Thursday, October 02, 2008

BC-NC State preview

I've already hammered home the importance of this game. The schedule ahead gets noticeably harder so a win here is critical for postseason eligibility. The distractions of playing TOB will not matter once the game begins. Outside of the W/L aspect, this game is also critical for BC’s offensive identity. It will be the first real test since Georgia Tech and will tell us much more about what the offense can do when challenged.

Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game. “Tom O’Brien is all about disciplined football. Both these teams are examples of that.” BC fans have known this TOB falsehood for years. It will be amusing to hear it again this Saturday when NC State does something lacking discipline. If BC stays relatively penalty free, look for Doc and Steve to give TOB credit for that too!

Three Simple Keys
1. Contain Wilson on the broken plays. The defense has been excellent. The only problem has been letting athletic QBs make something out of nothing. This won’t be an issue when Beck plays. If Wilson gets on the field, BC needs to keep his runs to a minimum and not let him break a long scramble like the lapses we had against UCF and Georgia Tech.
2. Win the field position battle. We have handed good field position to our opponents with inconsistent punting and poor kick coverage. That can’t happen this weekend. NC State’s offense is struggling. Any cushion or encouragement they get could change the tone of the game.
3. Stretch the field. If NC State plays heavy zone and waits for our QBs to make mistakes, this could be a scary day. We need to air it out early and help open the underneath stuff and the running game.

Gambling Notes
-- Since joining the ACC, BC has not won a regular season game in North Carolina.
-- The home team has won all three meetings in this ACC series.
-- TOB is 4-6 coming off a loss at NC State
The current line is BC-9

Prior to last year’s meeting with TOB and NC State, the last time a former BC coach faced BC was Frank Cavanaugh in 1932. Cavanaugh’s Fordham team lost to BC 3-0 that year.

Scoreboard Watching
I’m paying attention to the Uconn-UNC game. In part because the Tar Heels are future opponents and in part because I would love to see UConn’s bubble burst.

I hope to see…
A QB complete more than 50% of his passes and throw at least two touchdowns. Forget QB controversies for a moment. I just want to see QB competency.

BC is in trouble if…
We cannot score more than 21 points. I don’t think much of NC State’s offense, but a low scoring game invites a Daniel Evans-like Hail Mary to steal it at the end. We need to put some points on the board against a real team.

The TOB element puts a different twist on this game, but I still think we have such a defensive advantage that the game shouldn’t be too close. If Wilson plays, NC State will hang for a bit, but overall, I think we win comfortably.
Final Score: BC 31, NC State 16

1 comment:

Erik said...

Agreed, I just assume NC State will have at least 10-12 penalties.