Thursday, October 30, 2008

BC-Clemson preview

Is anyone else having a tough time getting a handle on this game? Was BC exposed last week? Will they be refocused this week? And what sort of Clemson team is going to show up? The Tigers could be energized and ready to play spoiler or they could give up at the first sign of adversity. BC needs the win to stay alive in the division race. The past three Clemson-BC games have been classics. There is less at stake this year, but the team’s match up well and come in desperate. That should make for another interesting game.

Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game.
“Dabo Swinney has the team playing with a lot of emotion…he’s a fiery young coach.” Clemson’s interim head coach wears his emotions on his sleeve but that is not going to decide the game. After years of watching our own stoic coach, I appreciate a little fire, but TV guys (and even bloggers) put too much emphasis on it. BC has beaten Clemson strategically the past three years (using two offensive lines on a scorching day in 2005, special teams in 2006, contain, contain, contain in 2007). The winner this week will not be determined by a Gipper speech.

Three Simple Keys
1. Pressure from our Defensive Tackles. Although they are healthier than they’ve been all year, Clemson is still using a patchwork offensive line. The teams that have beaten them exploited that weakness early and disrupted the entire offense. BC needs to do the same and it will start with Raji and Brace.
2. Avoid “costly” turnovers. The impact of turnovers is situational. That said, our “Pick 6s” the past few weeks have been terrible! BC cannot put the defense in a hole again this week. I believe that if we have another returned interception, we lose.
3. Vary our defensive looks. Clemson has a new offensive coordinator and plans on playing two QBs. The last thing we need is to make life easier on them by playing base D with little pressure. Mix things up over and over and keep them guessing. Don’t wait for them to make mistakes.

Gambling Notes
-- Clemson hasn’t beaten BC since 1958.
-- Since joining the ACC, BC is 0-3 in their games in the first week of November.
-- BC hasn’t lost two conference home games in one season since 2003.
The current line is BC-4

BC has only played seven overtimes since the OT rules took effect in the mid-90s. Clemson accounts for two of those games. They are also the only BC-ACC games that have gone to OT.

Scoreboard watching
Maryland is off this week, but kickoff times and division standings provide true scoreboard watching this Saturday. While we are battling it out with Clemson, Florida State will face Georgia Tech and Wake Forest takes on Duke. We need Florida State and Wake to lose.

I hope to see…
Dominique Davis on the field. I am not trying to create controversy. I believe the chatter that Davis is not ready. Regardless, I feel even a cameo appearance would help BC. Who knows what he might do, how it might refocus Crane and how Clemson will react?

BC is in trouble if…
Clemson decides to throw 40+ times. Swinney is saying he wants to pound the ball. I think they should test our secondary. They struggled last week and Clemson has the mismatches to burn us. Let’s hope Swinney outsmarts himself.

Bottom Line
I like our advantages in the trenches. I think this game can be won with a conservative ground game and bringing a lot of run blitzes against them. I see this as low scoring with BC winning and getting back in the Atlantic race.
Final Score: BC 27, Clemson 13


America said...

Man i hope you are right. I was down in UNC (in fact that is me on the field next to Baldwin in the pics you posted) and boy was that a terrible game!!! I need our boys to step up and win this one. I know we can, its all about execution!!!

LAEagle said...


I must remind you that Crane threw for over 400 yards against North Carolina State.

I don't care that he has almost twice as many interceptions as he does TDs, putting Davis in is letting the ACC know we have given up on the season.

PS I'm trying to think of other nonsensical statements I heard when I had the audacity to suggest Davis see playing time against NSCU.

Eagle1 said...

LAEagle (a/k/a Davis' Dad):

You sound like a mental patient. If Crane didn't play the whole game against NC State, we may have lost that game. further, I am not sold on Davis as our starting QB next year. When Davis throws those painfully weak deep passes, I feel as though I'm watching the Hindenburg come in for a landing. Playing time this year won't change that. Hitting the weights in the off-season will.

This is not rocket science: The season is not yet lost. Until that changes, in any of the remaining games, if Good Crane is outplaying Bad Crane and we are in the lead or if the game is close, then Davis stays seated.

JP from Dorchester said...

Kick offs just got tougher.........

Hopefully Apo has been working on getting it into the end zone.

Unknown said...

eagle1 - As much as laeagle sounds like Davis' dad through his posts, you sound like Crane's girlfriend for even remotely trying to defend this poor excuse of a Boston College quarterback. He has sucked the life of BC's football season for me and made me more excited about the tailgate these next two weeks than the actual game (not like that was ever a foreign concept to bc students anyway). Call me overly critical or whatever but watching the scoreboard get increasingly lopsided this past Saturday after taking a 10-0 lead just made me feel really embarrased. We (as a team) are better than that.

I just echo ATLeagle's sentiment that it's time to try something new because nothing's worse than underachieving and learning/gaining nothing from the experience (vis-a-vis game action for our "supposed QB of the future"). Not to mention, the chance to play out the 0.001% chance he could be the next Matt Ryan.

LAEagle said...

"I just echo ATLeagle's sentiment that it's time to try something new because nothing's worse than underachieving and learning/gaining nothing from the experience (vis-a-vis game action for our "supposed QB of the future"). Not to mention, the chance to play out the 0.001% chance he could be the next Matt Ryan."

Precisely. No I'm not Davis' dad, just a BC fan thinking realistically about the present and the future.

Ralph said...

This is a secondhand source but my roommate is a good friend with one of the student football managers and he says Davis has just looked awful in practice. He especially noted that Davis has a real problem with the 2 minute offense.

If this is true, then I really can't blame the coaches for sticking with Crane. However I think the coaches need to do anything they can to help Crane. And the best way to do this is a very simple one: Run the ball. If we can establish the run and not have Crane throw the ball 35+ times, we can limit his mistakes. It sounds cliche but going back to the fundamentals is the best thing for this offense right now.

Eagle1 said...

How am I Crane's girlfriend? I'm not in love with either guy and am just picking the lesser of two evils. I hope that neither of you guys are involved in major decision-making for your employers. Grading on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst), the choice is between a 4 (who occasionally plays like a 6) and a consistent 2.5. Based on the other comments and what we've seen on the field, I would not be surprised to see Davis turned into a wide receiver next year.

Stephapro said...

For once I will avail myself for this. I am the kinda person to watch things from the comfort of my house but if I am attending, who shouldn't? Observe full report and make a point of showing up.