Does anyone else sense some fan apathy around the BC football program? We are not in contention for anything yet the two straight wins have muted the anti-Spaz fervor. I hope people don't take it for granted. Even bad or boring BC football is better than no BC football. Plus we are still playing for something: pride. The bowl streak and winning season streak is certainly watered down by the bowl glut and soft scheduling, but it is still something. Regardless of how you feel about BC winning momentum is good for all. Plus this Duke game might be fun. It matches up strength vs strength.
Overlooked storyline for the game: David Cutcliffe probably would have been interested in the BC job when it went to Jags. Cutcliffe and Gene have the Tennessee connection but he never emerged as a serious candidate. My guess is Cutcliffe's heart issues and southern roots made it seem like a fish out of water. But the Duke coach is actually a converted Catholic who took an assistant job with Charlie Weis in part because he wanted to be part of a Catholic community (and didn't return to ND after his heart issues in part because there wasn't much of a faith/work/life balance during the Weis-Notre Dame years). Would Cutcliffe have been a good fit at BC? Eh, who knows. I am sure the Cutcliffe-Matt Ryan connection would have been fun to watch.
Three Simple Keys
1. Get big plays out of the run game. Duke is not good against the run and we like to run the ball. But the difference this week is to get some big gainers and TDs out of Montel. Duke has enough offensive power that we can't settle for FGs instead of TDs.
2. Sack Renfree. Accurate patient QBs can dink and dunk on us all day. Renfree won't force a bad deep throw and won't miss open guys. To have success we need to flush him out of the pocket and get some sacks.
3. Stop them in the redzone. As I mentioned earlier, I think Duke will move the ball on us. It will be up to the defense to keep them from scoring TDs.
-- Spaz has yet to win three ACC games in a row
-- BC did not cover in our last ACC game with Duke (it was a 29 point spread)
-- Cutcliffe has not won a game in November while at Duke
The current line is BC-3.5
This will be the first time BC has played in Wallace Wade Stadium. It will be the final "first trip" on our ACC slate.
It doesn't impact us in any way but I am curious to see how TOB bounces back from last week. NC State controls its own destiny but I have a sneaking suspicion that TOB will do something ultra conservative when a bold move is required and miss the Pack's chance at the division title.
I hope to see...
More passes to Pantale and McCluskey. It is clear we are not going to "open it up." However there is no reason not to get the ball to our safety valve type guys. I hope the pass attempt near 20.
BC is in trouble if...
We get into a real shootout. Duke has a losing record but they've been in multiple games now where they've had to drive the ball while behind. We have yet to show we can play catch up or go score for score.
I don't think this will be a gimme. Duke has the type of offense that can control tempo and move the ball on us. On the other side of the ball, it does help that they have a poor run defense but can that be enough? I think we win, but I don't think it will be comfortable nor pretty.
Final Score: BC 27, Duke 20