I hate to put so much emphasis on one game, but this matchup could swing the whole season. If BC wins, it is a good measurement of where we are and also gets us 1/3 of the way to bowl eligibility. A loss would put this young team in a deep hole. If we cannot beat Pitt at home, where are the other five wins needed to be bowl eligible? This is a transition year with the bar set relatively low, but that still means winning a game or two against peer programs.
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I always think that Pitt should be better at football than they are. They have a better history than most programs and are in a better recruiting territory than most programs, yet they are never a consistent winner. They have high points, but then coaching changes disrupt the whole thing and they start again. Ultimately it has been good for BC that they have been mediocre for 30 years, but it is also raises a question. If Pitt cannot win National Championships or keep coaches around, will BC ever be able to reach our ultimate goal?
Three Simple Key
1. Explosive plays on offense. Addazio pounded this point home in the media, but it is fair. As boring as the offense might have seemed last year, we could at least count on a big play from Andre or a deep ball to Amidon. If we don't have a player or two who can turn a five yard run into a 50 yard run, our offense will get stagnant.
2. Keep Pitt under 150 yards rushing. I really liked our front seven against UMass. They did a good job controlling the line and tackling. Pitt ran all over Delaware and will try the same with us. The key will be winning the battle in the trenches.
3. No breakdowns in the secondary. I don't expect perfection, but we cannot have WRs running free. It cost us the shutout against UMass. In ACC play it could cost us a game.
-- Chyrst is 4-7 on the road
-- Chryst is 3-2 as a road favorite
-- BC has lost its last three games to Pitt
The current line is BC+4
This is the second year of the ACC's new TV deal that mandates at least three Friday night games (one of which will be a BC game). This is our obligation this year. Last year it was against Wake. Given the contract, I assume that our game against Syracuse next year will be in the post-Thanksgiving slot.
It couldn't have worked out better that USC takes on Stanford the week before our game. It will have their focus and they will be playing a team similar to us. Whatever happens, our coaches should have plenty of film to analyze and adjust our game plan accordingly.
I hope to see...
A decent turnout. The Groupon push has me worried that Alumni will feel empty. This is an important game and it would be nice to have the stands full.
BC is in trouble if...
We can't get Pitt off the field. With both teams trying to run the ball, possession will be critical. If we cannot force a few three and outs, I fear that Pitt will control the game and limit our scoring.
I think last week served as a good blueprint for this week. BC will run the ball well with Murphy leading the way. I think our Defense will slow Pitt down. We take an early lead and build on it. Pitt makes it interesting late, but can't do enough.
Final Score: BC 27, Pitt 20