[Thanks for the reader fixes. I am a one man band, so never hesitate to point out mistakes.]
Heading into the season, I think fans are grouped into three categories. Those who think we’ll never be the same without TOB, those who think Jags is the guy to take us to the next level and those who are cautiously optimistic. We’ve spent the whole offseason speculating about what’s going to happen. Saturday at 3:30, speculation ends and the new era begins. I am optimistic about everything surrounding the change. Sure, I’d rather start the season with a cupcake but there is something to be said for the sink or swim approach. Let’s hope the team feels the same way.
Theme that won’t be discussed on television.
While I am sure the announcers will talk about the hard-fought games the two teams have played over the last four years, I doubt they’ll state the one maddening aspect to both fans – that annual loser has usually played better/given the game away. In 2003 BC fell apart on Porter’s fluky fumble and followed by a late, deep touchdown. In 2004, Ohliger’s shanks left the door open for Wake to steal the game with a late TD. In 2005, Wake was kicking BC’s ass until Matt Ryan got called off the bench. People also forget that even after Ryan scored his second touchdown, Wake still moved the ball down the field and had a sure TD pass sail just over the hands of their receiver. And last season BC moved the ball up and down the field but were undone by Whitworth’s fumble and Ryan’s interception.
Three simple keys
1. Stop the big plays. Wake’s success against BC hasn’t been about methodical drives and moving the ball over and over. Instead the pattern has been we hold them for multiple series and then they make one big play. Spaz’s defenses have always fallen asleep or overpursued against misdirection offenses. Let’s hope that after four years, he’s finally made the adjustment.
2. Keep Matt Ryan on his feet. I am not all that concerned about the run blocking in the zone scheme. I think we’ll adjust well. The pass blocking does worry me. Can Cherilus contain the pass rush from the left? Can Tennant, Ramsey and Costanzo step up in their first starts? Ryan will be holding onto the ball longer under Logan. To do so and live to see NC State, he’ll need protection.
3. Make Field Goals. Seems really simple, right? We haven’t made a field goal against Wake under Jim Grobe. We are 0-5. We’ve also only taken five because our kickers have either been shaky or not had the range. A lot is being asked of Aponavicius, but he is on scholarship now. Cinderella SuperFan time is over.
-- The favorite in this matchup has not covered the past four years.
-- Grobe is 16-16 on the road
-- Grobe is 3-3 in season openers as the Head Coach at Wake Forest
The current line is BC-6
What would be a pleasant surprise? An easy BC victory. Nothing comes easy against the Deacons…starting our season with the conference champion is a tough task…implementing a new offense should cause some sloppiness…etc. If we win with ease, I’ll have a smile on my face.
What would be a letdown? Losing again. There is a genuine excitement surrounding this program. Losing would let a lot of air out of the tires.
What would be a shocker? Getting spanked. While I respect Wake, there is no reason they should run away with this. We’ve got more experience. We’ve got the conference Player of the Year and perhaps the best defense in the Atlantic. We better put up a fight.
I haven’t had this much excitement about BC football since the 2004 Syracuse game. Hope and the unknown has returned. I don’t think everything will be perfect Saturday or this season, but enough should go right for us to win.
Final Score: BC 27, Wake Forest 17