Thursday, September 01, 2022

BC-Rutgers Preview

I know BC message boards, twitter and the casual conversations I have don’t necessarily capture the mood around BC football, but it does provide insight into some portion of the fan base. And of those I talk to, I think more than a decade of “just okay” football permanently lowered expectations. That’s why this year is so critical. No one thought Spaz would ever produce anything special. Addazio had a few more believers, but there still was a general sense of skepticism from Day 1. Hafley was always about the upside. And now would be a great time to over deliver and put together more than seven wins. He can do it. The pieces and schedule are there. But you can’t get to ten wins without the first one. Let’s beat Rutgers and get things soaring again!

What’s on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I nearly forecasted us to the playoffs, so I wasn’t too concerned with the Fenway Bowl. However, if you read any bowl projections for the season, most of the pundits have us staying really close to home and playing in the fledgling Fenway Bowl. The one problem with that is the game is scheduled for December 17. Historically BC fought against playing in any bowl game during exams. Will they be as adamant about this issue under Blake James? Will playing 10 minutes away be enough for BC to reconsider? I don’t know. I don’t want it to come down to the Fenway Bowl, but barring 11-2, Fenway is going to be in the mix.

Three Simple Keys 
1. Oline execution. So much has been written about the thin and inexperienced Oline. I am not as worried because after all these years watching BC football, I think it is the Oline coach really makes or breaks the unit. DeGuglielmo has been around the block a few times, but has enough of the Coughlin and Belichick touch points that I think he will have this group performing well from the start.
2. Explosive plays. This has been BC’s M.O. when Jurk is healthy. If we get big plays, everything hums. If not, we struggle.
3. Give whoever is playing QB for them multiple looks. We might see multiple guys under center this weekend. I know in Week 1 you don’t want to show all your looks, but if we can keep them off balance and guessing, they will probably make mistakes.

Gambling Notes
-- Hafley is 12-11 against the spread
-- BC has won five straight season openers
-- BC leads the series 20-6-1
The current line is BC-7.5

The last time Rutgers won at Alumni was 1988.

Scoreboard Watching
There is lots of football this weekend. It should be glorious. While it is too early to make much of our future opponents, I will pay attention to Notre Dame vs Ohio State. Sustaining Brian Kelly’s success will be harder than most think.

I hope to see… 
A breakout performance by one of the young defensive lineman. We know Hafley and his staff can recruit and develop DBs. They’ve yet to bring in anyone who really stands out upfront. There is a lot of young talent in the mix now. We need one or multiple guys to step up. That would help beat Rutgers but also make a difference on the season’s outlook.

BC is in trouble if…
Jurk gets hurt. I’ve read and heard about how much better the QB depth chart is now compared to last year, but this team is going to live or die with how well Jurk does. If he gets dinged up again, this could be a long season.

Bottom Line
I obviously have very high hopes about the season. Even if this year goes sideways and becomes a mess, it won’t start this weekend. BC hits some big, explosive plays early. We get a defensive turnover or two to hold on and wins the season opener.
Final Score: BC 31, Rutgers 17

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