While BC has the most famous win in the series, the Hurricanes have delivered plenty of revenge since 1984. There’s the OT game in ’97, the 28-point comeback at the Heights and of course, the Ed Reed return that killed BC’s chance of upsetting the best team in the history of college football. The ‘Canes have hit all sorts of new lows this season and BC comes into the game with much more at stake. But we’ve been in this position before. How will it play out this year?
Theme that won’t be discussed on television
Larry Coker seems to be a goner and all the talk has focused on luring Steve Spurrier to Coral Gables. Although his name has been floated, I don’t think the announcers will mention TOB as a possible replacement. Partly because of Spurrier, partly out of good taste and partly because Doug Flutie is not going to piss off his nephew’s coach on national TV.
But make no mistake, despite his downplaying of it, TOB is working hard on a new job and/or raise (how many more times is The Sporting News going to mention it?). The UNC job is off the table and while the Miami alums clearly want a name like Spurrier, TOB might be seen as a good Plan B.
Three simple keys
1. Give Freeman a lot of looks. He is still adjusting and hasn’t been the sharpest passer. BC should try to create confusion with delay blitzes (which we haven’t used in a while) and a variety of coverages. Make him make the mistake.
2. Don’t force running the ball. Regardless of all that they are dealing with, Miami’s defense is still one of the best in the country against the run. We don’t run well. Trying to force it would be a mistake.
3. Play sound special teams. Traditionally Miami has had dangerous return men. This year they have not run one back despite having some solid talent on special teams. BC needs to make sure these guys don’t break a big play and energize the team and what is left of the crowd.
-- BC is 0-14 against the Hurricanes since the Flutie game
-- The visitors in this series are 2-8 against the spread since 1994
-- TOB has never coached a team on such a short turnaround.
The current line is BC-4.
What would be a pleasant surprise? To see BC dominate with the running game and pound the ‘Canes into the ground. At this point, Miami only has pride to play for. I expect them to play hard and give us their best.
What would be a letdown? A loss. While nothing is our control, BC still has a chance at the ACC Championship Game. Losing would end that and ensure another bowl game that no one cares about.
What would be a shocker? A Miami romp. A good portion of this team was around for the Syracuse Debacle. They entered that game Thanksgiving weekend thinking all they had to do is show up. The Orange came out and whipped them. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully the players remember and are not taking this game lightly.
I thought Miami would have a rough season and BC stood a good chance of finally winning in the Orange Bowl. However, no one could have imagined how bad things would actually get in South Florida. So I should be even more confident in my prediction, right? Not really. Miami could come out with some pride and give us a game or totally mail it in. I have no idea what will happen. Regardless, I do have confidence in Matt Ryan and this BC team’s leadership. I think they will be poised and play well regardless of the ‘Canes mood.
Final Score: BC 27, Miami 16.