Thursday, September 18, 2008

BC-Central Florida preview

You can tell from the tone of the articles that this team is questioning itself. With so much parity, the ego, effort and mood of a college team can be very fragile. I worry about that. If they get into a fight this weekend, will they be able to pull it out. Hopefully the team sends a message early and puts the game away.

Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game.
“Central Florida is looking to fill the void left by Kevin Smith.” Smith was an impressive runner and helped spark UCF's recent run. But as the Knights struggle offensively this year it is also about their offensive line. They have three new starters and will face a tough test with our front four.

Three Simple Keys
1. Contain Joe Burnett on special teams. The UCF corner is a game changer on returns. He brought a punt return back against South Florida and is also effective on kickoffs. BC’s special teams coverage has been a mixed bag so far. They need to shore it up Saturday.
2. Get big plays out of the running game. When he was hired, Jags made an emphasis on “explosion plays.” Last year we had plenty with the passing game. That doesn’t seem like it is going to happen this year. To score points we need the running backs to break something, like Jeff Smith’s run against Kent State. In addition to the big running plays, we need Crane to run too. There should be a minimum of 8 Crane runs against UCF. His threat to run will open other things on offense.
3. Redzone scoring. This is sort of a “duh” key. But our redzone play calling and execution against Georgia Tech was terrible. We need a set of plays that can move the ball and get points on the board. Regardless of who the QB is, the Oline, Purvis, Momah, McCluskey, Toal, and the variety of gimmicks we could run with guys like Flutie or Boek should be more than enough to score. Get creative. Pound away. Whatever. Just get in the endzone.

Gambling Notes
-- As the home team BC is 5-12 against teams from Florida
-- BC hasn’t lost a non-conference home game since 2003
-- Since 2000, BC is 26-9 in the month of September
The current line is BC-10.5

BC has not played a current Conference USA team since a 1993 game against Tulane.

Scoreboard Watching
With the way the parity in the ACC, every game is important. The focus for BC fans should be on the Wake Forest-Florida State game. Their matchup will help determine the strength of the division.

I hope to see…
BC attempt and make a field goal longer than 45 yards. I can understand Jags rolling the dice on 4th down when you had Matt Ryan. But Crane is not in the same league. I would rather send Bennett out there for a long one instead of going for it on 4th and 3 from say the 32.

BC is in trouble if…
If Crane turns the ball over early. Watching the Georgia Tech game back, it was clear that once Crane started struggling, things had a snowball effect. He never recovered and started compounding mistakes with worse mistakes. If he throws more than one first half INT, Davis needs to get on the field.

Bottom Line
Call me Pollyanna, but I still have hope about this season and this game. Our defense should contain UCF. All the pieces are there on offense (except for QB). There is no reason we cannot score more than 20 points this week.
Final Score: BC 23, UCF 13.


Big Jack Krack said...

I have been watching college football and BC for a long time. I think we have a chance to be a very good team this year. We have top-notch players and top-notch coaches.

However, The State News (Columbia, SC) combines and ranks the 24 teams in the SEC/ACC every week. BC is currently ranked 20th, followed only by Arkansas, Duke, Virginia and NC State. The caption reads - the punter's name is Flutie, unfortunately the quarterback's is not.

Let's go BC - the road to getting back starts right now. Let's pay attention to business and beat a very good UCF team. Let's make believers out of college football fans - one game at a time.

Bravesbill said...

The unnerving thing about this game is the fact that UCF played USF tough, very tough. In fact, UCF had a great chance of winning. And this was against the same team that came back from an 18 point deficit and beat one of the Top 10 teams in the country in Kansas.

Greg said...

Question, does anyone know if there is a way to watch the game online? I won't have access to a TV on saturday!


Stephen said...

The gambling note about BC being 5-12 against Florida teams at home is the epitome of an irrelevant fact. How many of those games were against Miami? Add a couple against FSU...not exactly the UCFs of the football world. That being said, I am very very very cautiously optimistic this week.

Stephen said...

You are spot on with the field goals though. Can we please just try to kick a long one? Bennett is kicking off deep...maybe he can put one through the uprights.

Darius said...

Gotta love SEC land. I'll go out on a limb and guess that this South Carolina newspaper didn't have any ACC teams in the Top 10 other than Clemson.

BC would not finish in the cellar of the SEC. Middle of the pack or better. I've never been sold on their absolute superiority, because they have historically played so few BCS teams, so many Sun Belt. Sure, they're as good as any conference, but not markedly better than all of them. Their fans just obsess more, so it seems that way.

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magi said...

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