Thursday, October 08, 2009

BC-Virginia Tech preview

This is where things get interesting. With the wins the past two weeks and Shinskie’s promising start, expectations have been raised. Winning ACC games at home is a mark of a good team. Winning at Lane stadium is the sign of a special team. If we come out of this weekend with a ‘w’ the landscape of the season starts to look very different.

Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game.

“Frank Spaziani has faced Virginia Tech ‘XX’ times…” I’ve seen this tidbit floating through a few different articles. No one has a consistent count other than to say Spaz has faced VT a lot. That fine and I love a good factoid as much as the next guy, but my fear is the Raycom guys will hit us over the head with it. Spaz’s takeaways from say the 1987 Virginia Tech-Virginia game probably won’t influence the outcome of Saturday’s contest.

Three Simple Keys
1. Shutdown the run. Virginia Tech has a dangerous and explosive backfield. We need to stop them from breaking big plays. The added benefit of stopping the run is that it also forces Taylor to win the game with his arm.
2. Max protect. We’ve seen their Miami tape and they’ve seen the Clemson tape. Does anyone doubt that Bud Foster is going to bring pressure early and often on Shinskie? Fortunately our line is playing better and the TEs are blocking well.
3. Score first. This might seem silly and subjective but I think it will be important for BC to put points on the board early. It will subdue the crowd and give them confidence. With the rain and the noise it is going to reminiscent of Clemson. A quick score would help change the mood and keep the guys in the game.

Gambling notes

-- Virginia Tech is 17-4 at home in ACC play
-- Since their last home ACC loss (to BC in 2007) Virginia Tech is 7-0 at home during ACC play
-- BC is 3-4 all time in Blacksburg
The current line is BC+13.5

Although we’ve been in two conferences with VT and played them four times in the past two seasons, we have actually played more games all time against Clemson.

Scoreboard Watching
I’ll keep my eye on NC State and Duke. The Pack is just around the corner and I still don’t have a feel for how good they are. I think they have the best QB in the conference, but struggling with Pitt and losing to Wake changed my view on the team a bit.

I hope to see…
Aggressive play. This is a bit of a broken record, but we cannot sit on a lead too early...especially in Blacksburg. If Virginia Tech puts eight in the box, we need to challenge them in the passing game. Playing field position and ball control is a losing recipe.

BC is in trouble if…
Taylor puts up numbers like Skinner and Ponder. It is a given that we will probably not put pressure on him. He’s elusive and our pass rush is anemic. However, I think a variety of zone looks can force him to make mistakes. If Taylor has improved his accuracy and can connect, we might be in trouble.

Bottom Line
I think it will be a tough game, but this is winnable. The key will be our offense. If we can put up some points and not get rattled, we can win this game. I think Shinskie will step up and continue his quick progression. I think our defense settles down after the past two weeks and I think we hold on again in a close one.
Final Score:
BC 24, Virginia Tech 20


Unknown said...

As always great job on the preview.

Lots of "experts" (including HD) are picking VT to win but having it be a close game. Vegas has the spread at 13.5, which is probably about right. However, if things break right we definitely have a chance to win - just need to play mistake free football, win the turnover battle, take advantage of any mistakes by VT and prevent any long scrambles by Taylor (a la M. Vick back in 2000 - that run where he broke a half dozen tackles still haunts me).

Hopefully the coaching staff gets rid of the pouch kick strategy (might as well just kick it out of bounds and give them the ball at the 40 b/c that is basically where FSU started each time after the first kick that caught them off guard).

I think this is a sign that things are turning around respect wise for BC (top 5 team on the road and HD has us losing in OT). Everyone loves a good underdog story and if we can pull one out vs. VT we will be national underdog story of the week.

I was watching pre-game warm-ups against FSU and you could tell the team was very confident and pumped up for the game (e.g., DBs dancing and lineman yelling). Let's just hope they have the same swagger at Lane Stadium and go out and kick some butt.


Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

Definitely a great preview as always Bill.

That being said, I can't believe how detailed that VT blog's preview of our team is. It's incredibly fair and objective(except for maybe the final score predictions). There's very little to add to their evaluation, except that BC's kickoff team is overrated because although we're holding opposing teams to 16.4 yards per return, opponents' average starting field position would probably put us near the bottom due to our short kicks(I think FSU had a 0 yard return that still put them on the 35 yard line). All in all a very solid read.

BC78LH said...

We need a healthy Albright

luch said...

not related to BC-VT but I live in LA and keep seeing Rob Scuderi's mug on this commercial that is running all the time for the LA Kings as the new season approaches... good for him that he is one of the featured faces of the Kings.

Ry said...

albright hasn't practiced all week, but the word is that he is gonna wrap the ankle and go for it...poor guy can't catch a break. first a broken arm, then a broken neck, then this

as far as scud goes, i don't pay nearly enough attention to offseason hockey...but it looks like he got a pretty phenomenal deal...4 years $13+ mil...who would have thought he'd be pulling in more money than bobby allen and mike mottau 8 years later

mod34b said...

Let's try a little game of comparative football to answer the question: how good is VT? Answer: Not good enought tobe a true #5 in the country.

VT was totally outclassed by Alabama (498 yards for Alamabama, 155 for VT). They beat a weak Marshall team and barely beat a weak Duke team. That also barely beat Nebraska. I am sititng here watching Nebraska. They are no powerhouse, but are looking pretty good.

So, VT's quality win was against Miami. That was an excellent win for VT.

But the reality is that VT is not a powerhosue and not a true #5 in the USA (IMHO). (if Alabama is #3, VT should be #23, not #5). In theory, this is a winnable game for BC against a very overrated (but still dangerous) opponent.

But, who knows what will happen.. Given our very bad special teams and the VT awesome special teams, seems that if Beamer Ball arrives, we will have trouble... But if it doesn't then, I guess we need to hope the o-line shows up, and then maybe, maybe

My guess (with rose-colored glasses on): BC 28 VT 27.

CT said...

ATL, I appreciate the homer-ism, but, wow...look at what one decent home win will do...

Yes, Va. Tech was outgained by UA, but they also might have won that game had they not fumbled a couple of times late in the game deep in their territory. Remember, UA, only won by 10. That was an enertaining game. And Va. Tech proved it belonged. Tyrod Taylor? Not so much.

That being said, isn't this really Shinskie's first real road game? I mean, at Clemson, he was piggybacking on Tuggle and not expected to do anything other than split series. That's scary, that many are putting the FSU win in an entirely different light given FSU's struggles. I'm just saying, we've gone in there with better offenses and definitely better defenses, and gotten run out of that stadium. I like the optimism from the masses, but, exactly what is it based on? Shinskie's two starts at home against average teams?

I hope we shock the college football world, and have fans in Baton Rouge talking about us.

But I'm also not drinking the Kool-Aid until we stay competitive on the road with a good defensive team.

Let's get the young guys to step up and make plays. Attack the Tech secondary. Spread the field. Run draws and screens. Throw in a reverse or two. Throw deep. No matter what, keep them guessing.

Gotta be unorthodox and gotta come out like it's not a Noon game. Let's get people talking.

GordonsLeftFoot said...


I love the optimism. If they pull it off and win at Lane Stadium, I will be sending you a bottle of champagne.

mod34b said...

c'mon CT, take a little sip of the Kool-Aid.

Remember what happened to the Grinch's heart when he let a little hope in...

After you take a little sip, then pass the glass to B-bill, E-boston and a few others...

but seriously, I do not think you can credibly argue that VT's 155 yards to UA's 498 yards shows some sort of parity btw those teams. Yes, VT hung in there, but UA is way, way better. To build on one of your phrases, it was not a "quality loss" for VT, it was an exposure of weakness