Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BC-Penn State preview

Bowls are always such a weird phenomenon. Sports are often about rhythms and patterns. The team is used to a certain schedule. Yet with bowls, the whole routine changes. I never know what to expect. If BC had played this game the week after Syracuse, I would have felt sure they would win. Now it is about regrouping and preparing for one certain opponent. I still like our chances, but hate the weird break in the schedule. Despite my complaints about the bowl system and schedules, I love having one more BC game!

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Do you know the best way to change our fan's perception of bowl games? By making a big deal out of them. This year BC went all out. A custom paint scheme on the bus! Decorated lobbies at the team hotel. Getting pep talks from John Mara, Herzy, Andre Williams and Coughlin. If the school makes a big deal out of the games and the players make a big deal, then the fans will hopefully get excited too. Selling out our allotment in New York didn't prove too much of a challenge. People wanted to be there. Hopefully that enthusiasm will carry over to future bowl games. I think it will...especially if BC keeps turning the trips into events. 

Three Simple Keys
1. Murphy keeping the ball on the zone reads. I don't know if he was more injured than BC let on or was just making poor reads, but Murphy missed some big holes late in the season. Penn State is going to key on him, but he still needs to keep it himself for at least 10+ carries. That, more than anything, will open up our offense.
2. Get to Hackenberg. Penn State allowed 42 sacks this year. The line isn't great and Hackenberg holds the ball too long. We need to be in his face and bringing him down. It will disrupt their whole offense.
3. Don't give up on the run game. Things might be sluggish for a while, but we still need to keep running the ball. Something will open up and a big play will come. As good as their run defense is, their pass defense is a worse matchup for us.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 1-1 in bowls
-- BC has lost four straight bowl games
-- BC has won three straight over Penn State
The current line is BC-2.5

BC has played Penn State 23 times, but never in a bowl game.

Scoreboard Watching
It is all about the Rose Bowl. Even if you don't care for Florida State, it would be great for the ACC if Florida State won the whole thing again. At a minimum we need a respectable showing.

I hope to see...
A young reserve step up. You should never read too much into a bowl game, but I hope one of the young guys (maybe a WR) makes a big contribution. They've had an extra practices to shine and earn time on the field.

BC is in trouble if...
If drives stall. A low scoring, field goal game is just what Penn State wants. Kicking in this weather and at a baseball stadium is tough. We need drives to get to the endzone.

Bottom Line
As much as I respect Penn State's run defense, I still think that our scheme and size will win the match up. I think BC's defense gives them trouble and we slowly pull away in the second half with some long, clock eating drives. The win is measured sign of our rebuilding progress and a fitting end to a surprisingly fun season.
Final Score: BC 28, Penn State 13


eagle1331 said...

The only time I can remember this many BC fans of seemingly all ages traveling for a game is a Notre Dame roadtrip. This is going to be great. Let's get a W. LET'S GO EAGLES!

Merry Christmas all!

Hoib said...


I don't think you ever have to worry about Daz/Day sticking w/ the run. It's tantamount to BC sticking w/ the eagle. Merry Christmas!