Thursday, November 11, 2010

BC-Duke Preview

Does anyone else sense some fan apathy around the BC football program? We are not in contention for anything yet the two straight wins have muted the anti-Spaz fervor. I hope people don't take it for granted. Even bad or boring BC football is better than no BC football. Plus we are still playing for something: pride. The bowl streak and winning season streak is certainly watered down by the bowl glut and soft scheduling, but it is still something. Regardless of how you feel about BC winning momentum is good for all. Plus this Duke game might be fun. It matches up strength vs strength.

Overlooked storyline for the game:
David Cutcliffe probably would have been interested in the BC job when it went to Jags. Cutcliffe and Gene have the Tennessee connection but he never emerged as a serious candidate. My guess is Cutcliffe's heart issues and southern roots made it seem like a fish out of water. But the Duke coach is actually a converted Catholic who took an assistant job with Charlie Weis in part because he wanted to be part of a Catholic community (and didn't return to ND after his heart issues in part because there wasn't much of a faith/work/life balance during the Weis-Notre Dame years). Would Cutcliffe have been a good fit at BC? Eh, who knows. I am sure the Cutcliffe-Matt Ryan connection would have been fun to watch.

Three Simple Keys

1. Get big plays out of the run game.
Duke is not good against the run and we like to run the ball. But the difference this week is to get some big gainers and TDs out of Montel. Duke has enough offensive power that we can't settle for FGs instead of TDs.
2. Sack Renfree.
Accurate patient QBs can dink and dunk on us all day. Renfree won't force a bad deep throw and won't miss open guys. To have success we need to flush him out of the pocket and get some sacks.
3. Stop them in the redzone. As I mentioned earlier, I think Duke will move the ball on us. It will be up to the defense to keep them from scoring TDs.

Gambling Notes

-- Spaz has yet to win three ACC games in a row
-- BC did not cover in our last ACC game with Duke (it was a 29 point spread)
-- Cutcliffe has not won a game in November while at Duke

The current line is BC-3.5


This will be the first time BC has played in Wallace Wade Stadium. It will be the final "first trip" on our ACC slate.

Scoreboard Watching

It doesn't impact us in any way but I am curious to see how TOB bounces back from last week. NC State controls its own destiny but I have a sneaking suspicion that TOB will do something ultra conservative when a bold move is required and miss the Pack's chance at the division title.

I hope to see...

More passes to Pantale and McCluskey. It is clear we are not going to "open it up." However there is no reason not to get the ball to our safety valve type guys. I hope the pass attempt near 20.

BC is in trouble if...

We get into a real shootout. Duke has a losing record but they've been in multiple games now where they've had to drive the ball while behind. We have yet to show we can play catch up or go score for score.

Bottom Line

I don't think this will be a gimme. Duke has the type of offense that can control tempo and move the ball on us. On the other side of the ball, it does help that they have a poor run defense but can that be enough? I think we win, but I don't think it will be comfortable nor pretty.
Final Score:
BC 27, Duke 20


Big Jack Krack said...

You saw it here first: There is no need to panic.

GDF - "....... There was noone more disappointed than me when we lost five consecutive games, but this program is headed in the right direction. The next several years are going to be very good years around here. There is no need to panic."

Gene DeFilippo: Thank you very much for joining us for today's chat. We'll hold another one in the near future. Go Eagles!

Lenny Sienko said...

Translation: Spaz stays and maybe we won't even shuffle the coordinators.

Jack, where did you find the transcription?

Danny Boy said...

Lenny, you can find a transcript here:

Other highlights include GDF arguing that our out of conference schedule is already full of strong competition and that Spaz will lead us to an Orange Bowl in the next 3 years.

blist said...

I gotta admit, as someone originally a fan of the Spaz hire, the strength of the defense this season and the fact we haven't lost 7 in a row make me inclined to drink GDF's koolaid here (to use a really awful comparison) as long as the Nyquilizer is gone next year.

mod34b said...

Gdf is a bigger idiot than I imagined.   spaz "is one fine football coach". Holy bleep.  You've got to be kidding GDF.

"Gene DeFilippo: I work with Coach Spaz on a daily basis and I can tell you that he is one fine football coach. This team continues to improve every week and there's still 25% of the season left to be played."

"Gene DeFilippo: Yes, I do believe that Frank Spaziani will lead us to the Orange Bowl within the next three years. We haven't played in a major bowl game since 1984, and I believe that Spaz will lead us to one. We are all spoiled, especially me. I hate losing and have suffered as much or more than anybody through our five-game losing streak. When I arrived at Boston College in 1997, the football team had three winning seasons in 10 years, was coming off a gambling scandal, and hockey had six consecutive losing seasons. Our record in football over the last decade is 88 wins and 40 losses, and we have been to 11 consecutive bowl games. Our hockey team has won three national championships, and has been to the Frozen Four seven times in the last 11 years. We're spoiled, and the expectations are high, but that's a good thing, because we want high expectations, and we expect to win here at Boston College."

Walter said...

Where's the apathy? Fans were excited at our last home win (thrilled even) and the idea that we could finish with the same record as last year after the HELL we had for a while is shocking.

If we won out plus the bowl game I think it would give us some great momentum for next year.

Lenny Sienko said...

Danny Boy:

Thanks for the link. I have always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy.

I am beginning to think that 14 years is long enough for GDF, especially if he has lost touch with reality so drastically.

Sometimes I really miss Bill Flynn....sigh.

mod34b said...

I am with you Walter. No apathy at all from the BC regulars. We are rebounding from a bad start and building for next year. It is actually exciting to see the team coming together.

Apathy comes are from these clowns who populate the dark recesses of this board who luv to tear down BC(i really can't believe they even went to BC)

Now, let's all say it together:




eagleboston said...

Win or lose, I will crank up my crappy laptop and support the Eagles.

BCDoubleEagle said...

In GDF's tenure, we've seen 3 hockey national titles, 11 straight winning football seasons (hopefully soon to be 12), regular NCAA appearances by the men's and women's hoops and soccer teams, national championships in sailing, a move to a much more stable and lucrative conference, the construction of the Yawkey Center, and consistently some of the best graduation rates in the country.

Can you name a more successful overall era in BC sports history?

Dan said...

Game. Set. Matty Ice.

CT said...

Yeah, after completely mauling the QB situation, having an abysmal offense despite having a stud RB and returning OL and good d, almost losing to Kent St, and now winning two games in a row...the team is coming together. Barely beating Wake. Really hope I'm wrong, but I'm not convinced we're improving all that much. Our schedule is, though.

Lenny Sienko said...


Objection! leading question...[grin]

Given the lack of transparency and the personality of GDF, it is difficult to determine how much of that "success" is attributable to him.

We have also had "musical chairs" coaches in football and women's basketball recently.

I recall when GDF was brought in as a "marketing genius" from a basketball school; i.e., Villanova. I have been disappointed at the lackluster nature of the promotion of the basketball program and the lack of attendance, enthusiasm, etc. even in our new ACC basketball superconference.

This is the first time in those 14 years that I have directly criticized GDF; but when a National Championship Hockey team does not have a radio presence (let alone video); when our football team has done so poorly with a watered-down football schedule that we cannot be seen, even on pay-per-viiew ESPN gameplan, I start to question just how effectively the AD is operating.

The transcript of the chat with GDF set me off (thanks, Jack Krack and Danny), since it sounded so much like a spin-doctor politician. I contrast that with Bill Flynn sitting down with a bunch of us undergrads to talk about supporting the BC basketball program with the "Zoo" section ( the precursor to "superfans", and his straight talk.

I realize that GDF now runs a much bigger operation and things are more complicated; but I expect straight talk from the BC AD.

Lets hope we win out in football and make it to a meaningless bowl somewhere. I'll watch; but I don't have the same good feeling I once did about the program. As I get older, I have less patience (and time) to wait for "mistakes" to be corrected.

I am encouraged by Donahue in basketball. Hopefully, we'll be able to see some of the games; but I'm not depending on GDF to have done a good enough selling job for coverage to be available.