Thursday, December 24, 2009

BC-USC preview

We are playing USC in two days. Doesn’t that seem weird? I know this version of USC is not the team that ruled the college football world earlier in the decade, but Pete Carroll will still be on the sideline. They’ll have their mega-band and horse and all the other pomp and circumstance. The game is in California. Sure, it is the Emerald Bowl not the Rose, but I am more excited about this game than most of the bowls we played during the past ten years.

Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game.
"Both of these teams have a bright future ahead in 2010…" With these lower tier bowls, the broadcast team often tends to build on the bowl game as spring boards for the next season. Don't buy into it. Sure, both teams will return most of their 2009 talent, but you never know what will happen between now and then. Look back to last year's Music City loss. Could anyone have predicted what happened with our coaching staff, with Herzy or with our QBs? This game is just a game.

Three Simple Keys
1. Establish the run and stick with it. USC allowed 173 rushing yards a game and got gashed in their losses to Oregon and Stanford. BC needs to follow the same plan and put the game on the line and Harris’ shoulders.
2. Give Barkley a variety of looks. Their freshman QB will be without some of his best weapons. Our heavy dose of Spaz zones should keep him off balance and lead him to force things.
3. Red Zone scoring. It almost cost us Maryland. Tranq needs to add a few new wrinkles (play action perhaps) and convert every opportunity.

Gambling Notes
-- BC is 4-4 against Pac 10 teams all time
-- USC has covered the spread in four of their last five bowl games
-- BC has not been an underdog in a bowl game since 2004
The current line is BC+ 7.5

I don’t know if he will mention it on the air, but ESPN’s play-by-play man Joe Tessitore is a Boston College grad.

Scoreboard Watching
I watch parts of most bowl games, but none of them really matter. Also, don't get caught up in the ACC's post season success (or lack thereof). The only thing that will help the perception of BC nationally is beating USC.

I hope to see…
Someone other than Harris get carries in the bazooka/wildcat. The concept loses its effectiveness if Harris keeps it every time. Plus there were some big runs to be had if he had given it up during the Maryland game.

BC is in trouble if…
USC gets big plays. Even though they are not what they were, they still have plenty of people who can score quickly. BC needs to contain. The cushion, bend but don't break mentality should work here. We need to execute and play smart.

Bottom Line
I have a good feeling about this game. I think USC will come out strong but we'll hold them. By the second half, we'll have established the tempo and pull away in the fourth quarter.
Final Score: BC 28, USC 17


chicagofire1871 said...

I wasn't that confident about us pulling out a win this Saturday until I attended the BC-USC lunch in SF on Wednesday. Now I'm convinced that BC will put forth a stronger effort. Will that mean they will win? Maybe not, but I'm more confident than I've been.

(of course it's been a few weeks since I've seen Shinskie throw some shakey passes too)

Bravesbill said...

Where can I get some of the good stuff you're smoking sir?

USC 35, BC 10

Unknown said...

wooooo go BC!!!

I'm in Greece, but am going to try to wake up at 4 to watch a stream somewhere online. If it isn't on ESPN360, some help there would be greatly appreciated. I would definitely be in San Fran if I weren't out of the country (doesnt matter now anyway).


Dan said...

What happened at the lunch?

Here's to hoping the last present under the tree is a can of whoopass from BC to USC

Andrew said...


It should be on 360, though I have heard you cannot get that out of the country? But I don't know for sure.

I'd try where they may have a feed or at least you might be able to find some links.

I have watched NFL games at before and it worked ok. Goodluck

CT said...

good article on by andy staples on the validity of recruiting rankings.

eagleboston said...

Yeah CT,

I love how Kuechly was 3-star. He sure blew all of the supposedly 5-star linebackers out of the water.
The recruiting ratings are a joke. Get some half-way decent players in and then develop them better than anyone else. That is the BC way.