Thursday, September 04, 2008

BC-Georgia Tech preview

When you have a new QB, are in the second year of a new regime and are using a new gameplan, every game becomes a test. Last week was the first test. BC passed with flying colors. This week is the next test. Can Chris Crane and the offense perform when they are facing equal talent? Is the defense as stout as we believe? We’ll have more answers by Saturday night. If BC comes out victorious, it will set the team up nicely for the later months of the season. If Georgia Tech pulls off the upset and BC fails the “test,” we’ll all be asking more questions.

Narrative talking point that you’ll tire of by the end of the game. “Georgia Tech is still learning this offense.” I am as guilty of this talking point as anyone else. But it overly simplifies the challenge and opponent. Sure Georgia Tech is new to this system, but Paul Johnson has been breaking in new players to the system for years. Just because the Jackets weren’t in this scheme last season doesn’t mean they are not capable of moving the ball on BC this weekend.

Johnson’s success is not just schematics. If it were, every school would use the offense. He’s been successful by teaching it well and by calling great games. While this is only their second game of live action we cannot assume that they will not execute or know what they are doing. Johnson will have them ready.

Three simple keys
1. Pound Josh Nesbitt. As Jags has said, stopping this team is really about assignment football. Nesbitt will touch the ball every play and whoever has him needs to make him feel it. The more of a pounding he takes, the more likely he is to cough up a ball late in the game.
2. Hit the intermediate routes. Tech saw the same Kent State game we did and clearly saw that Crane had trouble with anything over 10 yards. They will load up for the run and dare him to throw beyond the box.
3. Win the turnover battle. Last week was nice. This week it becomes twice as important. Facing this offense, you are going to get turnover opportunities. BC needs to capitalize.

Gambling Notes
-- Georgia Tech is 8-2 in their last ten road openers
-- At Navy, Paul Johnson was 1-1 against the spread when playing BC
-- An opposing coach in his first year with a new program has not won at Alumni since 2001 (Miami and Larry Coker)
The current line is BC-7

In his two games coaching against Spaziani, Paul Johnson’s teams have racked up 702 rushing yards and 849 total yards.

Scoreboard Watching
Much of the ACC is either off or playing DIAA teams this week. There’s not much to learn there. So turn your attention to South Bend where Notre Dame is opening its season against San Diego State. I am predicting a bounce back year for the Irish. It will be interesting to see how they start.

I hope to see…
A little more precision in the passing game. I know I am harping on it but some of Crane’s throws were flat out terrible. We need him to be able to hit the out routes and the deep go routes.

BC is in trouble if…
Georgia Tech leads at halftime. Crane played well, but I don’t know if he can pull a Ryan-like comeback especially with Johnson’s ability to eat up clock.

Bottom Line
I see this as another game where our defense causes all sorts of problems. I won’t predict a shutout but do expect plenty of fumbles and game-changing plays. The offense must do its part too. They will need more than three scoring drives to beat Tech. I am hoping that the passing picks up and BC pulls away in the second half.
Final Score: BC 24, Georgia Tech 9


BCMike said...

Eagles force several turnovers, Crane finds his rhythm and BC turns it into a rout late.

Eagles 38
Bees 13

eagle1331 said...

I'm really starting to worry about our recruiting class. We are, oh, about 10-15 recruits behind most other D-1 schools. What is Jags doing??? It is begining to look like the cupboard is going to stay half full, or even lose some cups, if he can't pick it up and get some serious commitments instead of the scraps 3 or 4 months from now...

ATL_eagle said...

I am not worried yet. We have 5 recruits. We have a smallish class this year (18). Worry if we are not to 10 by the ACC Championship Game.

SM said...

It looks like Saturday is going to be wet and windy. Hopefully Crane can use his experience from the UB game in the same weather to his advantage.

X said...

Proof ND and BC can be bff

eagleboston said...

I think the key to the game is Crane's ability to pass deeper and extend the field. We saw in the Kent State game that when they put 10 defenders in the box, BC could not move the ball and went two quarters without scoring. He needs to extend the defense to open up running lanes.

Santa Claus must be good to BC Mike as he is dreaming. We only scored 21 points against Kent State. We are not going to score 38points in the rain against GT. The 7 point line is very realistic, something like BC 20 - GT 13.

Eagle1 said...

HD has picked BC to win by 3. I feel like I just took a girl on a date and she allowed me to give her a kiss on the cheek afterwards.

Sebastian: Stop with that crap.

Leather D said...

San Diego State lost to Cal Poly last week (FCS team, and not a good one). They are TERRIBLE. That game really won't give a read on ND.

Miami - Florida is the scoreboard watch, along with Wake - Ole Miss

We need Wake to win, and it would be helpful if Miami could at least keep it close

Eagle0407 said...

BCMike said...


We played a conservative run game last week vs. Kent to let Crane, Smith, and Haden get warm and build confidence.

I think the Jackets playing Jax State is going to prove to be a disservice, as things that worked against them are going to cause turnovers with BC. I just really like our odds this week. High turnovers, Crane finds his rhythm with the passing game.

Johnson's teams aren't designed to come from behind, which will cause them to go into a higher pass mode where we can pin our ears back. I really think we get up early and keep the boot to the neck.

Bravesbill said...

I have to agree with Leather D about SDSU. As a resident of America's Finest City, I had the privilege of actually watching that game against Cal Poly last week, and it was UGLY. SDSU's defense probably couldn't stop a D-III school. If ND doesn't put up 500 yards and 50+ points, it will be a huge disappointment for ND. Finally, that stat about Johnson v. Spaz doesn't give me too confidence going into the game tomorrow. Johnson absolutely owns Spaz. Well, then again, many other coordinators/coaches own Spaz.