Thursday, December 03, 2020

BC-Virginia preview

As everyone else's season devolves into chaos, controversy and cancellations, our season is just...ending. We are playing an afternoon game against a .500 Virginia team with very little at stake. But it is still an opportunity. Another win is another statement. I also think that the unknown bowl situation does add a little juice to the matchup. This might be BC's last game. It would be important for all to end on a high note.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
There has been a lot of chatter about BC's bowl prospects given that the lower tier bowls are cancelling seemingly every day. The picture is also complicated by the one time rule that all teams are eligible regardless of record or games played. These sort of nebulous circumstances never go our way. Yet I remain hopeful. Ticket sales and travel are less of an issue this year. TV ratings rule and we are a proven TV draw. In the end I think a win over Virginia assures a bowl bid. A loss hurts, but is not crushing. I think ESPN and the ACC will put a lot of pressure on our bowl partners and someone will take us.

Three Simple Keys
1. Stay aggressive in the passing game. With Jurk not at 100% or with Grosel potentially getting time, there is the temptation to play conservatively. That is not a good idea. We are at our best when we are going deep and passing early. UVA has been burned in the passing game. I imagine Zay and CJ could do damage against their secondary.
2. Keep the running game simple. The zones and stretches looked good against Louisville. Keep doing that. It will also help the play action.
3. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. While not as careless as Louisville, Virginia will cough up the ball. We have to be looking for it and also get back to stripping the ball whenever we can.

Gambling Notes
-- BC leads the series 6-0
-- Hafley is 2-2 on the road
-- Mendenhall is 17-22 in ACC play
The current line is BC+4

Mendenhall's first game as a head coach was vs BC.

Scoreboard Watching
Nothing really impacts us at this point. I guess you could argue that it would help the ACC to have both Notre Dame and Clemson win, so they enter the ACC Championship game with one combined loss and in the driver seat for playoff spots. But at this point I am rooting for Clemson to destroy the Irish. This isn't some bitter BC fan mad at our rivals. It is more about the ACC bailing out Notre Dame and then springboarding the Irish into the playoffs. They are good. But what does the ACC get out of this if Notre Dame wins it all? (ND hosts Cuse and Clemson is at VT.)

I hope to see...that BC is so far ahead that they can empty the bench and get all of the walkons and freshman on the field at some point. Without having cupcakes on the schedule and by playing mostly close games, there hasn't been extended time for all the guys in the program. Hopefully it comes this weekend.

BC is in trouble if...we can't get QB pressure. I was fooled. When our front four destroyed Duke, I thought they were going to be pleasant surprise. Since that game they have been Ok to bad (depending on the game). We need to get pressure this week and we need it to start up front.

I am still surprised Virginia is favored. I know Virginia comes in relatively hot. They are at home. Our QB health is a big question mark. But I still think our passing game is enough to score plenty of them. I think, like last week, we also force a few turnovers and hold on in the end.
Final Score: BC 35, Virginia 27

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