I don't want to say I am worried about this game...I do have a slight bit of concern about the team's inability to let go of the ACC Championship loss. Hangovers can work both ways. I hope BC decides to take out their frustration against Vandy rather than coming out flat and watching the Commodores steal this one. The game is not for a major title or a prestigious bowl, but 10 wins, Top 25 rankings and keeping the streak alive is very important.
Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game.
"This is Vanderbilt's first bowl game since 1982." I wouldn't trade placed with Vanderbilt, but I think the media tends to overstate their ineptitude. This drought wasn't nearly as pitiful as similar stretches from say Northwestern or Kansas State. Since 1982 the Commodores have had numerous five win seasons that nearly had them eligible for bowls games. This is a big game, but it is not the first time Vanderbilt has been competitive since 1982.
Three Simple Keys
1. Pass efficiently. BC cannot be one dimensional. I don't want Davis to throw 40+ times but we still need to move the ball through the air.
2. Put pressure on whoever is the Vanderbilt QB. Vanderbilt might play three quarterbacks in Nashville. BC has faced its share of elusive QBs this season. In my opinion, the key is not just containing whoever they trot out, but actually sacking him. BC needs to disrupt their whole offense.
3. Error-free football. In Vanderbilt's biggest wins (Ole Miss, Auburn, South Carolina) they forced critical turnovers against teams with good Ds and shaky offenses (sound familiar?). BC cannot cough it up and waste scoring opportunities.
-- BC hasn't lost a non-conference game since 2004
-- Bobby Johnson is 2-4 against ACC teams as Vanderbilt's head coach
-- BC is 3-3 against SEC teams in bowl games
The current line is BC-3.5
Vanderbilt has the most expensive tuition among the SEC schools. They are still more affordable than BC and Duke.
Scoreboard watching doesn't really apply right now. I guess we can continue to root for ACC teams to win. I really only care about the scoreboard in LP Field.
I hope to see...
Davis run the ball well. The zone option-runs that Crane exploited have been there. Davis' hesitation to call his own number and then run well when he does, have neutralized the play. If he runs it well, BC should be able to move the ball.
BC is in trouble if...
We get behind by 14. I don't know if the offense, as it is currently configured, can comeback on the road against a team who enters the game highly motivated.
Even if Davis plays poorly, I still think our defense is going to cause plenty of problems for Vanderbilt. Despite my worries about coming out flat and unmotivated, I think the seniors will keep guys focused enough to take control. I don't think it will be pretty, but I still think BC wins comfortably.
Final Score: BC 17, Vanderbilt 7