Thursday, September 22, 2011

BC-UMass preview

The worst part about a free fall is you don't know when you will hit rock bottom. Would a win this weekend signal a turnaround? I guess. But we still have eight more games against BCS teams. My biggest hope -- other than a win -- is that the guys actually have fun. That sounds cliche, but I've seen bad BC seasons before. No one -- especially the players -- enjoy it.


Overlooked storyline for the game: Tempo
UMass -- while not Auburn or Oregon yet -- does play at a high tempo. For example they ran 77 plays last week against URI. We are still very thin on defense and fast-paced game could create some other issues.


Three Simple Keys
1. Stop Jonathan Hernandez. He's really their whole offense. For a smaller back, he has shown pretty good durability. BC needs to contain him, especially in the passing game. I could see him killing us on late releases out of the backfield.
2. Run after the catch. You can question our playmakers against the teams we've played so far, but you cannot question that we have more explosive talent than the Minutemen. If our guys cannot make plays in space and cannot run away from UMass, we will have problems.
3. Avoid sacks. Blame the line. Blame Rettig. Regardless, we've allowed some drive killing sacks. Can't let that happen this week.


Gambling Notes
-- UMass's last two FBS games have been decided by less than a touchdown
-- BC hasn't lost to a FCS team in the conference play era
-- BC hasn't lost three-consecutive home games in back to back years since '97-'98
The current line is BC-10.5


Factoid
Even though they have made regular appearances on our schedule lately, we have only played UMass 23 times. For comparison sake, we've played Villanova 45 times.


Scoreboard Watching
The game to make note of is Clemson-Florida State. Both look like they are worlds better than us. It will be interesting to see if Clemson can build off of their big win or if FSU will bounce back from their tough loss. At this point, our only hope is that one of them takes us lightly.


I hope to see...
A healthy Montel Harris break off 200 yards. Montel has never been some sort of highlight real player. What he lacks in Barry Sanders moves though, he makes up for in tough runs. Those, in their own way, are also fun to watch. If he plays well, it could be a silver lining to the season.


BC is in trouble if…
UMass dinks and dunks us down the field. At some point the guys are going to have to step up and stop more drives.


Bottom Line
There are a few fans out there hoping we lose this weekend. The thought is that a BC loss would be enough to force a coaching change. I can't do that. I am not optimistic that a change would be made and I never want to see BC lose. I think this weekend we get a reprieve from our pain. BC looks more explosive on offense and wins by more than one score.
Final Score: BC 30, Duke 20

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19 Comments:

At 4:35 PM, Blogger dixieagle said...

A little revisionist history there, I see; I wish the score had been BC 30, Duke 20. I do think that's feasible against UMass, though.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Alex L. said...

Agreed about winning. One of the board posters (might have been you) said Spaz is temporary, but losing to UMass is forever. They would never let us live that down. Come on, Eagles!

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

I'm going to be rooting for a BC victory (always), but I'll actually be at The Big House in Ann Arbor (parents weekend). Probably about as far from a BC game day experience as you can get. Go Blue! Go Eagles!

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger JBQ said...

A dying shipmate took me over to the Big House. It was empty and beautiful. As a BC fan, BC needs to look at what these other venues are doing right and make them part of their own. Frankly as someone who has been to a high school jamboree in Knoxville at UT (there are no tickets available for years on end for 110K), I am very surprised that GDF has not been more enthusiastic in his approach. He has done a lot of good from a rationalist perspective. However, he needs a little more Captain Kirk and a little less Spock. With Jags, he had it. With Spaz, he lost it.

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger chicagofire1871 said...

Really? Not sure the Eagles can score more than the mighty 19 they put up last weekend.

Prediction:

BC 17 UMASS 14

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger JoeBu said...

Why am I not surprised ATL picked BC to win? When is the last time he didn't?

Having said that, they should win a low-scoring affair, which will not inspire hope or confidence in us fans...at least not me anyway.

They shouldn't play Harris unless he begs because he doesn't want to do a 5th year. Maybe if Spaz is booted and Harris redshirts Luke will stick around. Then all of the sudden our outlook for next year is much rosier.

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger eagle1331 said...

At JoeBu - ATL picks BC every game. He does every season. There is a disclaimer that he will in his best/worst/actual scenario predictions. What sort of BC fan would he be if he didn't pick us to win?

As @FakeBaldwin said on twitter, for people on the Fire Spaz train, while we want a W, if Spaz and the team string off a big winning streak here, it likely cements his position at HC for next year. I only want 3 more wins this season... UMass, Clemson, and Notre Dame. That's it. Any more and we're in for another year of this sht show...

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

What kind of fan would he be if he didn't pick us every week? Realistic?

Anyways I appreciate the optimism in a lot of cases.

Who is rooting for BC to lose?? I've wanted a coaching change for over a year now but that's just ridiculous. GDF isn't a moron- he sees how bad we have been over the past 2 seasons. If the coaching change is going to happen it's going to happen regardless of 1 result. Plus, won't we be able to do a much better coaching search during the off-season?

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

On another note... PLEASE REDSHIRT MONTEL

This is the best case scenario- we will actually have a solid core returning and give the new coach a chance to hit the ground running.

Unfortunately spaz realizes Montel is also his best chance at keeping the job so if he's close to 100% he's going to play

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger NEDofSavinHill said...

Atlanta, thank you for the great work you do. You are right about the Big East and its focus on basketball. The Big East missed the direction of the country's huge interest in football and the marginalizing of the importance of b-ball. Tranghesse is again quoted in the Boston Globe crying about conference expansion. Tranghesse said, "Integrity, loyalty and congeniality mean nothing." Are those the qualities he employed when he and the Big East kicked Temple out of the league? Uconn entered because it brought in bigger crowds and more money.It was all about money, football and greed. Conference expansion was started by the BE comissioner with the ouster of Temple and inclusion of U Conn. It seems that you reap what you sow. Mark Twain said, "Before God ceated fools, He created the school board for practice." Did He also create conference commissioners? In 2003 Swafford seemed to have understood that football was king and b-ball was a minor consideration. What happened to his thinking? His latest expansion, Pitt and Syracuse, is two b-ball schools with weak academics and weak football. This move degrades the ACC conference. What was he thinking forming that 4-4-4 committee, which was slanted toward basketball? Remember that it was the b-ball schools (unc&duke) that voted against adding the strong football programs of Miami, VT and BC to the ACC. If the ACC followed unc and duke's advice in 2003, the ACC would be out of existence today. Swafford's committee was controlled by b-ball people and thus a b-ball only expansion occurred. The ACC has not strengthened itself in football. Coach K can't get it through his thick head that his sport is an afterthought as far as tv revenue is concerned. One has to remember the history of BC sports to understand how embittered the Boston Globe is. The Globe repeatedly advised BC and Holy Cross not to pursue big time sports. The Globe said the schools would be damaged academically if they went big time. Poor Holy Cross followed the Globe's advise straight to athletic oblivion. BC ignored the Globe and hit a grand slam academically, athletically and financially. Today, BC has a 2 billion dollar endowment; BC is growing and prospering. Today the Globe is shrinking. The New York Times stock sells for $5.00 a share and the Boston Globe, owned by the Times, is nearing bankruptcy. Thus, the depression and sorrow at the paper. Wasn't it just 7 years ago when ESPN rated the best combined football and b-ball programs in the country using the Sagarin Rating for each sport over the previous 5 years? BC finished #6 in the country and ND was 7. Only Texas, LSU, Florida and 2 others were ahead. The BC coaches at the time were Skinner and O'Brien(Gladchuk's hires). Where is BC today under the leadership of GDF? #75-80? GDF inherited a hand of 4 aces (O'Brien, Skinner, Inglese and York), and he's discarded 3 of them. Only York remains. How have they fallen so fast?

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Ned -- use paragraphs!!

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

On a side note, the ACC can be proud of the stink bomb laid by TOB's crew last night in Cincinnati - the rout was embarrassing.

TOB is Raleigh's version of Boston's Coach Boo Hoo - he made so many excuses leading up to the game that there was no way the result could have been any different. The HC sent a message to his own team that they couldn't win.

Wolfpack Nation has about had enough of TOB's act. But what the heck - TOB has his dream house in Charleston and his 401K can take care of the next generation of O'Brien's. :-) He gets the last laugh.

Were the Cincinnati players that much better than NC State?

Meanwhile, the Big East has taken all games against the ACC so far this season I think - plus a victory over ND.

What's the point? We need a big victory tomorrow, not just a close win. I fear the worst (boo hoo) - and that's the saddest part of all. I always thought it was fairly easy to motivate college athlete's, but apparently it's easier to demotivate them.

Go BC - overcome your obstacles somehow and smash this team.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

One other request - please wear BC colors tomorrow.

Maroon jerseys and gold pants - not white pants. The white above the knee short pants are awful and make our players look like they are going golfing.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Bumpa said...

Nice Duke score. That was wrong. Here is to UMass..maybe starting a future FBS rivalry that Greater Boston needs.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

Its been awhile since BC played UMass in football:

1982 34-21 W
1981 52-22 W
1980 13-12 W
1979 41-3 W
1978 0-27 L **
1977 44-7 W
1976 35-0 W
1975 24-14 W
1974 70-8 W
1973 59-14 W
1972 7-28 L**
1971 35-0 W
1970 21-0 W
1969 35-30 W
1968 21-6 W
1967 25-0 W
1966 14-7 W

Our record against UMass is 15-2**. I recall vividly the 1978 game, part of our 0-11 season.

Beyond #firespaz, beyond #fireGDF, to lose to UMass would be truly a moment of infamy in BC Football.

Go You Eagles! Beat UMass....to have to even say that is embarrassing.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

Lenny,
We also played them in '04 (winning 29-7) and '07 (winning 24-14).

2007 was our best season in recent history and we only snuck away with a 10 point win. Who knows what tomorrow holds.

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger BCBCBC said...

ned of savin hill....4 aces? OBrian was a three and skinner was a seven. Tops. Moron.

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger janebc said...

While I agree with much of Ned's post, TOB was hardly an ace-mediocrity, fear-of-success personified. Playing Quentin Porter instead of Matt Ryan is all I need to mention.

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger hsk said...

If we play poorly tomorrow Spaz can blame the rain, or perhaps he will blame us, the fans, if only 10k show up. And GDF will keep a positive spin, and find it all terrific.

I do hope we finally win, but somehow this feels like a "lose- lose" scenario. Unless we trounce 56-0 or something in that neighborhood it will just be a ho-hum of an event.

 

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