Saturday, December 25, 2021

BC-ECU preview

Last year BC decided to stay home from the bowls and everyone was ok with it. This year we are playing and it doesn't feel like anyone cares (among the fans). I am always up for more BC Football, but admit a matchup against East Carolina in Annapolis on December 27 wasn't on my bucket list of things to do. I will gladly watch though. I am sure other BC fans will too (we always are a good TV draw). I just hope the players care. The last bowl game we played in -- Birmingham in January 2020 -- was miserable on every front. If you are going to bother going to a game, make it count.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
When we used to win bowls, BC made a big deal of it. Our bowl record since the streak ended has been terrible (and BC obviously downplays it). But in general, I think the bowl record was a mix of the coaches at the time and where BC stood in the college landscape. TOB's BC teams did well in bowl because we usually played teams worse than us and TOB, for all his issues, was pretty good with a month to prepare. Jags lost a chaotic game amidst a chaotic professional week for him and GDF. Spaz was not a good coach but also faced two better teams. Addazio record was bad because he blew two different Pinstripe Bowls with coaching mistakes. This is a fresh start for Hafley and BC. I don't think he brings the baggage of recent losses. If anything this feels a bit like the TOB days where were are the favorite against a lower-level team.

Three Simple Keys
1. Run the zone read ten or more times. Our Oline is a strength and their run D is not great. By doing the zone read, you keep the ball in Jurk's hands and you open up things later in the game.
2. Stop their run game. They are a passing team. We have good pass defense. If they try to shake things up and keep it on the ground, we can't allow big plays.
3. No Special Teams mistakes. As I have pointed out, a few Special Teams mistake led to games unraveling for us. We can't let that happen this week.

Gambling Notes
-- BC is 1-1 against current AAC teams in bowl games
-- BC is 14-13 in bowl games
-- BC has never played East Carolina
The current line is BC-3

BC's last trip to Navy-Marine Corps. Memorial Stadium was September 22, 2001. That was our first game back after September 11. BC is 9-3 all-time in the Stadium.

Scoreboard Watching
To be honest, I will watch a lot of football in the next week, but there are very few games that are must watch. I hope the Playoffs provide some excitement and I am definitely in the anyone but Alabama stage of fandom. I guess: "go Dawgs!"

I hope to see...
A healthy Jurk. The Georgia Tech game was glorious. That is what he can be. That is what he should be. If he is healthy like that he is one of the best QBs in the country and BC can beat anyone.

BC is in trouble if...
We turn the ball over more than the Pirates. ECU thrived off of turnovers this season. We need to be careful with the ball.

Bottom Line
I am not worried about this game. I think we will be healthy and have something to prove. Hafley is extended. He has his first bowl game. He needs this to be a statement about his team and his future. I think BC pounds the ball and gets a few picks to win with ease.
Final Score: BC 35, ECU 17

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