Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Maryland preview

I have no idea what to expect from Maryland. Ironically, I thought they looked good in some of their losses. I was less impressed with how they performed in their wins. Does that make any sense? I do think highly of Friedgen. If you look back to the preseason I even penciled this game in as a loss. My opinion has changed -- this game is ours to win. Here is what BC needs to do.

Offense -- what BC will do

BC went heavy run last week. Unbelievably Ryan only attempted 16 passes. I think Bible and TOB feared NC State’s pass rush. I think they’ll go ultra conservative this week too, but for a different reason -- you can run on Maryland. The Terps are giving up more than 170 yards a game. Watching various teams push the Terps D-line around the field can only excite TOB et al. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ryan is in the teens on his pass attempts again.

Offense -- what BC should do

I have no problem going heavy run. We have the advantage in the trenches. I would like to see more deep passing. Ryan showed really nice touch last week and Blackmon showed that he can beat his man one on one. Believe it our not, I would also like to see Ryan attempted some short routes. I know he likes the long ball, but he needs to get comfortable with the whole offense. If we are all deep routes and ball control with Matty Ice, teams will eventually figure us out.

Defense -- what BC will do

Last week’s defensive line performance was outstanding. I also liked that when we had the lead Spaz got more aggressive. We had more blitzes in the second half than we had in the first. I imagine well do the same this week -- try to beat them early with the front four and come at them late with different looks. As Turtle Waxing pointed out, their Offensive line is learning on the job. I think we’ll give them the same sort of trouble we gave NC State.

Defense -- what BC should do

Maryland can and will score. If we play our normal lose two-deep coverage, Hollenbach could have the chance to pick us apart. I hope we mix in some man coverage and use the corner blitz again (we haven’t seen it since VaTech). I also want to see Pruitt and Dunbar get plenty of snaps to keep the option aspect of their run game in check.

Special teams -- What BC will and should do

Blackmon’s returns have been getting better each week. I think he is bound to break one before the year is over. The kick and punt coverage was strong in the first half of last week’s game but started to break down in the second half. Hopefully they emphasized it this week in practice.

Final Prediction:

Maryland has more at stake this week, but TOB needs this game to stymie the growing criticism of how he handled the QB situation. If BC can keep the Terps off of the field and get to Hollenbach when he is on the field, the Eagles can win. If this game becomes a shoot out, Maryland wins. If it is won in the trenches, BC wins. I think BC will overpower them.

Final Score: BC 28, Maryland 20.

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