Thursday, October 25, 2007

BC-Virginia Tech preview

I am trying to avoid getting caught up in the “biggest game in BC history” hype. It has huge implications, but as long as we remain undefeated every game will have a heightened importance. There is also part of me that is feeling pretty confident. I don’t know what I am overlooking in Virginia Tech, but I think we match up fairly well. Now let’s keep the train running.

Theme that won’t be discussed on television. ESPN is all about the hype and the here and now, so I don’t expect any of the talking heads to be candid about the game with regards to the ACC landscape. Despite being a conference game, nothing will be determined tonight. If BC loses, we still control our own destiny in the Atlantic. Regardless of what Virginia Tech does tonight, their game against Virginia will probably be the deciding factor in the Coastal.

Three simple keys
1. Avoid the “Pick 6.” Ryan has had a few INTs run back for touchdowns this year. BC has managed to overcome each of them. However, it is a different story in Blacksburg. They are ballhawks and the crowd will be in an absolute frenzy at the first sign of “Beamer Ball.”
2. Kick and punt coverage. More Beamer Ball issues. Clemson showed how a few big plays from VT can change the complexion of the game. The Tigers moved the ball on the Hokies but watched the game become a route because of some special teams miscues. BC cannot make the same mistake.
3. Pass protection. Teams have come at Ryan with varying degrees of success. I expect VT to try a few wrinkles. We need the line to hold it together and avoid the stupid penalties.

Gambling notes
-- Beamer is 1-3 against the spread in his last four games against BC
-- Beamer is 5-22 against Top 10 teams
-- Since joining the ACC, Virginia Tech is 11-7 against the spread when favored at home
The current line is BC+3

What would be a pleasant surprise? Winning and getting respect from the media afterwards. I have a feeling that unless we blow them out, we’ll still hear plenty of “BC is not very good” talk from the pundits.

What would be a letdown? Losing. I think most BC fans are riding so high right now that any sort of a loss will be crushing.

What would be shocking? A total collapse. Losing would not be shocking, but losing in a lopsided, embarrassing fashion would. In the past we’ve gone into Blacksburg playing not to lose and it would usually get ugly. That mentality is gone. So I expect our stinkers against Beamer to be gone too.

Bottom Line
As I’ve said to plenty of people offline, I feel good about this game. I think the time off and the big stage play to our favor. I think VT’s gamesmanship on the QB issue will backfire and BC plays a full 60 minutes.
Final Score: BC 27, VT 16

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11 Comments:

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I'm in Salem VA at the moment and it has been pouring all day. Hoping this doesn't adversely affect us in the special teams battle. I think this could work in our favor on offense re: the rushing game and the horizontal passing game. Go eagles!

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger BCMike said...

Great job, Bill.

I would say that BC actually has a chance to blow out VaTech if Glennon (who's starting) gets rattled early and turns into a TO machine.

Assuming that doesn't happen, I still fully expect a BC win.

BC 24
VT 10

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Marie said...

I am so excited about this game, I could pass out. I'd gladly trade a Red Sox win for a W against VT tonight. The team must be sky-high right now; they can do this!

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger James said...

Similar to when cold pizza had the BC v ND student paper sports editors on before the game, here is BC v VTech...http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/preview?gameId=272980259

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger 05Eagle said...

Skip Bayless just picked BC to win. Given Skip's lack of sports knowledge, that can't be a good thing. I think we still pull it out despite being backed by the worst analyst on ESPN.

GO EAGLES

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger ClassO10 said...

if there is a link to bayless predicting bc it would be appreciated (just so i can listen to a intelligent media member who he is arguing against).

Jeff Weinstein again represents the Eagles with class and I also thought the Virginia Tech Student also represented his school well as well. Much different than the Notre Dame loser last time on First Take.

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

where's big jack?

i need his calming style and a game prediction.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Glowing piece on Matt Ryan by ESPN's Maisel:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/
story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id
=3077505&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Well I'm just as pumped up as everyone else is about this big game tonight. (my wife says that I’m not calm at all, but a lunatic during BC games) This has been a slow, steady climb for me since my Freshman year in 1964. There have been some down years, of course. But we were always a tough team who could knock anyone off on a given day.

Still, I always wondered what it would be like if we could ever have a solid program - one that was top-notch year in and year out. It used to be that if we lost one or two key players, it really put a damper on things. I always hoped that one day Boston College could proudly play with the big boys - whether on their field or our own.

I’ll never forget our games against Syracuse, Army and Tennessee my 1st year. After my 3 years in the Army, the early 70’s were pretty good. But to me, we began our national climb post the early 40’s in the mid-70’s. How proud I was when we played Notre Dame in Foxboro in 1975 on national TV - and didn't get blown out; when Texas came to our little high school field in 1976 and we scored on the first play of the game on our way to a 14 to 13 victory (were they the defending national champs?) I could hardly breath throughout the entire second half; How proud in 1980 when Stamford and John Elway invaded Chestnut Hill, only to be sent home 30 to 13!; Things really began to look up with Coach Jack Bicknell, a real genuine guy - a nice guy. He went with true freshman Doug Flutie in the last period of the Penn State crushing loss, and we immediately saw possibilities. One of our most exciting games was Halloween 1981 when #1 Pittsburgh and Dan Marino came to Chestnut Hill - they squeaked out a victory 29 to 24, but we were all talking about Doug. Can you imagine grown men jumping up and down at Alumni Field yelling Floo-tee, Floo-tee! (The crowds were small, but we knew it was the sign of great things to come).

I was at the beach in Hyannis in 1982 when I learned that BC, Doug Flutie, Brian Brennan and company had invaded Texas A&M in 95 degree heat and blown them off their own field in College Station 38 - 16. I was at the Tangerine Bowl that year in Orlando - the first bowl since what 1942? It was fantastic and although we lost to a tough Auburn team and Bo Jackson, we always thought we had a chance with Flutie. 1983 was fantastic - especially the games against Clemson in Chestnut Hill and Alabama in Foxboro. We were down 16 to 3 to Clemson and Refrigerator Perry going into the 4th Quarter on a brutally hot Boston night, when Flutie rallied his team for 4 touchdowns in a 31 to 16 victory - unbelievable. It was wonderful seeing Perry on the sidelines sucking down oxygen. And I was thrilled when the weather turned ugly for the Alabama game - so we could show them that the weather didn’t affect us. Many BC players cut off half of their shirts to expose their stomachs to the cold - Alabama players thought they were crazy - and lost! We all know about 1984 - we really should have been undefeated. But in reality, we had to finesse teams in those years, so it is not surprising that we lost 2 heartbreakers. But I have to admit, the comeback against Alabama in Birmingham, the victory over a tough Syracuse Team in Foxboro and of course the Miracle in Miami were very special games in BC history. The Cotton Bowl in Dallas was a (cold) blast and we ended up #4 in the final poll.

1986 was very good, with a big victory over Georgia in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa - then we hit some lean years. We all know about Tom Coughlin and our successes in the early 90s. We have progressed from knocking Notre Dame off of their #1 perch with that magnificent win in 93 - and we have been steadily building ever since. Again, we had some chinks along the way – but the point is - in my opinion - we have been getting better every year, when you look at the “body of work”.

We have beaten VT 2 out of the last 3 under TOB and Dana Bible (I don’t care what the overall record is). We are going into Lane Stadium as the #2 ranked team in the nation, and we are a 3.5 point underdog. We are a veteran team and we are ticked off that the VT faithful think we’re going to fold up just because it’s loud in Blacksburg. We are ticked off because the VT players think they can hit harder than we do. We lost our top linebacker and top defensive lineman and haven’t missed a beat. We’re going in with confidence, excellent preparation, a great game plan and great coaches and players. Coach Jack Bicknell Jr. is doing a heck of a job along with the entire staff - the old Flutie connection! And here’s the big thing - if we get behind early - we are not going to freeze up like the 2005 squad. We are going to take a page out of Flutie’s great comebacks book and do our thing, driving right down the field to victory!!!

But my prediction is that we do not fall behind and win this game 24 to 10 - and show the College Football World that “We are - BC!.” This is a huge game for Boston College - and we have been preparing for this game for over 30 years (30 to 40 years really)! This is our special year.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

I meant to predict BC 24 VT 13

I leave you with these comments:

VIRGINIA TECH LB XAVIER ADIBI

ON STOPPING THE BC ATTACK: “First of all, you have to stop the run. Both their tailbacks are averaging like 5 yards a pop. You shut down that run, then make them spread you out, and that’s when you can really have fun, make him move his feet with a lot of different blitzes and packages.”

ON WHETHER SUTTING DOWN MATT RYAN IS A CHANCE TO MAKE A STATEMENT: “We know we can shut this guy down, and we really just can’t wait to show everybody what we can do. We know he’s an excellent quarterback, but at the same time, we’re a good defense.”

I think Coach Logan is going to have something special for Mr. Xavier Adibi.

Go BC!

 
At 3:48 AM, Blogger lillian said...

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