Thursday, September 23, 2010

BC-Virginia Tech preview

Here we go again. Another season, another fork in the road when we come up against Virginia Tech. When we were slotted as cross division rivals, I don't think anyone anticipated what a litmus test the Hokies would become for us. They even served dual purposes for BC in 2007 and 2008. Proving first in the regular season that we were legitimate threats to win the conference. And then showing that we weren't ready to break through with two defeats in ACC Championship Games. Now it is the Hokies who are looking for validation. They enter 1-2 and don't know how good or bad they might be. If they beat BC, it will signal that they are still the favorite to win the ACC. If they lose to us, their whole season might unravel.

[NEW FEATURE] Overlooked storyline for the game: Both team's ACC schedules
Both teams clearly need a win, but this game might not be as important as it might seem. As BC fans know, our cross division games this year are Duke and Virginia. We should be favored in both and those two wins should provide a nice boost in our ACC standings. The Hokies have Wake Forest and NC State. While NC State looks improved, they still missed a bowl game last year and TOB has a horrid record against Beamer.

Three Simple Keys
1. Get to Taylor. Last year on Virginia Tech's first TD pass, Taylor scrambled all around before launching a bullet. Morrissey just missed getting the sack, and although the game was never close, I felt that type of play was a back breaker. Now -- with our healthy front four and stacked LB corp -- I think we can contain and pressure Taylor. If he is rushed and flustered, VT's offense will struggle.
2. Aggressive offensive play calling. I felt we sort of played into Virginia Tech's hands last year with the play calling. Instead of protecting Shinskie and establishing the run, I think we need to pass out of the gate. I would also like to see some shots downfield early.
3. Mistake free offensive line play. Virginia Tech saw what Kent State did. Why wouldn't they stunt and blitz too? I imagine they will also come after Spinney. So BC's OL needs to be very disciplined with assignments and avoid mental errors.

Gambling Notes

-- Virginia Tech has not won at Alumni since 2002
-- Virginia Tech is 16-1 in their past 17 road openers
-- BC is 2-3 in ACC openers
The current line is BC+4


Tyrod Taylor has played BC four times (he missed the 2007 regular season game). In those four games he has only amassed 524 yards of total offense.

Scoreboard Watching

The most telling game will be NC State vs Georgia Tech. Can TOB's guys go on the road and stop the Yellow Jackets' triple option? If they win, then their start is legitimate and they have to be considered a threat to win the division.

I hope to see...

Dave Shinskie light them up. I really think this might be our most talented group of receivers since the 1980s. Virginia Tech will play plenty of man defense and give these guys chances to make plays. We just need Shinskie to get them the ball.

BC is in trouble if…

The offensive line struggles. If they are overwhelmed by VT's speed and aggressiveness upfront, I think the offense will struggle all day.

Bottom Line

I am still unsure of both teams. I still think this can be a very, very good BC team. I don't like what I've seen from Virginia Tech, but trust Beamer and staff to get things turned around. For this game, I see BC getting up early and holding off a VT comeback in the second half.
Final Score: BC 24, Virginia Tech 17


Erik said...

We need to ensure the only VT scoring, if any, is done by their offense.

modest34b said...

how can that be ensured Erik?

Scott said...

This is one of the first times that strongly disagree.

Good passing teams with QBs that make quick decisions can easily pass against Va Tech. Unless Shinskie has more than he's showing us, that's not us by a mile, and probably a plan for disaster.

We'll need to take our shots, and pass when they expect run ... and run when they expect pass (i.e., throw when Shinskie isn't pressured), but overall, we need to shorten the game, and pound the ball.

On defense, I do not want to rush Taylor. Top 2 priorities are to stop the run (with the front 7) and don't get beat deep (safeties back). Don't rush Taylor ... instead, let our OLBs and corners (playing a cushion that lets them watch taylor) shadow him and gang tackle. We can rush him now and again to keep him out of rythm, but do it with a plan, flushing him to the short side of the field where we can corral him.

CT said...

I think Scott is right. I'd be surprised if we blitzed a lot. Sorta wanna make TT make the throws. Of course, we've said that before.

Funny, they were actually talking about this game on Atlanta sports radio today (790) and Barnhart's co-anchor said, "they actually make you park on Shea Field up there, like in the outfield of the baseball stadium. Then they have a highway sign that says, 'Please enter the stadium,'" as he laughed. I was momentarily floored that anyone in Atlanta sports talk 1) knew the name of Shea Field or its parking procedures and 2) talked about BC in any form or fashion.

I'd suggest confession for everyone as it appears the Apocalypse is upon us. My penance is reading mod34b's posts.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Good link by someone the other day on how rowdy VTech thinks Alumni can get. Really hope the Noon start doesn't kill the vibe.

mod34b said...

CT, Mr. Fun -- just what the doctor ordered!! And it has a southern flair just for you. I am still waiting for the snarky CT to reemerge and tell us about the SEC as if we have never heard of it. But I see you are warming up.

By the way, your reference to the good link the other day about VT's impression of BC was by me.

Here is a good summary of the game from a VT Blog Gobbler Country . Pretty insightful analysis, including:

•What I've noticed from both Shinskie and BC's other quarterback, Mike Marscovetra, is that they're not terribly affected by the threat of an outside rush. They have little reason to be with two tackles like Anthony Castonzo and Rich Lapham protecting them. Even when guys get by Castonzo on the blind side, they still have the confidence in him to block the end and keep them upright.

•What does rattle them is inside pressure. Neither Shinskie nor Marscovetra are very mobile, so the Hokies need to get inside pressure from them to get them out of the pocket and force them to make throws on the run and force mistakes.

•It will be important for defensive tackles John Graves and Antoine Hopkins to get that pressure up the middle. If they can't, the Hokies will probably bring blitz packages similar to the ones we saw against ECU, trying to get Bruce Taylor and Lyndell Gibson to Shinskie and/or Marscovetra.

Scott said...

Mod, I agree that inside pressure/Blitz are what give Shinksie happy feet and tunnel vision. Unfortunately, inside pressure is also a "run blitz" strategy. So they get 2-1, rattle shins and stuff Montel's inside running. That's not good.

Big Jack Krack said...

Although they were intercepted, so far Miami looks a little quicker than Pitt. That's what I'm afraid of Saturday.

Big Jack Krack said...

Don"t worry - I haven't lost my optimism. I believe we can beat VT, or I wouldn't be flying up from SC.

eagleboston said...

I'm hoping for the best, but this game worries me. To go 0-1 in the ACC will pretty much put us out of contention. We need this win. Let's hope we can make up ground from last season's massacre at Lane.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Another nice win for an ACC team against a BE team on Thursday night national TV. 31-3 Miami over Pitt, in Pittsbugh.

Darius said...

Out of contention for what, eagleboston? "Rivalry" game or not, benchmark or not, it's still a crossover game, and we'd still have the chance to stick every other team in our division with a loss.

Andrew said...

"I really think this might be our most talented group of receivers since the 1980s."

Are you serious?

I think this is one of the worst groups of WRs in recent memory. Without Larmond the only guy who can be considered a weapon is Coleman, and he is very much unproven.

Unknown said...

I agree fully with Scott. Every time Shinskie goes back the odds are 50/50 the pass will fly off somewhere other than intended. BC must stay away from the passing game and win this on the ground.

Since they can't do it, I look for a blow out by Virginia Tech who is coming in as a desperate underdog with gangster talent galore who want some respect. What better way to start to get it than by trouncing BC

cwm2005 said...

Ryan "BC killer" Williams is out for tomorrow. That leaves Darren "fumble" Evans and the unproven Wilson guy. good news for us.

We need to stuff the box, spy Tyrod with Wes Davis or Pierre-Louis (I think Kuechly and Herzlich are too valuable to spy) and get an early lead / avoid an early turnover.

For the love of god don't throw an out or quick slant on the first series . . . .