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.
-- 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.
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.
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