at BC because of Ralph Friedgen. Ok, so there were a few other factors involved, but Friedgen was a large factor. Spaz was the Defensive Coordinator at UVA in the late eighties. In 1990 UVA rose to No. 1 in both polls after the best start in school history. In early November they stood 7-0 and were hosting the undefeated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. In an epic game (in which Fridge picked apart Spaz’ schemes), Georgia Tech prevailed 41-38 on a late field goal from Scott Sisson. Tech went on to the National Championship. Virginia fell apart after the game and lost four of their last five. Spaz was the fall guy and fired/resigned after the season. He coached in Canada until TOB brought him to Boston.
I strongly encourage BC fans to watch the UVA-GT game the next time it is on classic. Many familiar faces like a young TOB, young Spaz, thinner and younger Friedgen. Younger George O’Leary. Plus a good game to boot.
Three Simple Keys
1. Get to Hollenbach. Last year BC rattled him and he made mistakes. He has been much more conservative this year and equally careful with the ball. BC needs to pressure him and force some mistakes.
2. Prevent the big play. Easier said than done, but Maryland has lived by the gamebreakers this year. They can look stagnant for long stretches only to pounce when the moment presents itself.
3. Don’t worry about establishing the run. Last week against Duke was a good way to get the confidence and precision back in the running game. Don’t bother this week. Do what is there and don’t try to dictate a slow tempo. The last thing we want to do is get in a close game with a team that knows how to win by a thin margin.
-- TOB has never gone undefeated at home for a season
-- If Maryland wins out, they will win the ACC Atlantic Division
-- The two schools have only played each other three times. BC leads the series 2-1.
The current line is BC-8
What would be a pleasant surprise? A dominating BC win. The team looked flat last week against Duke. If they come out and make a statement against Maryland it would help our Bowl hopes (a little).
What would be a letdown? Before the season I thought Maryland would upset us. So I am mentally prepared for a loss. However, seeing us get blown out would be a letdown. I don’t want to go to the San Fran bowl again. But if the team starts fading, that is where we are headed.
What would be a shocker? Another close Maryland win. This team can’t go on like this forever. One of these days things are not going to work out for them. If we are in a close game Saturday, I would be surprised if the breaks don’t go our way.
This is a weird game. Maryland has the better record, comes in hot, yet is a 8-point underdog. I think the game will be pretty even. Ultimately I like our chances with Matt Ryan more than their chances with Hollenbach.
Final Score: BC 27, Maryland 20.